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World Below, The (Charnwood Library)
World Below The - Charnwood Library
Author: Sue Miller
ISBN-13: 9780708949849
ISBN-10: 0708949843
Publication Date: 8/1/2003
Edition: Large print e.
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Publisher: Ulverscroft Large Print Bks.
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
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reviewed World Below, The (Charnwood Library) on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Looking at old photographs of family, I have often wondered what their lives were like and what they were thinking when the photo was taken. Sue Miller explores that idea and the concept that below a surface of daily life our parents, grandparents, etc., had challenges, wants, needs, desires, secrets, conflicts that we never saw and never knew about. Sometimes because we don't see them as real people, with lives and pasts, we don't walk through the doors into their lives that they open. Sometimes we just have to reach a certain maturity before we are ready to accept that they may have wanted something else out of life than what they were given, or may have had a colorful, interesting or even sad past. Miller's book explores all of this and more as her main character tries to reconcile her past, present and fashion a future while learning more about a grandmother she deeply loved but never truly understood while the woman was alive. This is not a book of rapids and waterfalls, but a ride down the river of time, where we never quite know what will appear around the next bend, or what lies under the surface, in the world below.
reviewed World Below, The (Charnwood Library) on
Helpful Score: 2
Miller gets into the internal mindset of the two women in this story in a unique way. Catherine (a twice married woman in her 50's with grown children) returns to her grandmother's (Georgia) home and finds her diary. We learn about Georgia through her diary entries and I am thankful for Miller's gift of weaving the alternating storylines into my own heart. Georgia, who was diagnosed with tuberculosis as a teen, is the character I am most interested in. Her life-altering experience in the "san" often left me wishing I would've asked my own grandmother more questions about her older sister who was diagnosed with TB in the 1940s and "was sent away to the san" too. I greedily found myself researching the two sanitariums in my own state of Michigan (Battle Creek and Traverse City had sanitariums in the 1880s) and tried to imagine what life was was like for my great-aunt who went to the Battle Creek sanitarium. I know my own grandmother took her sister's child and raised him for the three years she was in the san. My grandmother talked about her sister's absence with great sadness. She didn't reveal too much (it seems many people from her generation who suffered greatly didn't talk about it but "got on with their lives.") Georgia endured, sacrificed but always remembered. The rich, emotional depth of "The World Below" caused me to shed tears for everyone sentenced to time at a santitarium -- then and now.
reviewed World Below, The (Charnwood Library) on + 524 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I like the way that the author blended the stories of Catherine and her grandmother Georgia. The story is nicely written and really delves into the feeling of emotional helplessness that the characters are feeling. A good book, will not disappoint.
reviewed World Below, The (Charnwood Library) on
Helpful Score: 1
I actually tried to read this book twice, and could not get into it. It doesn't mean its a bad book, just not for me.
reviewed World Below, The (Charnwood Library) on + 116 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I'm a fan of Sue Miller but did not like this book as much as some of her others (While I Was Gone, Family Pictures, The Senators' Wife). The New England setting was very vivid but overall the story was too slow and meandering for me.
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