Armchair Travelers

The Council of Friends of Lancaster County Public Libraries will present their 15th Anniversary Author Luncheon fundraiser on Thursday, April 16th. One of two authors speaking at the event is Sue Miller, a best-selling writer known for issue-driven contemporary fiction that explores controversial subjects and families in crisis.

While I Was Gone by Sue Miller was an Oprah’s Book Club selection in 2000. This book tells the story of Jo Becker, a woman who left her first, parent-sanctioned, marriage in 1968 to explore a bohemian lifestyle, living under an assumed name in a rambling university-town group house. Now, thirty years later, Jo is content in her career and family but finds her happy life unraveling when an old friend settles in her hometown, reigniting memories of her carefree former life and the murder that caused it to abruptly end.

Miller’s most recent novel is The Arsonist. After living in Africa as an aid worker for fifteen years, Frankie Rowley returns to her hometown where it appears a series of house fires is targeting wealthy summer residents. Unable to rest and recharge as she planned, Frankie is faced with discoveries about her aging parents and an attraction to a well-liked local journalist.

Books by Sue Miller, and these titles by authors who also write provocative, character-driven stories, are available to borrow from the Lititz Public Library.

Second Nature : A Love StorySecond Nature by Jacqueline Mitchard
Twelve years after her father was killed in a school fire that left her face disfigured, a young woman agrees to a revolutionary new surgery that will give her back the function she has lost.

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
While clearing her late father’s house, a woman learns the sister she believed committed suicide as a teenager is really alive and living under a new identity, putting into question everything she thought she knew about her family.

Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen
Moving to a small country cabin, a once-famous photographer bonds with a local man and begins to see the world around her differently, evaluating second chances at love, career, and self-understanding.

Big Little LiesBig Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Three mothers at personal crossroads are involved in a riot at a school trivia night that leaves one parent dead in what appears to be a tragic accident, but which evidence shows might have been premeditated.

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout
Catalyzed by a nephew’s thoughtless prank, a pair of brothers confront painful psychological issues surrounding the freak accident that killed their father when they were boys.

The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg
Following the death of her husband, a woman fulfills her promise to move to a small town and build a new life for herself as she copes with her grief and finds pleasure in the ordinary things of everyday life.

America AmericaAmerica America by Ethan Canin
During the Nixon era, a working class boy is befriended by a wealthy, politically powerful dynasty in New York and becomes an aide to a senator as he runs for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Girls in Trouble by Caroline Leavitt
A new mother, abandoned by her boyfriend and at odds with her parents for pursuing adoption, is sustained by her relationship with her daughter’s adoptive parents until they become threatened by her increasing obsession with the baby.

My Latest Grievance by Elinor Lipman
Chafing under the claustrophobic care of her parents, a girl finds her snug world transformed by a new college dorm mother who had once been married to her earnest and unglamorous father.

Digging to AmericaDigging to America by Anne Tyler
A chance airport encounter between two families – the Donaldson’s and the Iranian-born Yazdan’s – as both couples await the arrival of an adopted daughter from Korea, prompts an examination about what it means to be an American.

The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond
A photographer’s life is changed forever by the disappearance of the young girl with whom she had been walking on a cold and foggy beach.

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February 6, 2015