The Lake Shore Limited

lakeshoreI picked up The Lake Shore Limited on audio book from the library knowing I had some big car trips on the agenda.  I had enjoyed The Senator’s Wife, so it was time to try another Sue Miller book.

Right from the start I found this book really difficult.  Miller throws out a large number of characters right at the beginning of the book.  Then, those characters go to a play, which is full of a whole cast of new characters.  I found it almost impossible to remember who were the book characters and who were the characters in the play.  And then the book characters talk about aspects of themselves and their lives in the play.  And then the actors playing the characters in the play are introduced.  It took me a very long time to be able to sort through all of this.

Perhaps it would have been easier with a hard copy book, but somehow I doubt it.  A stronger writer might have been able to create characters that could stand on their own earlier in the novel (or have known to let the first cast of characters breathe a little before introducing the second set).

I liked the novel more as it progressed.  I began to get a visual on some of the characters and understanding them a little better.  In the end it was a good story.  it just never hit the point of being a great story.  It felt cluttered and formulaic.  Given the potential of the story lines, it really should have been better.

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