MONOGAMY by Sue Miller

Sue Miller’s novel is told not shown in the great tradition of Henry James, or George Eliot; the telling is psychological, fine tuned and meticulous. It’s alienating at first, for a reader of contemporary fiction but when we give it time, it’s rewarding. Monogamy is also a book that’s sometimes hyper descriptive. Through the slow accretion of detail about wine, making coffee, sex, we come live with an entire cast of characters who revolve around the marriage between Graham and Annie and Annie’s grief at her husband’s death. The book probes the meaning of monogamy, the perils of “cheating.” What does it mean if a betrayal is physical or emotional, acted upon or deeply felt? Does love transcend the rules that govern our relationships? Miller seems to say that it does and that those rules are not to be followed at the expense of our humanity. I loved this book.

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