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Extended Audio Sample The World Below Audiobook, by Sue Miller Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,025 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sue Miller Narrator: Judith Ivey Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2001 ISBN: 9780739300169
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From the author of While I Was Gone, a stunning new novel that showcases Sue Miller’s singular gift for exposing the nerves that lie hidden in marriages and families and the hopes and regrets that lie buried in the hearts of women.

Maine, 1919. Georgia Rice, who has cared for her father and two siblings since her mother’s death, is diagnosed, at nineteen, with tuberculosis and sent away to a sanitarium. Freed from the burdens of caretaking, she discovers a nearly lost world of youth and possibility and meets the doomed young man who will become her lover.

Vermont, present day. On the heels of a divorce, Catherine Hubbard, Georgia’s granddaughter, takes up residence in Georgia’s old house. Sorting through her own affairs, Cath stumbles upon the true story of Georgia’s life and marriage and of the misunderstanding upon which she built a lasting love.

With the tales of these two women—one a country doctor’s wife with a haunting past, the other a twice-divorced San Francisco schoolteacher casting about at midlife for answers to her future—Miller offers us a novel of astonishing richness and emotional depth. Linked by bitter disappointments, compromise, and powerful grace, the lives of Georgia and Cath begin to seem remarkably similar, despite their distinctly different times: two young girls, generations apart, motherless at nearly the same age, thrust into early adulthood, struggling with confusing bonds of attachment and guilt; both of them in marriages that are not what they seem, forced to make choices that call into question the very nature of intimacy, faithfulness, betrayal, and love. Marvelously written, expertly told, The World Below captures the shadowy half-truths of the visible world and the beauty and sorrow submerged beneath the surfaces of our lives—the lost world of the past, our lost hopes for the future. A tour de force from one of our most beloved storytellers.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren | 2/14/2014

    " I read this book over a couple of weeks because it started out pretty slowly. I wasn't sure I liked the main character Catherine at first, but I did like the parts set in her grandmother's time. Eventually Catherine became more likable and the story picked up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dlittle | 2/9/2014

    " Another book I had already read!!! UGGHHH! It was a good book about a woman after her 2nd divorce going to stay at her grandmother's house, where she had been raised. She finds a lot about her grandmother. Her grandmother had been to a TB sanitarium when she was younger before she married her grandfather and had a relationship with a boy she met there. OK book, not sure if I would recommend. Easy, light reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Irene | 2/7/2014

    " This story is about a young woman whose life is changed by an illness she contracts...consumption. The way her life changes though is not at all what we might think. It's a story told in bits and pieces by her granddaughter- who finds her grandmother's journals, I love that she accidentally finds them, and they help her in her own life, making sense of it all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Merilee | 2/5/2014

    " I love books that alternate between different time periods. Really enjoyed this author's writing style - I was drawn to the unusual world of the san and the characters were so likable because they were cerebral, emotional, and flawed. I think this book would appeal to different people in different times of their lives. I will be reading it again once some more time goes by and the lucidity of the prose is new again!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 1/6/2014

    " wow. the relationship with the cousin is amazing and the twists and turns of the book kept me right there with sue miller this time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 1/6/2014

    " I enjoyed this story - the intricacies of going from the granddaughter's life then back in time to the grandmother's life made for an interesting contrast. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Little | 1/4/2014

    " Miller sometimes makes her characters a little too fake. Especially Fiona, the voice of young adulthood in all its self-centered wisdom. And the trying-too-hard-to-be-introspective tone occasionally makes the story drag or takes on the "look mom! I'm writing!" quality. All that being said, it's not a bad read. I wouldn't recomend it, but if it's hanging around, you might as well give it a shot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa Patrick | 1/2/2014

    " Ms. Miller is a lovely writer and I haven't encountered many descriptions of life in a sanitarium in the early 20th century. Must confess that I read this sporadically during workday lunch. 3.5 stars for this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pamelarbroadley Broadley | 12/16/2013

    " Sue Miller is always a great read-- good chick-lit stuff about the interwoven strands of a woman's life-- romance, family, sexuality, profession, personal history. Astute observations about motives, emotions and self growth. Believable details that pull you in to the story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jo Klemm | 12/2/2013

    " Very average. She started out with an interesting set of characters from the past but they got lost in the boringness of the characters from the present. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lanette | 12/1/2013

    " This was more like a 2.5 for me... ok, but nothing special. I didn't like the ending at all... didn't really 'get it', I guess. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 11/30/2013

    " This book is the story of a grandmother and her adult granddaughter. The grandmother's story was fabulous, while the granddaughter's story was a yawner. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patricia | 11/17/2013

    " From old notes. Loretta lead the discussion of The World Below. This is a story of parallel of a oung woman and her grandmother. The descriptions of life in the "San" will be long remembered. Thanks again Loretta. The scones were great, You spoil us! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emma Britton | 11/4/2013

    " Boring!! Took me ages to read a book that should have taken less than a week. Some good ideas.. But never hooked me "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 April | 11/2/2013

    " The thing that stuck with me about this novel was the image of those houses below that resevoir. It reminded me of the novel Evidence of Things Unseen. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pauline | 10/31/2013

    " Quite a slow read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 10/10/2013

    " Stared reading this July 5th..... It took forever to get into, and was slow. Not really my kind of book, but it was OK. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lillian | 9/18/2013

    " A fast but enjoyable read with lovely rhythms of life + love + memory. (It took me until halfway through the book to remember that I think I already read this -- about ten years ago.) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin Runyon | 9/14/2013

    " I enjoyed the slice-of-life interspersed with the grandmother's story. The story gave me something to look forward to as my own children become adults and our relationships change. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanette | 7/24/2013

    " Nothing specatcular, but a good solid story. I happen to like Sue Miller, although I guess she's a little cliched sometimes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paula | 6/28/2013

    " Sue Miller is a great writer and I have read almost all of her books. This was a very good read for me - hard to put down! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pamela | 6/19/2013

    " I got into this author's books for quite awhile. Cathartic, and somehow self-indulgent (to me, not her). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 9/10/2012

    " I really found this multigenerational story intersting. It made me think about what a different world it was when my Grandparents grew up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dede | 7/9/2012

    " My favorite of the Sue Miller's books I've read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patty | 6/30/2012

    " Amazing story - so many levels. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 4/26/2012

    " Listened to it on tape while working. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Holly Rose | 11/2/2011

    " This was my 2nd favorite Miller book after the Good Mother. Sweet story that makes you wonder about your grandparents' true young lives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat | 4/21/2011

    " Well paced and engaging, but not Miller's best work. She does some fine stuff with juxtaposing characters from the past with a contemporary character, however. Highly readable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bridget | 3/28/2011

    " I really liked this book. I loved the flow, and the subtle nuiances. I would definately recommend it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 3/21/2011

    " Parallel plotline of a middle-aged woman reading her now-deceased grandmother's journals. This is a quiet, unassuming, and satisfying read that plays (effectively) off the "there's-always-more-to-the-story-than-what-you-see" theme. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 2/26/2011

    " Contains an interesting look at a tuberculosis sanatorium. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dede | 1/12/2011

    " My favorite of the Sue Miller's books I've read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryann | 1/10/2011

    " An interesting book that I found well-written with the two time periods interwoven in a unique and successful way. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth | 1/5/2011

    " Read this several months ago, but can barely remember what it's about, even after reading the synopsis, which is unlike me, hence the 2 stars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dawn | 12/12/2010

    " Woman finds the diary of her grandmother, recognizes the parallel between their lives and gets to know herself as she reads. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vilo | 11/28/2010

    " Interesting novel about parallels in a woman's life and her grandmother's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paula | 11/9/2010

    " Really like her style of writing. Look forward to reading more of her books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zoe | 9/26/2010

    " The grandmother's story, based on diary entries and memories of the main character, I found most interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna | 9/15/2010

    " I enjoyed this book, but I never did figure out what the title meant. "

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About the Author
Author Sue Miller

Sue Miller is the bestselling author of the novels Lost in the Forest, The World Below, While I Was Gone, The Distinguished Guest, For Love, Family Pictures, and The Good Mother; the story collection Inventing the Abbotts; and the memoir The Story of My Father. She lives in Boston.

About the Narrator

Judith Ivey was born in 1951 in El Paso, Texas. She was not quite yet a Tony Award–winner, but already a prolific Broadway and stage actress when she made her film debut appearance as Steve Martin’s love interest in Arthur Hiller’s The Lonely Guy. She then went on to star as Jennifer Jason Leigh’s older sister in the southern gothic thriller Sister, Sister. She came to star (despite her impressive resume) as what would be her better remembered role, Texan B. J. Poteet in the last season of Designing Women. Other notable characters she has played in film include Keanu Reeves’ mother in Devil’s Advocate, one of three intrepid psychics investigating a haunted house in Stephen King’s three-part miniseries Rose Red, and the recurring role of Debra Messing’s mother-in-law Eleanor Markus on Will & Grace. Her audiobook narrations have won her five AudioFile Earphones Awards.