December 3, 2021

Looking Back - The Distinguished Guest

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.

The Distinguished Guest by Sue Miller
1995 Harper Collins
Read in November 2000
Rating: 2/5 (Fair)

Publisher's Blurb:

The moving story of a mother and son that touches the deepest concerns about love, art, family, and life. Lily Maynard is proud, chilly, difficult, and has become a famous writer at age seventy-two. Now, stricken with Parkinson’s disease and staying with her architect son Alan, Lily must cope with her fading powers as well as with disturbing memories of the events that estranged her from her children and ended her marriage. For Alan, her visit raises old questions about his relationship with her, about the choices he has made in his own life, and about the nature of love, disappointment, and grief. Profound and moving, The Distinguished Guest reveals a family trying to understand the meaning of its life together, while confronting inevitable loss and the vision of an immeasurably altered future.

My Original Thoughts (2000):

Didn't care much for this book. Found it somewhat dull and I didn't connect with any of the characters. 

My Current Thoughts:

I read another book (While I Was Gone) by Sue Miller a few months before I read this one. Sadly, this wasn't as enjoyable. I don't think I've read any others by this author, but I have an ARC of Monogamy on my TBR shelf and plan to get to it in 2022.


  1. One of the oddest feelings for me is the feeling I get when I pick up a book that I marked as read long ago and I find that I have no memories of it. The only book I've read by this author is While I Was Gone and I show 3/5 stars for it. And what does my review say? "Wow." What in the world does that mean?!

    1. Lol, Deb! Yes, I too wonder what you meant by "Wow." Is that good? Bad? Surprise ending? :) This is yet another reason why I'm so glad I began to write longer reviews for my blog. I have often looked back on some of the earlier posts here and enjoy reading my thoughts about a particular book. There is much more detail here than in those little book journals I used to write in!

  2. I agree with Deb. I recently read a book that I didn't realize I had read before, but the worst part is I loved it both times!

    1. Helen, I think that happens to a lot of us, especially as we get older!


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