Sue Miller is the best-selling author of "The Good Mother," "Inventing the Abbotts," "Family Pictures," "For Love" and "The Distinguished Guest." Her first nonfiction book, "The Story of My Father," deals with the final months of a parent dying of Alzheimer's disease. Invited to offer her recommendation for the “Today” book club October selection, Miller chose Brian Morton's “A Window Across the River,” a story that explores the conflicts of the human heart. Miller and Morton discussed the book on “Today.” Here’s an excerpt:
Isaac and Nora haven't seen each other in five years, yet when Nora phones Isaac late one night, he knows who it is before she's spoken a word. Isaac, a photographer, is relinquishing his artistic career, while Nora, a writer, is seeking to rededicate herself to hers. Fueled by their rediscovered love, Nora is soon on fire with the best work she's ever done, until she realizes that the story she's writing has turned into a fictionalized portrait of Isaac, exposing his frailties and compromises and sure to be viewed by him as a betrayal.
Sometimes you lose touch with people for no good reason, even people you love. Nora had lost touch with Isaac five years ago, but he kept coming back to her mind. He would appear to her in dreams (usually looking as if he was disappointed in her); things he'd said to her long ago would bob up into her thoughts; and sometimes when she was in a bookstore she'd drift over to the photography section to see if he'd put out another book. Through year after year of silence, she carried on a conversation with him in her mind.
Every few months she would pick up the phone with the intention of calling him — and then she'd put the phone back down. She wasn't quite sure why they'd finally stopped talking, but something prevented her from reaching out to him again. Maybe there was a good reason after all.