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The Lake Shore Limited by Sue Miller
The Lake Shore Limited is the name of the train at the center of a play written by Wilhelmina "Billy" Gertz. The train is bombed by terrorists and its lead character is waiting to hear whether his wife has survived. Billy lost her fiance, Gus, in the 9/11 attacks. Gus' family is still torn by his loss, but Billy hides the secret that she was about to break up with Gus when he died. Rafe plays the lead role in Billy's play. His wife is suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease, and Rafe's one-night stand with Billy throws his emotions into turmoil. Billy has an attraction to Sam, but, afraid of the commitments of a serious relationship, she sends Sam mixed signals about her interest. Sue Miller's novel has received positive reviews with the New York Times saying, "Rather, its power grows from Ms. Miller's intimate understanding of her characters (for once, the men are as keenly and sympathetically portrayed as the women) and from her Chekhovian understanding of missed connections, lost opportunities, and closely held memories that mutate slowly over time."