About A Beautiful Land by Susan Beth Miller:
A Beautiful Land is a story of menace, the maternal imagination, and the forest primeval.
Raissa, middle daughter of three, watches her family flee their violence-torn homeland. But she stays behind, bound to her birthplace by memories of a sweet young man.
Driven by danger and grief, Raissa struggles toward a mysterious forest and imagines solace through the unexpected allure of a child.
Raissa joins many who have fled their beautiful homeland. Each speaks in turn as they parse their tangled stories and consider whether they dare return to what once was home.
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I have been writing since I was very young (I’m not young any more!) but I needed another career so I became a clinical psychologist, an occupation that has taught me a great deal about people. Writing fiction and working as a psychologist team up well. Both focus the mind on character. I have won a number of awards for fiction, including two Jules and Avery Hopwood Awards at the University of Michigan and a Michigan Council for the Arts individual artists grant for novel writing. A Beautiful Land was given a Kirkus Starred Review and a Best Fiction listing. It is my second published novel. though I have a number more in the drawer. My earlier novel, Indigo Rose, was published by Bantam Books. A Beautiful Land has a hybrid publisher, Boyle&Dalton, and that has been a great experience. I have published five psychology books. The most recent is Emotions of Menace and Enchantment: disgust, horror, awe, and fascination. I have also written about shame and disgust and about teens and older children who have a difficult or disturbed parent. I am fascinated by nature and love both the woods and the garden. I also have a deep affection for animals, especially dogs. I lost two beloved dogs last year but have a new mixed breed rescue dog, Sylvie, who is a lovable handful. Her DNA says she is pitbull, golden retriever, boxer, Boston terrier, boerboel (whatever that is!) and “supermutt.” I like to paint, primarily acrylics and mixed media. I enjoy playing the flute and am excited that I have a new flute (the old one was an official antique!) and am playing flute and cello duets with a friend. The plight of our planet breaks my heart and lately the plight of our democracy as well. Please take a look at my web site to read my blog and learn more about my writing as well as my work as a psychologist. The blog is brand new. The first entry is on anxiety, especially the anxiety that can come with self-exposure through writing or other acts of sharing oneself.