Thursday, March 10, 2016

Miller's Valley; Anna Quindlen

Miller's Valley; Anna Quindlen
Random House - April 2016


"My name is Mimi Miller, I lived in Miller's Valley.  Everyone I knew lived in Miller's Valley.  I wasn't ignorant; I knew there was a world outside.  I just had a hard time imagining it."

Miller's Valley takes place in rural PA where the Miller family has lived for generations.  While some have sold their land and homesteads to government agencies who have plans for the land, the Miller family refuse to sell out.

Our narrator, Mary Margaret Miller (Mimi) tells the story of her family over the course of many decades beginning in the 1960s when Mimi was just eleven years old and culminating in her old age.  The youngest child and only daughter of the Miller family,  Mimi is a keen observer and reporter of the interactions of her family members.  Her older brothers are as different as night and day -- one the perfect son and the other the troubled one.  Her mother is a strong character who works as a nurse and her father is a bit more passive and is a Mr Fix It of sorts.  There is also Aunt Ruth, an interesting character who lives in a separate house on the property. She is a woman who has not left her house in years.

Miller's Valley is a quiet story about family, friends and the secrets that many families harbor.  In some ways this story felt so intimate that it almost read like a memoir.  Mimi was a wonderful, wise and memorable narrator. She and all of the other characters were very well drawn which made me very eager to keep reading.  There were some family secrets that had me wondering and was never fully explored but, that was okay and it did not effect my enjoyment of this novel in the least.  Readers who enjoy coming of age stories and stories about family life should enjoy this novel - another winner for Anna Quindlen.

4.5/5 stars
(eGalley)

20 comments:

  1. Picking this one up soon - glad to read how much you liked it!

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  2. Can't wait to read this book!

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  3. I love coming of age stories and Quindlen's writing so this sounds like a winner to me.

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    1. Quindlen rarely disappoints. This was a quick, enjoyable story.

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  4. I love Quindlen's writing. So, that alone would make me try this one. It sounds a bit of quiet book, but that would be OK.

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  5. I would enjoy reading this. Thanks Diane and have a great weekend :)

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  6. I really enjoy Quindlen's writing, so I am definitely going to be picking this one up. Thanks for the early review.

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  7. I've been watching for reviews - so happy to read yours. It's on my wish list.

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  8. I'm just finishing this one up and since you are the only other person I know who has read it, I need to know what you think of Mimi's discovery in Ruth's attic. The reason she became home bound? Whose child was it?

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  9. Good thing I saw this post. I didn't know Anna Quindlen had a new book coming. I usually enjoy her novels so I'm glad you feel it's a winner.

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  10. Hm, I've enjoyed Quindlen before but this one sounds a little slower?

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  11. Glad to hear Quindlen has another winner. Her novel One True Thing also seemed to have elements of memoir, which made it good.

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