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