NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In a small town on the verge of big change, a young woman unearths deep secrets about her family and unexpected truths about herself—an emotionally powerful novel you will never forget.
“Overwhelmingly moving . . . In this novel, where so much is about what vanishes, there is also a deep beating heart, of what also stays.”—The New York Times Book Review
For generations the Millers have lived in Miller’s Valley. Mimi Miller tells about her life with intimacy and honesty. As Mimi eavesdrops on her parents and quietly observes the people around her, she discovers more and more about the toxicity of family secrets, the dangers of gossip, the flaws of marriage, the inequalities of friendship and the risks of passion, loyalty, and love. Home, as Mimi begins to realize, can be “a place where it’s just as easy to feel lost as it is to feel content.”
Miller’s Valley is a masterly study of family, memory, loss, and, ultimately, discovery, of finding true identity and a new vision of home. As Mimi says, “No one ever leaves the town where they grew up, even if they go.” Miller’s Valley reminds us that the place where you grew up can disappear, and the people in it too, but all will live on in your heart forever.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Eleven-year-old Mimi Miller's family farm is threatened by a dam project. Miller's Valley is a poignant coming-of-age novel set in the ‘60s, unfolding as Mimi unearths dark secrets about both the government agencies trying to buy and flood her home and the unspoken tensions that plague her family. Like the hardworking farmers who populate Mimi’s Pennsylvania hometown, Anna Quindlen’s writing is quiet and matter of fact, but it carries a sharp edge of truth. We were drawn in by Quindlen’s loyal, gritty, and clear-sighted heroine, who ultimately learns that our past is always with us—even when we let it go.
Quindlen's latest novel, following Still Life with Breadcrumbs, is a moving exploration of family and notions of home. Mimi Miller recounts her life beginning in the 1960s in Miller's Valley, a small Pennsylvania town where her family has been firmly rooted for generations. Government officials warn that a flood could drown the family farm, and Mimi observes her community's reactions while trying to reconcile her own ambitions with her loyalty to home. Her father refuses to relocate, and seeing his stubbornness, Mimi begins to understand her mother's own unrealized dreams. She also wonders about her reclusive aunt, who lives in a small house on their property and never ventures outside. She watches as her brother, Tommy, tries to escape a feeling of stagnancy by enlisting in the military, only to find himself more trapped than before. Meanwhile, she forges her own escapes into school, romance, and sex. Though the pacing is somewhat uneven, Quindlen's prose is crisp and her insights resonant. This coming-of-age story is driven as much by the fully realized characters as it is by the astute ideas about progress and place.
I am an avid reader and I have never written a review. But Miller's Valley touched upon so many emotions that I cried through the entire last chapter. I just have to share my opinion of this book. I didn't give it a full five stars because I thought (I don't want to give too much information away) that one sad incident in Mimi's life was not handled very well. But kudos to the author for bringing a flawed but colorful family into our hearts.
This is a beautifully written story. It grabbed me from the first page and I couldn't put it down. A must read!
I loved this book
A coming of age tale of a young woman determined to become someone other than a small town girl, and to have a plan, instead of having life just happen to her.