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Miller's Valley: Book summary and reviews of Miller's Valley by Anna Quindlen

Miller's Valley

A Novel

by Anna Quindlen

Miller's Valley by Anna Quindlen X
Miller's Valley by Anna Quindlen
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  • Published Apr 2016
    272 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

In a small town on the verge of big change, a young woman unearths deep secrets about her family and unexpected truths about herself. Filled with insights that are the hallmark of Anna Quindlen's bestsellers, Miller's Valley is an emotionally powerful story about a family you will never forget.

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. In this crisply told story of progress, loss, love, deception, loyalty, and grace, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Quindlen once again captures her readers' attention from first page to last." - Library Journal

"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." - Publishers Weekly

"There are familiar elements in this story—the troubled brother, the eccentric aunt, a discovery that hints at a forbidden relationship—but they are synthesized in a fresh way in this keenly observed, quietly powerful novel." - Kirkus Reviews

This information about Miller's Valley was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Cathryn Conroy

If You Grew Up in the 1960s, This Book Will Likely Resonate with You
If you grew up in the 1960s, graduating from high school in the early 1970s, this coming-of-age story is likely to resonate with you. While the novel recounts a girl's passage into adulthood during a somewhat turbulent time, it also pays homage to the power of Mother Nature, and in both cases reminds us how little control we really have over our lives—no matter how much we think we do.

Beautifully written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anna Quindlen, this is the story of Mimi Miller, the third child and only girl in a Pennsylvania farm family. Mimi is smart and plays by the rules. The farm, which has been in the Miller family for generations, is located at the bottom of Miller's Valley, an area that is prone to severe flooding. The government wants to buy out the families and flood the valley to create a recreational lake, but Mimi's father and others refuse to budge. Meanwhile, one of Mimi's brothers enlists in the Army and is sent to Vietnam. Although he survives the war, his return home is filled with trouble, conflict, and heartbreak. Through it all, Mimi navigates her way through junior high and high school and college—best friends, boyfriends, sex, summer jobs, and farm work—eventually discovering a startling, long-guarded family secret while at the same time finally figuring out who she is and what she wants to be.

The book, which focuses on the meaning, memories, joys, and sorrows of home, is highly readable with a realistic plot and genuine characters. That said, the end is very disappointing in that many years of Mimi's life are glossed over quite quickly—almost as if the author were told she had one day to finish the book when she needed much longer. It could have been better.

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Author Information

Anna Quindlen Author Biography

Anna Quindlen is a novelist and journalist whose work has appeared on fiction, nonfiction, and self-help bestseller lists. She is the author of many novels: Object Lessons, One True Thing, Black and Blue, Blessings, Rise and Shine, Every Last One, Still Life with Bread Crumbs, and Miller's Valley. Her memoir Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, published in 2012, was a #1 New York Times bestseller. Her book A Short Guide to a Happy Life has sold more than a million copies. While a columnist at The New York Times she won the Pulitzer Prize and published two collections, Living Out Loud and Thinking Out Loud. Her Newsweek columns were collected in Loud and Clear.

Author Interview
Link to Anna Quindlen's Website

Name Pronunciation
Anna Quindlen: kwind-len

Other books by Anna Quindlen at BookBrowse
  • Rise and Shine jacket
  • Loud and Clear jacket

12 more...

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