.

.

September 2, 2016

Miller's Valley


Miller's Valley by Anna Quindlen
Fiction
20106 Random House
Finished on April 7, 2016
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

"No one ever leaves the town where they grew up, not really, even if they go," says Mimi Miller as she tells the story of her life, from the 1960s to the present, in a small American town on the verge of change. The Miller family has lived and farmed in Miller's Valley for generations, but Mimi sees change looming at the corners of her community and within the walls of her home. As she grows up and discovers sex, love, and ambition, what has seemed bound together begins to drift apart: Mimi's mother from her reclusive sister, Ruth; her damaged brother Tommy from his family and son; and the community itself, menaced by the lingering presence of government officials. As Mimi looks back on the past, she comes to understand that her family and her town itself may always have been destined to disappear.

Anna Quindlen's stunning new novel is a masterly study of family, memory, loss, and ultimately, discovery and finding home. 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.


I've read quite a few books by Anna Quindlen over the years. Looking at her list of fiction, I realize that I've read all her published novels with the exception of just one (Rise and Shine). Some have been absolutely outstanding and others have been very good, but none have been mediocre. The good ones still leave me longing for more, wishing for another amazing story, but I keep reading and keep hoping for something new that will move me in the same way that both Every Last One and One True Thing did.

Miller's Valley was an enjoyable read, but I didn't love it nearly as much as some other readers. I liked the older Mimi and felt that the epilogue (which reveals Mimi as a wife, mother and a grandmother) was the best part of the entire book. 

Final Thoughts:

Miller's Valley is certainly worth reading, but I didn't find any notable passages and it's not one I'll pick up again. I still have Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake (one of Quindlen's collections of essays) and don't quite know why I haven't read it yet. It's been on my shelf for a few years now, so maybe this will be the year.

14 comments:

  1. I listened to this on audio and loved it. It is a quiet book so the audio was the way to go for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy, I'll bet this was a good audiobook. Wish I had gone that route, although it really wasn't a disappointment. Just not as good as some of her others.

      Delete
  2. I loved Every Last One. I suspect she'll never write one that I'll like as much as that one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kay, I doubt I'll ever read another by her that's as good as Every Last One. But we can always hope, right?

      Delete
  3. Liked Miler's Valley and LOVED Lot's of Candles Plenty of Cake. I think you will relate to that one Les.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane, I can't wait to start in on Lots of Candles... I guess I keep putting it off, waiting for the perfect time. So silly of me!

      Delete
  4. Isn't this the one about drowned towns? I am interested in that subject, but still not sure about the book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nan, yes, it's about the flooded towns. I think you might enjoy the book. I'd send you my copy, but I know you don't care for ARCs. :)

      Delete
  5. Anonymous12:40 PM

    Les, Miller's Landing was a big disappointment to me. I didn't like Lots of Cake much at all either (age difference maybe?). However, many of Quindlen's books have been 5 star to me, for sure. Maggie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maggie, I'm glad I'm not the only one who was disappointed with this new book by Quindlen. I'm sorry you didn't like Lots of Cake... I'm hopeful!

      Delete
  6. I think I've only tried a couple of Quindlen's books but it's been too long. I'd definitely like to try to read more by her. Glad to hear that even though this may not have been your favorite, it was still a good read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Iliana, she's really a wonderful writer, but her most recent novels have left me wanting for something more. Every Last One is my favorite of all.

      Delete
  7. I did love this one; Mimi's voice just really spoke to me throughout. You're right, Quindlan is never mediocre.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa, I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this one so well. I think I've set the bar too high for Quindlen and just accept that none will wow me the way Every Last One did.

      Delete

I may not answer your comments in a timely fashion, but I always answer. Check back soon!