Thursday, April 14, 2016

Miller's Valley

Anna Quindlen has been one of my favorite authors for a long time, and I am always anxious for her to publish more.

Miller's Valley is a fantastic addition to her collection of work.

Most reviews call this a quiet novel, which seems a perfect description of the story of Mimi Miller's life.

Mimi grew up on the family farm, the only daughter with two brothers. One brother moves away after graduating, the other is emotionally scarred from his time away at war, unable to function without self medicating (alcohol, drugs).

Mimi helps on the farm, and tends to her aunt Ruth who lives on a home just behind that of Mimi's family.  Ruth doesn't leave her house and she and her sister (Mimi's mother) don't speak, although Mimi is not sure why.

Mimi is encouraged by a teacher to pursue her dreams of college, and it is through a research project that she becomes aware of a government plan to buy up the farmland - her family's farm included - around the Roosevelt Dam to use as a recreational area.  Her family resists this plan, but a few citizens that are holding out are no match for the government.

There are plenty of family secrets that are revealed, as well as a deep sense of home and belonging. Quindlen's novel left me satisfied, and struggling to put into words how wonderful this story is.

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