STARRED REVIEW
April 2016

Down in the valley

By Anna Quindlen
Mary Margaret Miller’s family has called Miller’s Valley home for hundreds of years. Everyone knows little Mimi, as she’s called, by name. She’s grown up in the shadow of older brothers Eddie and Tommy. She’s risen early to help her father with farm chores. She has observed her mother’s knowing ways; Miriam, a nurse, always seems to know what’s happening before anyone else.
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Mary Margaret Miller’s family has called Miller’s Valley home for hundreds of years. Everyone knows little Mimi, as she’s called, by name. She’s grown up in the shadow of older brothers Eddie and Tommy. She’s risen early to help her father with farm chores. She has observed her mother’s knowing ways; Miriam, a nurse, always seems to know what’s happening before anyone else.

So when a government official arrives to tell residents that the land they call home is destined to become a reservoir, Mimi isn’t pleased. She knows the valley has its problems: After a heavy rain, residents are often forced to dry out their homes and throw out items damaged by the rising water. But the Pennsylvania valley is home.

In Miller’s Valley, bestselling novelist and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Anna Quindlen offers a textured portrayal of small-town life. Mimi’s desire to understand her family and the place she calls home begins in the 1960s and evolves over the decades. She’s young when talk of flooding the valley begins, but she’s also bright. With a teacher’s encouragement, Mimi takes on a science research project. As she delves into the area’s history, Mimi begins to understand the reality the valley faces. But her family remains a mystery in many ways. 

Every Quindlen novel seems to reveal the author’s deft storytelling skill in new ways. Miller’s Valley is a gentle story that unfolds slowly and invites the reader to savor each page. It is a tale to get lost in.

 

This article was originally published in the April 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

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Miller’s Valley

Miller’s Valley

By Anna Quindlen
Random House
ISBN 9780812996081

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