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Miller's Valley: A Novel

Miller's Valley: A Novel

Написано Anna Quindlen

Озвучено Brittany Pressley


Miller's Valley: A Novel

Написано Anna Quindlen

Озвучено Brittany Pressley

оценки:
4/5 (32 оценки)
Длина:
8 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Apr 5, 2016
ISBN:
9781491546291
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Описание

A novel about family and the secrets that we keep-a young woman learning to love and leave home and realizing that, maybe, she never quite left. From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Still Life with Bread Crumbs and Rise and Shine.

This story begins in the 1960s, and explores how Mimi Miller comes of age, over and over again.

As a young girl in Miller's Valley, an ordinary farming town that may be facing its final days, Mimi is observing adults, selling corn, growing up and changing, and watching the world around her change, too.

As the years go by, the unthinkable starts to seem inevitable. Anna Quindlen's novel takes us through the changing eras of Mimi and her family, as secrets are revealed, and the heartbreaks of growing up and falling in love with the wrong man are overcome.

A deeply moving, inspiring story of a young woman learning to love and leave, the place and family from which she comes.

Издатель:
Издано:
Apr 5, 2016
ISBN:
9781491546291
Формат:
Аудиокнига


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3.8
32 оценки / 36 Обзоры
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  • (2/5)
    I thought this was a sad story all the way through. Sisters didn't get along. The aunt wouldn't leave her house. The son' Tommy, was troubled. This was not my kind of a story. It was a sad ending with the valley being flooded.
  • (4/5)
    I settled into this book like a comfortable chair. Mimi was such a natural and easy narrator that I feel sad that in order to hear her voice again, I'll have to re-read the book. There was a tragedy to her story and her world that was very subtle yet impactful. The material for tragedy was plentiful -- a beloved brother lost, an environment and home slowly drowning, a confusing family dynamic, poverty -- yet Mimi is no drama queen and does not wallow in sorrow. But it's there. And told to us beautifully in this novel.
  • (3/5)
    This novel is a slow but endearing read. Mary Margaret is a quiet character, who has a good heart and does what is right. The story deviates from the actual valley issues with the government and focuses more on the family dynamics of the Millers. I won't lie and tell you I was engrossed in the story the whole time; there were definitely some boring parts that could have been left out and sometimes I just wondered where everything was going. But it is a sweet novel about family ties and ambitious dreams, and about a girl learning to find her place in the world. If you like realistic fiction and affable main characters, then this book is definitely the right one for you!
  • (3/5)
    A special thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

    This moving story takes place in Miller's Valley, a small farming town that becomes another character in the book. Mary Margaret 'Mimi' Miller is the only daughter born to a farming family with two sons and an agoraphobic aunt that also lives on their property. Layer by layer, Quindlen tells Mimi's coming-of-age story through her family's drama.

    One thing I would have liked fleshed out was the relationship between Mimi's mother and her sister (Mimi's aunt). There is a plot twist that touches on perhaps why they had a tumultuous relationship, but I felt like this didn't get enough time and development and could've really added to the story, especially in the beginning.

    A slow burn. Like other reviewers, I found the novel hard to get into because of its pace. Quindlen is a gifted writer who takes her time developing characters and in this instance, the pace at which she does this, paid off. So stick with it, you will be glad you did.
  • (4/5)
    Miller's Valley entertaining and satisfying despite the incongruity of the endingMary Margaret Miller is a young girl growing up on a farm in Miller's Valley, a small community in rural America in the 1960's. There's nothing unusual about her family or her life: she has two older brothers - one's away at college, the other is a lovable rogue, her father works the farm, her mother is a nurse at the local hospital, an aunt lives in a small cottage on the farm.The only thing that makes Miller's Valley different from thousands of similar rural hamlets is the government has plans to raise a nearby dam and flood the valley displacing the few families who live there.This a theme that runs throughout the book looming over the lives of the Miller family though never really effecting them since there is no set timeline for the flooding.Through the point of view of Mary Margaret the reader comes to know a loving and, more or less, functioning family, their friends and neighbours living in middle America during this period.Quindlen is such a fine writer I was immediately drawn in. Her gift is that she makes the reader feel like they know, have known, or know someone just like her characters. Her prose is so seamless you don't realize you're reading a book - more like experiencing it.Unlike some of Quindlen's work that can leave you with PTSD (Every Last One, One True Thing, Black and Blue) nothing really dramatic happens in Miller's Valley. There's regular love, life and death but it's not agonizing, unimaginably violent or pathologically cruel. It's just your run of the mill stuff - strokes, abortions, infidelity, drug abuse - but it's balanced with love and real caring. Sound boring? It's not. Every time I sat down to read it was like catching up with a friend. I had no idea how Miller's Valley would end and apparently neither did the author, because what she implies in the last few pages is incongruous to the story that has come before. I simply could not believe it.Despite the rather bizarre ending, Miller's Valley is a satisfying and entertaining read.
  • (5/5)
    I enjoyed this first book I have read by Anna Quindlen. A story of the dynamics of a family hiding family secrets and losing the family farm.
  • (4/5)
    Not bad, but not her best. I found it this story to be a little bit too commercially appealing to Qunidlen's core demographic - middle aged American mothers. Also, the characters seemed not to have quite enough depth, and the story was all wrapped up a bit too neatly in the end. That said, it's still a cut above a lot of other work in this genre.
  • (4/5)
    NOTE: I received a free copy of this book from Random House.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book from Anna Quindlen. To me, it is a quiet book- one that is not packed with action and twists and turns but instead a subtle development of characters that kept me connected and interested. Having grown up in a small mountain town near the coalfields of WV and worked next to a mine, the quiet nature of Miller's valley with the underlying tension of the water felt familiar.

    I enjoyed seeing Mimi grow up and come to understand the virtues and faults of humans. The letter I received with this novel called it an "intimate" novel, and I wholeheartedly agree. I learned to like and dislike characters as I discovered their personalities. I felt as if Mimi had been my childhood friend, and I felt as if I knew Miller's Valley personally.
  • (4/5)
    I am partial to Anna Q., used to read all of her essays in Newsweek. I enjoyed this read and felt that she did a good job of bringing her characters to life.
  • (5/5)
    Anna Quindlen's books are always something I want to read and once again, this one was NOT a disappointment!
  • (4/5)
    This coming of age story spans a good part of the life of Mimi, with most of the focus on her childhood and teen years on a farm in a rural community. From the prologue, the reader knows right away that at issue will be the threat of the government flooding the valley where the family homestead is located. With that somewhat in the background we follow Mimi and her family and community from her preteen years through college, and then realize she is narrating the story from her sixties. The family experiences heartache and resilience, and Mimi's voice rings true as she describes events with varying amounts of emotion befitting her character. This is a short novel with a long reach.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed Miller's Crossing well enough, but it seemed a lot like other coming-of-age stories that I've read, most recently Tess Hadley's Clever Girl. Mimi Miller's family has owned and worked a dairy farm in the valley for generations, but now a developer wants to buy out all the residents and flood the valley to create a recreation zone. Mimi's mother is a nurse, her father a hardworking farming and fix-it man; one older brother, Ed, has left town for marriage and a business career, and the other, Tommy, his mother's favorite and a chick magnet--well, Tommy seems to be heading in the wrong direction. Her mother's never-married sister, Ruth, who suffers from agoraphobia, lives in a smaller house on the property. As for Mimi, she's at a crossroads. Her best friend, Donald, moved away when his mother remarried, and her other sort-of friend, LaRhonda, found Jesus and sorority life simultaneously (neither of which agrees with Mimi). As the end of high school looms, Mimi has to make a decision: to go away to college, to marry considerably her older boyfriend, or to stay home and help with the family farm.Quindlen has created fairly interesting characters, even though the situation sounds familiar. She does throw in a number of rather unexpected turns towards the end. In one way, these seemed stuck in, but in another, they echo Mimi's maturing understanding of life, of others, and of herself. While I wasn't stunned by this Miller's Valley, it kept my interest. Recommended for those who enjoy coming-of-age stories.
  • (5/5)
    I have read all of Anna Quindlen's books and every time I read one, I say that its the best one yet. I think that this time....this book is the best one yet FOR SURE. From the first page, I was caught up in the coming of age story of Mimi. She lives on a farm in Miller's Valley with her two older brothers and parents. From the very first, we learn that the government plans to flood the valley for a recreation area and that plays a huge part in the story but the story is so much more than that. Its all about family dynamics - a brother in Vietnam, Mimi's first love, her plans for college, her friends and so much more. I loved the story but more than that I loved the main characters - they felt like people that I know in my day to day life - especially Mimi and her mother. During the book, I laughed with them and cried with them and now that the book is over, I miss them. This is a fantastic book - one that I won't soon forget. (I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review)
  • (5/5)
    Wonderful story of the life of Mimi, first as a young girl being raised on a farm in a valley and then as she grows up. Nothing stays the same. Such good character development! I didn't want the book to end. I think it is Anna Quindlen at her best. Maybe she has gotten wiser with age....just like the main character!
  • (4/5)
    A touching book about a family and the meaning of home. I particularly enjoyed the straightforward style, the character development which made you know and understand each person, the soothing cadence of the story's progression. You came to understand the below the surface tension between the sisters and the unreasonable love a mother can have for her wild child. I liked the way we were given no clear reasons for the family dynamics. The mysteries were left mysteries to ponder.This is the first book by Anne Quindlen I have read. It will not be the last. A master storyteller of the things we all have in common.
  • (4/5)
    Anna Quindland's latest novel takes place in a small Pennsylvania town during the time of the Vietnam war. The setting is perfect for a story about the struggle for identity, survival and love. When a predatory government employee comes to town and begins convincing the residents to sell their land, Mimi's family digs in for the fight as Mimi learns the true meaning of "home" and how love can't save anyone who doesn't want salvation.Note: I was given a free ARC of this title by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
  • (4/5)
    A quiet novel, but a meaningful one and a timely one. Eminent domain had been in the news a month or so ago and is something I wholeheartedly disagree with. Miller's Valley, a small town said to have a failing dam, wanted for a recreational area after it is flooded, swimming boating etc. Except it has been in the Miller family for generations and Mimi is not sure she wants to leave it, she knows her father does not want to leave their farm, even if her mother sees it as inevitable.Mimi is our narrator and she is quite young when the story begins. Hers is a story of small town life, of family, of a black sheep brother, a aunt who cannot leave her small house on their property, of friends and schools, and plans for the future. Of plans that are temporarily thwarted by fate, and changes that happen whether we want them to or not. A family novel, what Quindlen does so well, a story powerfully and simply told. We follow Mimi throughout her life and she is a wonderful guide. The last chapter puts the story in perspective and really pulls the book together. This family could be any family, dealing with life's struggles and the changes they require. Well done.ARC from Netgalley.
  • (5/5)
    This is my favorite kind of story. Rather than a thrilling or psychological read this is a straightforward character driven story about realistic, small town, ordinary people. I liked it even more because it was also a coming of age story. The characters range from likeable and engaging to irritating and infuriating. Ms. Quindlen portrays both successes and failures, but each feels genuine and deserving. There is mild tension throughout the book as the families of the valley struggle with the results of government intervention that came before, in poor planning and placement of "that damn dam", and now threatens the holdout residents of the valley with displacement so their land can become a reservoir to better control the resulting flooding and flow of the river. This struggle is always in the background of the story, but its real focus is on the people whose families have called this valley home for generations.I know that a book is going to really resonate with me when I begin to care about and relate to its people. I applauded and cheered for Mimi and most of her family. I cringed as I considered the lost opportunity that her boyfriend could cause for her. I wanted to cry at Mimi's disappointments and losses and the painful distance between her mother and her agoraphobic aunt. Ultimately, I was amazed, at the direction that Mimi's life takes and how her strength of character develops and drives her.I actually drug my feet finishing this book, but not for too long. I didn't want to say goodbye to this family, but was felt satisfied when I finally had to do so. Their story will linger with me for some time.I thank Random House and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this title.
  • (4/5)
    I enjoyed this book a lot. Quindlen uses just the right voice to capture Mimi and immediately transports the reader to Miller's Valley. One can't help but care about the plight of this small town and its people.
  • (4/5)
    I liked, but did not love, Miller's Valley. As with the book Cascade, I was intrigued by the idea of a town being flooded, but, once again, I wish there was more about the flooding and its implications. I thought this was an interesting family saga with some interesting events representative of the time-frame, but the ending was not very satisfying, with some of the big mysteries left unresolved. Maybe that's what real life is all about, but I would have liked more. I found the end of the book rushed and leaving me wanting more. Since the book is relatively short, I think the author could have gone into more detail about Mimi's adult life.I think there are many issues raised in the book that would make it a good choice for a book discussion group.
  • (4/5)
    I read this lovely book while on safari in the Serengeti. Quindlen always writes good characters in everyday life and in this book Mimi comes of age learning about herself, the flooding of her valley home and ultimately family secrets. A good read.
  • (4/5)
    Amazing how many books a person can write and still write a good book.
  • (3/5)
    I have read many books by Anna Quindlen and was a loyal reader when she was at Newsweek. This was the least impressive of all of her novels. The story told from a 1st person perspective looking book 50 years was about living in a flood prone area targeted by the government for flooding. This required relocating the residents. This is the background for the book. It has the usual cast of characters such as the stubborn mom, hardworking Dad who won't leave the home, bad boy brother. Mimi, the lead character is almost too perfect. The book does a good job of showing the changing culture that occurred in the late 60's and early 70's. The take on abortion was well done. However, the book was flat. I do have trouble with 1st person narrative and lots of characters. It only works if the narrator is a complex interesting character. Mimi wasn't quite there. I recommend reading earlier fiction by Quindlen before you consider this one.
  • (5/5)
    It's by Anna Quindlen, that's all you need to know. Her style of writing is wonderful and early on I felt connected to Mimi Miller and her family. She is a young teen at the beginning and her family are farm people struggling to get by in a small town that the government is trying to buy up, house by house, so they can flood it and create a reservoir. All sorts of underhandedness going on. Mimi is older than her years and can't imagine life anywhere except in the town named after her family - Miller's Valley. The book ends on a satisfying note with Mimi, about 60 years old, thinking about her life and how she lived it. We see her understanding and wisdom grow over the years, but remaining true to her family values.
  • (5/5)
    It's been two years since reading a novel by the extraordinary Anna Quindlen. I have turned to her non-fiction works to satisfy my Quindlen cravings in between publications of her novels. So reading Miller's Valley, I kept thinking, Where does she come up with these great story lines and wonderful characterizations? I think most authors learn to "write what you know;" so if that is true, how does this city girl/journalist/novelist know about life on a farm, the engineering of a dam that the government would one day want to redirect, and the medical profession? How does she make me feel like those who populate her stories are real people, when of course they are not? She continues to amaze me every time she puts pen to paper. This one does not disappoint.
  • (4/5)
    Anna Quindlen has long been one of my favorite writers. I also love her nonfiction and essays, and I miss her weekly contribution to Newsweek. This novel covers Mimi Miller and her family, who have lived and farmed in Miller's Valley for many generations. Now, however, the spectre of the valley's eventual obliteration looms in the future as various government authorities slowly plan to flood the valley for a recreational paradise. Mimi's mother is the family matriarch who struggles to maintain her family through her son's transformation after Vietnam, her husband's transformation after a stroke, her sister's transformation into a homebound agoraphobe after an unknown trauma, and the ever-growing spectre of her home being wiped from the face of the earth. Mimi herself is an intelligent young woman with hidden strengths who comes to realize that home and family may spring from a single location, but do not disappear even though the starting point may cease to exist.
  • (4/5)
    The policy of drowning towns to create reservoirs is pretty common here in Massachusetts, where a handful of towns were emptied to create the Quabbin Reservoir a long time ago. I always found the concept very creepy, and might not have picked up Anna Quindlen's latest if I had known that was the theme. But, happily, it's really not - the novel centers on yet another family in crisis and on the protagonist, Mimi Miller, who seems capable of going under as well.The characters - Mimi's brother with their white hats and black hats; her agoraphobic aunt; her stern mother and loving father - are not unusual. But there are some that stand out, especially Mimi's boyfriend Steve and Quindlen's vivid portrayal of their sexual enthrallment. And most of details of small town life - of coincidence, bad luck, and the futility of hard work, do keep the reader's interest.Not one of her best, though - try Black and Blue, one of the most memorable novels ever and a pioneer in the outing of domestic violence.
  • (5/5)
    The story of the Millers and small town was enlightening. The narration was perfect, heartfelt, sad, funny and so honest. I could really relate to folks living in a small town, some with big dreams, others with no dreams...
  • (4/5)
    I mostly loved this subdued, naturalistic coming of age story, set on a small farm in a hardscrabble town in Pennsylvania that is on the verge of being flooded by a dam project. The narrator and main character is Mimi, a plucky and intelligent kid whose no-nonsense mother Miriam wants her to leave the nest and make something of herself. The family also includes Tommy, charismatic but troubled, and Aunt Ruth, who is severely agoraphobic and who has a thorny relationship with her sister Miriam. I saw many echoes of my own family in this depiction, and I’m guessing I’m not alone. With due respect to Tolstoy, all families, happy, unhappy and in-between, share enough similarities that most of us can relate to a family tale. I really loved Miriam, an unsentimental person with a lot of insight that kids could not appreciate. My only quibble with the story is that there was a last-minute piece of melodramatic plotting that I could have lived without. I would rather have seen the interesting relationship between the two sisters fleshed out a bit more.
  • (5/5)
    I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book as I have always admired Ms. Quindlen’s work. This one didn’t disappoint in any way. It’s the story of Mimi (Meems) Miller, her family, her friends and lovers and their lives in Miller Valley. And it’s about that beautiful valley, a character in its own right, filled with ancestral homes and decades of memories, whose days are numbered.Ms. Quindlen really knows how to get to the heart of her readers. I loved these characters, especially Mimi, and laughed and cried my way through this book. No, this isn’t an action packed book and no, there are no shocking twists and turns (though there was quite a surprise towards the end with regard to Aunt Ruth). It’s a simple book about life and family and love, but I think that simplicity is deceptive. Ms. Quindlen is a master at weaving her story into your heart. There are far too many books that, although I’ve enjoyed reading them, are forgotten within weeks after closing their pages. However, I remember each and every Quindlen book that I’ve read, even though many, many years have passed since their reading, and I know “Miller’s Valley” will be one of those that will remain with me. I feel like I should give Mimi a call to see how she’s doing as she’s now a part of my life.Highly recommended.This book was given to me by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.