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Miller's Valley

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  22,661 ratings  ·  2,833 reviews
Filled with insights that are hallmarks of Anna Quindlen’s bestsellers, this extraordinary novel is about a woman coming of age, as she unearths secrets about her family and her town, and surprising truths about herself.

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 an
Hardcover, 257 pages
Published April 5th 2016 by Random House
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  22,661 ratings  ·  2,833 reviews

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Jul 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have read quite a few of Anna Quindlen's books and I have enjoyed them all.

Miller's Valley was no exception.

During the first few chapters I was really wondering if I was going to be able to keep reading. It wasn't that it was hard to follow, if anything it just felt like there wasn't much going on. But as I kept reading, it kind of snuck up on me, pulling me along and before I knew I was nearing the end of a story I wish would go on.

Told from Mary Margaret "Mimi" Miller's point of view as sh
Angela M
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

When my Goodreads friend Diane S called this "a quiet novel , but a meaningful one " I knew I should move this up to the top of my tbr list and I just knew that this was my kind of story . It's the kind of story that appeals to me because it's about characters that seem like people you might know , about a family that is probably more typical than dysfunctional, about the things that happen in people's lives . Things happen - like illness, death , unplanned pregnancies , a wayward son who return
Elyse  Walters
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
To devour in 1 or 2 sittings....
Anna Quindlin's writing is deeply felt...
A refreshing length novel ...( just under 300 pages)...comes at a time when
books have been getting longer.

I've loved every Anna Quindln book I've read. Her novels call for discussion. This one too!!!

It's a terrific 'curl-up-and-read' novel. Domestic lives and town are both with turbulence.
Multi-dimensional complex issues.
Rich thorny characters...
Quality substance-storytelling!

No question about it....
"Miller's Valley" is
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Anna Quindlen has been one of my favorite American novelists since I read her Black and Blue. This year I have rediscovered her writing by reading her Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, experiencing Quindlen the person as opposed to the writer. By reading an author's memoir, one feels like they know the person, so when one reads their novels, she is able to pinpoint moments from the author's life. It is in this light that I read Quindlen's latest novel Miller's Valley which relates the life of Mar ...more
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those subtle reads that kicks you in the gut as you flip to the last page and realize you don't want it to end. You've become invested.
Mimi Miller is a child of Miller's Valley. She lives and breathes it as do the other members of her family; as does the town. But something is happening there. Slowly, insidiously, the valley is drowning. And she knows the truth. Home is the nucleus of this family with its extended attachments and is threatened with the government plans of unlocki
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a lovely novel of the story of the small town of Miller's Valley and the people who lived there, as they were facing a major upheaval in their lives. I just loved the characters and this story touched on a lot of different issues, many of which a lot of readers face in their own lives. ...more
Apr 26, 2016 rated it liked it
I can’t even remember the damn title. I don’t think Miller’s Valley, I think Hidden Valley salad dressing (ranch, in particular) and I flinch because it’s so tasteless. It’s not a crazy association—for me the book is what you eat when the doctor orders a bland diet. You sigh as you chomp on a baked potato that is full of butter and sour cream but missing the chives, which might have given it a little pizazz. The book is all Hallmarky, all austere and heartwarming with a good upstanding teenager ...more
Diane S ☔
Oct 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 na
Dec 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Miller's Valley totally crept up on me. It felt like a sweet -- but slow and light -- start. And by the end, I felt teary and like I was being abandoned by old friends. The plot is kind of besides the point. The story is told from Mimi's point of view. She focuses on the first 20 years of her life, which take place in the 1950s to 1970s. She lives in Miller's Valley, a small town in Pennsylvania. She reflects on her family and on the history of Miller's Valley. The story is besides the point, be ...more
B the BookAddict
Dec 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction

While I was reading Miller’s Valley, I would have told you that I did not feel overly involved in the novel. But after I finished the last page and closed the book, I experienced a sharp lonely feeling in my heart that Mimi’s story was at an end. Quindlen has again excelled in producing a quiet type of fiction that seduces the reader with a hidden charm.

Other reviewers have said Mimi was a ‘good girl’ but I believe she simply did what was left for her to do; it was just the natural order of thin
Diane Barnes
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I read a review before I started this book, where the reviewer was complaining that it was boring because nothing really happened. Just day to day life of regular people, nothing much to get excited about. I have to disagree with that.

What happens in this book is life, and that's the most exciting and wonderful thing there is. Just everyday people, loving and laughing and crying, making mistakes, sometimes very big ones that change things forever. Regular people with their everyday routines, do
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 stars

I'm happy to report that my second Anna Quindlen reading experience, Miller's Valley, was much better than my first, Still Life With Breadcrumbs. I'm not quite sure why this worked better for me, but I'm guessing it had much to do with the capable, much more relatable first-person narration of Mimi (Mary Margaret) Miller, who provides the story of her family's ordeals contending with a farm smack-dab in the middle of an area the government wants to reclaim (because of its perilously hig
Vanessa S.
"But no one ever leaves the town where they grew up, not really, even if they go."

I didn't want this to end!! SO, SO GOOD! By far my favorite book I've read thus far in 2017. I don't know what it was about this book - nothing really happens, it's not my usual mystery or thriller - but it is just beautifully written and so touching.

This is a great coming-of-age story, and I really loved Mimi, the main character. She was just so relatable and authentic, and all of the supporting characters we
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 th ...more
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-books
"...there's something about doing a job alone that you've always done with someone else that just doesn't feel right. Maybe it's like making Christmas cookies by yourself. There's nothing wrong with it in theory, but you're really supposed to be doing it with other people, and not just any other people."

Miller's Valley is a beautiful "slow burning" kind of book that I enjoy so much. Set against the backdrop of a dying farming town and the question of government eminent domain, Quindlen has creat
4.5 Stars

”You leave home, you move on and you do the best you can.
I got lost in this old world and forgot who I am.

“I thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healing.
Out here it's like I'm someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself.
If I could walk around I swear I'll leave.
Won't take nothing but a memory
From the house that, built me.”

The House That Built Me - lyrics by Allen Shamblin / Tom Douglas

”Perhaps home is not a place but simply
From the blurb:
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 tru
Cathrine ☯️
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
I felt a bit like the frog in the pot of cold water with this one. Should I jump? For a while the burner wasn't on, then there was this warming trend and I settled in. It ended up being just right, not too cold, not too hot.

One of my favorite authors, however I did not love this one as much as many of my friends. Not sure why but I suspect it was timing. The book I had just finished was a hard act to follow; also, when you have been waiting on a popular hold from the library and your turn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars. Several of my friends on Goodreads stated in their reviews that they didn't want this book to end. I now understand what they mean. Beautifully written. ...more
Marilyn C.
May 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A well written, coming of age story by Anna Quindlen that tells the story of Mimi Miller and her family in Miller's Valley, starting in the 1960's thru present time. Their multigenerational farm is being threatened by the government who wants to take the land and then cover the valley with water. This book and the characters felt REAL, with a family you can recognize. I absolutely loved this book and had tears in my eyes in the final chapter. 5 stars! ...more
Oct 06, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 I love Anna Quindlen and she did what she does best in Miller's Valley; to write about the nuances and intricacies of a family. The secrets, lies, loyalty, and most importantly commitment(to the farm).

This is a coming of age story with a reliable young narrator, Mimi. We follow Mimi through adolescence to adulthood. The setting had me thinking of a time gone by on a farm in rural America. I have no knowledge of growing up on a farm, but I feel like I did while reading Mimi's observations. It
Miller’s Valley by Anna Quindlen is a 2016 Random House publication.

When this book was up for review on Netgalley, I passed on it, since I was picking up on the ‘coming of age’ vibe, which normally isn’t my cup of tea. But, after reading some very positive reviews, I changed my mind and decided to give the book a try.

For me, this book reads like a fictional memoir since the story begins with Mimi Miller as a child and follows her life all the way into her twilight years. At the heart of the st
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, netgalley
This stream-of-consciousness style story of a small town written from the perspective of a 65 year old woman looking back on her life beginning in childhood was a beautiful portrayal of her life and her closest connections. I was disappointed at points that there wasn’t more emotion. I wasn’t sure if the lack of emotion had to do with a high level of emotional maturity on the narrator’s part or if it had to do with the book being a reflection back of more than 40 years.

Still, I thoroughly enjoye
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
"I have clear memories from that time, but they're not the ones you'd think. They're never the ones you think. (...) No, it's strange little moments that live inside you and keep peeking out the windows that open suddenly in your mind."


Unfortunately I can't decide on a rating, but if there's something to say about Miller's Valley, it's that Anna Quindlen sure knows how to write memories right : not linear, yet never nonsensical, with plenty of little insights to feed your hungry want.
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-i-own
At first I felt not much was going on in this story. As I kept reading, the story sucked me in and I got emotionally invested in Mimi Miller's life. In the end, I felt I had read a "big" story in only 257 pages.
Aug 03, 2017 rated it liked it
So many reviews say to stay with this and eventually you will fall in love with these characters and never want to leave them. Well, I didn't hate the book or the characters, and it did become a little more interesting as it went along, but mostly I gave up on trying to be engaged and just went with it to get done. It was ok, but I can't say I ever cared much.

I do enjoy her non-fiction a lot. I'm just not her fiction reader.
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m a fan of Anna Quindlen. She writes books that move fluidly through the story, with realism, a bit of suspense, and deft character development. I never think of deserting her work or close the book thinking I have wasted my time by reading her.

Miller’s Valley is about the displacement of a community in the interest of flooding the valley to extend the dam reservoir of the Roosevelt Dam. The story centers on the Miller family who have occupied the farm at the heart of the valley for hundreds o
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley

Miller’s Valley is a coming of age story about a young girl in a small Pennsylvania farming community starting in the 1960s. Reading Anna Quinlen is like enjoying expensive chocolate- deep, rich and meant to be savored. Are you like me, someone who highlights on Kindle the phrases that speak to you? I can only say that I was highlighting a lot of passages. It's amazing how quickly she draws you into the story and has you caring for each character with all their strengths and weaknesses. It delve
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literary-misc, pbcp
4.5 stars - Incredible. I really loved it.

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, not really, even if they go.”

More of a melancholy literary drama and character study than a fast-moving plot driven novel, this one will not appeal to everyone as much as it did to me. But if you appreciate characters that will stick with you for a l
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Play Book Tag: MIller's Valley by Anna Quindlen, 3.5 stars 3 8 Oct 01, 2020 11:22AM  
Play Book Tag: Miller's Valley by Anna Quindlen - 3.5 stars 1 15 Oct 22, 2018 08:18PM  
Play Book Tag: Miller's Valleu, by Anna Quindlen--4 stars 1 10 Oct 12, 2017 06:48AM  
fact or fiction? 1 16 Mar 17, 2017 07:39AM  
Oakville Reads: * Question #5: The ending: family secrets 4 44 Feb 02, 2017 07:21AM  

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Anna Quindlen is a novelist and journalist whose work has appeared on fiction, nonfiction, and self-help bestseller lists. She is the author of eight 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 number one New York Times bests ...more

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