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Miller's Valley
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Miller's Valley > Question #5: The ending: family secrets

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A disturbing family secret is uncovered near the end of the novel. Did it take you by surprise, or had you suspected it, or something like it? After the secret was revealed, did certain things about the plot or certain characters make more sense?


Susan (susanopl) | 472 comments Mod
****Spoiler Alert****

There are a number of surprises at the end of Miller's Valley, not all of them family secrets. One such surprise for me was that Mimi met Donald again after so many years. And then they married, which in the end seemed inevitable and right.

I was shocked when Mimi cleaned out Ruth's house and discovered a mummified infant in the attic. But suddenly everything made sense, including the resentment that Miriam had for Ruth all those years, the care that Mimi's father took of Ruth, and the fact that Miriam didn't mind leaving Miller's Valley.

I loved the final few chapters of this book - the way they so easily summed up several years in Mimi's life. They left me wanting to know more. She says that "Maybe everyone stays the same inside, even whe their life looks nothing like what they once had, or even imagined." To a large extent, I think this is true.

My heart swelled when Mimi said of Donald: "No one, not even my father, not even my children, has ever loved me the way that man loved me, that's for sure. There's something satisfying in being loved that hard." And when she lists all the people she misses, and says, "It's the little things that get you." So true. The ending of this novel is one of those that causes me to sit for a while after I've finished it, taking it all in. And it was such a pleasure to read it again, so I could answer this question.


Maureen B. | 212 comments Susan wrote: "****Spoiler Alert****

There are a number of surprises at the end of Miller's Valley, not all of them family secrets. One such surprise for me was that Mimi met Donald again after s..."


Although I found the book slow in the early chapters, your comment that this is a book "that causes me to sit for a while ... taking it all in" has been so true for me although the book has long since been finished. I particularly liked the last chapters, especially Mimi's recollections in her dreams. It seemed so much how memory works (for me, at least), random thoughts and images that float by in betwixt all the ordinary conscious problem-solving, planning and so forth we do every day.


Susan (susanopl) | 472 comments Mod
Maureen wrote: "Susan wrote: "****Spoiler Alert****

There are a number of surprises at the end of Miller's Valley, not all of them family secrets. One such surprise for me was that Mimi met Donald..."

I agree, Maureen, that the dreams were fascinating. Mimi dreams about seeing the farm underwater after the flood, and imagines what things would look like. Very eerie!


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