Miller’s Valley

index.aspxThe protagonist of Anna Quindlen’s latest novel is Mary Margaret Miller, growing up in the 1960’s, on a farm in the small town of Miller’s Valley. Quindlen deftly pulls the reader into the story as the family personalities begin to emerge. There is the black sheep brother who gets his girl pregnant and then goes off to war, the aunt who won’t leave her house due to an unknown trauma, the no-nonsense mother who runs the family with an iron fist, and Mary Margaret, the good girl. The character development is spot on, and one begins to feel like a neighbor with a bird’s eye view before long.A threat from the state looms over the town, a plan to flood the town and relocate the inhabitants in order to fix a problem with a nearby dam. This then begs the question “what happens when home as one knew it disappears”? For those readers who enjoy characterization as the main focus in a novel.

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