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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Miller's Valley by Anna Quindlen - Book Review & Giveaway

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Review by Suze

Mimi's family lives in Miller's Valley. They've owned the same farm for generations. The water is always a threat, but Mimi's father wants to stay where he is, at the place where his ancestors built their home. Mimi grows up on the farm where she learns to work hard from an early age. She also knows sorrow, keeps questioning life and tries to find out what her family is hiding. There are secrets, she has access to some of them through eavesdropping, but in most cases she doesn't know the exact details. Her brothers are very different from each other. One has a successful career and the other constantly causes worry. Plus there's an ongoing conflict between Mimi's mother and aunt. Mimi's world isn't filled with happiness, there are good moments, but there's plenty of tension as well.

As the years go by Mimi discovers what it's like to love, how to make tough decisions that will influence the entire course of the future and what it feels like to be hurt and betrayed. Mimi has to make sacrifices for her family, but will she also be able to have a future of her own or will Miller's Valley be a shackle that will bind her forever? Is Mimi smart enough to live her own life or isn't there a chance to explore what she's truly capable of?

Miller's Valley is a beautiful story about secrets, family, love, loss and sacrifices. Mimi is a clever girl. Her parents work hard and they expect her to do the same. She does well at school, there are plenty of opportunities for her to excel, but not so many to have fun and be a young girl. It's the second half of the twentieth century and girls are starting to have chances, this is something Mimi grabs with both hands. She works, she helps out at the farm and she's there for any family member who needs her. However, that does cost her. Mimi constantly suffers because she makes sacrifices for others. She's no pushover though and learns to find her balance and stand up for herself very well. It was interesting to see her grow and I couldn't wait to find out where her story would lead.

Anna Quindlen's gorgeous descriptive writing intrigued me from the start. I could easily picture Miller's Valley. Problems with water are constantly increasing and I was curious to see what would happen. I enjoyed discovering the story behind it by viewing it through Mimi's eyes. I loved reading Mimi's opinions about the valley itself, her family, her friends and life in general. There are several important lessons for her to learn and she handles anything with dignity. She never walks away from her responsibility and finishes everything she starts. I admired Mimi's spirit and determination. I am a big fan of good family stories and Miller's Valley definitely falls into that category. It's an amazing captivating book.

Advice

If you love reading about strong women and like stories about family you should definitely read Miller's Valley.

About Anna Quindlen


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 bestseller. Her book A Short Guide to a Happy Life has sold more than a million copies. While a columnist at The New York Times she won the Pulitzer Prize and published two collections, Living Out Loud and Thinking Out Loud. Her Newsweek columns were collected in Loud and Clear.

Links


Giveaway

Two very Lucky readers of With Love for Books will receive a paperback copy of Miller's Valley.


The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.

22 comments:

  1. Wow, this sounds full of depth and I like the idea of the history and the heroine's courageous determination against the odds!

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  2. Would love to win this book for my Mum who reads a lot.

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  3. Miller's Valley sounds like a captivating, beautifully crafted story of family and memory.

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  4. Sounds like a great read! Thanks for the chance x

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  5. I love family dramas and this would be a wonderful movie.

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  6. This sounds like a good story. I have read some of Anna's work before and enjoyed it so am looking forward to this one. Thank you for sharing.

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  7. Sounds like a relaxing and perfect read for me

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  8. looks great, a fab addition to my 'to read' pile and something I know I would never be able to put down!!

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  9. Your book sounds good. I grew up in a walnut orchard!!

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  10. Sounds very lovely and maybe hard but also sweet to the heart. I'd love to read it.

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  11. A lot of great characters. I have yet to discover Anna's books

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  12. Anna Quindlen is a wonderful writer, with a gift for getting to the true heart of whatever subject she's addressing, whether it's in an essay, a novel, or a commencement address. She is a truth teller, but not in a mean-spirited way.

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  13. Sounds like a very interesting and captivating book.

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  14. I lived in New York at the end of the 1980s beginning of the 90s when she was writing for the Times. I couldn't get enough of her then though curiously her Wikipedia page treats this phase as if it never happened at all.
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    {in the contest I am Margot C__ on the Rafflecopter}

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  15. I want to know about those secrets.

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  16. Makes me want to pick it up and read it. Love mysteries and secrets. I even like the name too. :)

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  17. I love the book cover it drew me in and Suze's review was even more intriguing.

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  18. The story sounds wonderful!

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