Review: Miller’s Valley by Anna Quindlen

Title: Miller’s Valley
Author: Anna Quindlen
Pages: 272
Genre: Literary Fiction, Fiction
Source: Free ARC from Random House

Rating: A+

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Random House via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review (and trust me, honest is always what you’ll get).

Review: Miller’s Valley is one of those rare books that feels like home. Not because it reflects my own life in any tangible way. Not because of a fondly remembered childhood home brought back into the forefront of my brain. But because it’s like curling up on the couch with a blanket – from the onset it’s comforting and a little bit warm, but as you sit there, the comfort and warmth increase until you feel embraced by it, and the whole world seems a little bit better, a little more inviting than it did before. This is the kind of book you get lost in.

That isn’t to say that this story is all flowers and warm cups of tea. It certainly isn’t that. It is, after all, a reflection on a full life; and not just a life, but a family, and we all know no person or family is perfect. There is pain and suffering and misunderstanding and confusion and secrets and things left unsaid. And all of that is in here, too. And that’s why it’s beautiful and rich and resonates -because it feels true, it feels honest and real. Because it reflects on all the hard parts of life in the context of a whole life. Those bad parts are just parts, after all. We all suffer setbacks, but it is up to us whether or not we allow them to define us, whether we treat them as a bump in the road, or an insurmountable obstacle.

And how much weight does place really have on the reality of home? Is home where your heart is? Is home a person, a place, a feeling? If the place you call home disappears, where does that leave you? As the people who anchored you float away, what are you left with? Maybe home is actually intangible, something you carry with you, that feeling you sometimes have that you are where you belong, doing what you are meant to do, surrounded by your people.

This book is SO good. SO. GOOD. Definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year. And somehow I think I’ll still feel that way when the year comes to a close.


4 Replies to “Review: Miller’s Valley by Anna Quindlen”

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