I finally finished Miller’s Valley on vacation last month, and I have to say, my least favourite Anna Quindlen ever. And I love her work -especially One True Thing, Blessings, and Still Life with Bread Crumbs. And her essays, including Lots of Cake, Plenty of Candles (which I recommend every woman of a certain age to read).
I really disliked Miller’s Valley‘s narrative voice (flat, resigned). It didn’t make me motivated to see the story through, which is why I kept putting it down and reluctantly picking it back up. I wasn’t interested in the narrator, quite frankly (although you would think I would be interested in a smart, studious female narrator). Mimi was bland.
The central plot of the government flooding her valley was an inevitability (and presented as such); there was no narrative tension at all. Water’s a standard metaphor for the relentlessness of time, death, etc., and it worked, but it wasn’t fresh.
I also wasn’t captured by the subplot involving her agoraphobic aunt Ruth and the “did they or didn’t they” speculation involving her father and Ruth. Meh. I’m not sure the final discovery in the attic explained everything (or anything) about Ruth.
I do love her writing, but didn’t love this book.