...a breathtakingly moving look at a family and a community coming to terms with life and loss from the 1960s to today...Looking back decades after Miller’s Valley has disappeared to the dam’s waters, Mimi holds fast to the memories of the life she once longed to escape. Readers will find Miller’s Valley equally hard to forget.
Quindlen rocks the reader into a comfortable place with the steady ebb and flow of everyday events — but the more comfortable you get, the more you should pay attention to what’s afoot...Miller’s Valley, like many of Quindlen’s novels — with the exception of the soul-jarring Every Last One — isn’t full of drama. Rather, it’s a portrait of what it is to live and age, fueled by insight into the human condition.
Pace is a curious thing here, for though most of the book meanders like a wandering stream, the pace in its final pages picks up to an almost dizzying degree, complete with an unimaginable plot twist. Maybe this is a metaphor for the floodwaters finally rushing into the valley. I'd love to credit Quindlen with such a tactic. But the summing up feels more like it simply was time to close out the story, as though Mimi's middle age simply wasn't interesting enough to explore. Miller's Valley is a lovely read - the dialogue never disappoints - but in the end, it's more creek than reservoir.