Miller's Valley is just as good as all Quindlen's other writing over the years. It does what I want in a book: it has well-developed characters and tells a story that starts at the beginning and ends at the end. No extra narrators; no working to follow the chronology; just a good story about a character I cared about.
This plot constitutes a coming-of-age story for eleven-year-old Mimi Miller, whose family has lived in the valley for 200 years. Now that it will be flooded to create a reservoir, all the residents of Miller's Valley realize that their lives are about to change forever. But, Mimi continues to excel in school, care for her agoraphobic Aunt Ruth, and worry about her charming brother Tom, who returns from his tour of Viet Nam totally changed.
Through the help of a supportive teacher, Mimi earns a college scholarship, and is ready to escape the enclosed life in the valley. But, a family tragedy keeps Mimi at home and her new life must be delayed.
I thought the dramatic changes that Mimi and her family must face mirrored the real-life changes that each of us must adjust to. Mimi succeeds, and that part of the ending is happy. (However, one part of that happy ending seemed pretty unlikely to me.) All of the characters were interesting and believable, and I enjoyed watching how their lives entwined.
Miller's Valley would be an easy summer read, but also one that is worth your time.