Reviewed by: Diane Soffietti, Reference Assistant
Suggested Age: Adult
What is the book about?: This adult literary debut novel is similar in feel to Maeve Binchy’s novels of Ireland, both historical and contemporary, with a setting of a small Vermont town prior to World War II and moving to the present. The Mill River Recluse is the story of Mary and also of the people who populate the small Vermont town, which is the setting for the story of Mary’s sad life. Raised during the depression by her father on a horse breeding farm in Vermont, Mary tries to overcome her anxieties and lead a normal life. What happens to Mary and the people of Mill River over the course of her lifetime becomes the basis for this novel of tragedy and philanthropy. This is a story of family life in a small community with secrets, as well as good and evil acts behind closed doors.
My review: I picked up this book due to the scheduled Skype program. The book was not on my radar, as it is a debut novel. However, I love these types of books that have a believable ensemble cast of characters. I was shocked by the opening, but of course, this is what makes the book such a good read and a real page turner! Mary is a heroine that you will love and that you will want to know more about as she faces her fears and deals with what life has offered her. I will be reading the sequel, The Mill River Redemption next!
On October 22 at 7:30 p.m., the author will be Skype chatting with the library. Anyone interested in discussing both her novels and her writing is welcome.
About FDL Reads
Welcome to FDL Reads, weekly book reviews from Fondulac District Library. Librarians (and possibly some other guest reviewers) review all types of books, from children’s picture books, young adult favorites, to the latest adult thriller, and share their thoughts each Tuesday at fondulaclibrary.org. If the book is owned by Fondulac District Library (or another local library), you’ll see a direct link to the catalog entry and whether or not it is available. If it is checked out or at another local library, you will be able to place a hold as long as you have your library card and PIN numbers. As with any book review, these are our opinions…we disagree amongst ourselves about books frequently. We all have different likes and dislikes, which is what makes the world an interesting place. Please enjoy, and keep on reading!