This moving story takes place in Miller's Valley, a small farming town that becomes another character in the book. Mary Margaret 'Mimi' Miller is the only daughter born to a farming family with two sons and an agoraphobic aunt that also lives on their property. Layer by layer, Quindlen tells Mimi's coming-of-age story through her family's drama.
One thing I would have liked fleshed out was the relationship between Mimi's mother and her sister (Mimi's aunt). There is a plot twist that touches on perhaps why they had a tumultuous relationship, but I felt like this didn't get enough time and development and could've really added to the story, especially in the beginning.
A slow burn. Like other reviewers, I found the novel hard to get into because of its pace. Quindlen is a gifted writer who takes her time developing characters and in this instance, the pace at which she does this, paid off. So stick with it, you will be glad you did.