Nina's Reading Blog

Comments on books I am reading/listening to

The Mill River Recluse

Posted by nliakos on March 14, 2016

by Darcie Chan (Ballantine Books 2013; originally published in 2011 as an e-book. ISBN 978-0-553-39187-9; e-book ISBN 978-0-615-52377-4)

This is a fairly simple story set in rural Vermont in the 1940s and the present day. Severe social anxiety disorder has imprisoned Mary McAllister (the eponymous recluse) in her marble home overlooking her hometown of Mill River, Vermont. The parish priest is her only friend; the majority of the townspeople have never laid eyes on her. Some of them have demonized her, not realizing that she is the secret benefactor of their community.

Most of the characters are simply sketched, either good or evil. There are few surprises; the author spells everything out, either directly or with obvious hints. I was taken unawares by only one plot twist (which I found kind of hard to believe). The reader does not have to work hard to connect the dots here.

There is a message, and it is that people with disabilities are people first. We should relate to them as individuals, with compassion for their humanity. That’s a worthy message.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: