The Mill River Recluse

The Mill River Recluse - Darcie Chan

The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan is an enjoyable read. The plot line follows the main character, Mary, who has refused to leave her home for 50 plus years, especially after several traumatic events in her life and the parish priest, Michael, who has become her best friend over the course of those same 50 plus years.

The plot switches back and forth between the present and the past very well. The chapters covering the past develop Mary's character well and, I felt, likable. Mary's husband and his family, with the exception of Connor, the grandfather, were unlikeable, and a little on the snooty side, using their wealth as a way to hide behind what they didn't like or want to deal with. The present day chapters show several local citizens, new and life long residents of the community, struggling with their own flaws while living in a small town.

With Connor and Michael as her primary friends over the years, Mary survives overlooking the town, and feels like she is part of the town even though it's only through watching the townspeople.

I felt the switching back and forth between past and present worked well for me without confusing me. There was some predictability, but the storyline did keep my interest. Even though the book starts off with the negative events leading to Mary becoming a recluse, this did end up like a "feel good" book.