Posted in fiction on August 19, 2011

Author Darcie Chan is an attorney and lives in northern Westchester County, New York, with her husband and son. In her spare time, Darcie enjoys reading, writing fiction, gardening, playing piano, and cooking.

The Mill River Recluse is her first novel and I believe it is only available as an e-book.


Disfigured by the blow of an abusive husband, and suffering her entire life with severe social anxiety disorder, the widow Mary McAllister spends almost sixty years secluded in a white marble mansion overlooking the town of Mill River, Vermont. Her links to the outside world are few: the mail, the media, an elderly priest with a guilty habit of pilfering spoons, and a bedroom window with a view of the town below.

Most longtime residents of Mill River consider the marble house and its occupant peculiar, though insignificant, fixtures. An arsonist, a covetous nurse, and the endearing village idiot are among the few who have ever seen Mary. Newcomers to Mill River–a police officer and his daughter and a new fourth grade teacher–are also curious about the reclusive old woman. But only Father Michael O’Brien knows Mary and the secret she keeps–one that, once revealed, will change all of their lives forever.



A friend was kind enough to loan this to me from her kindle to mine.  In fact she loaned me two books, this one second, but told me to read it first, that it was her favorite.  Sometimes I believe people when they say things like that (and sometimes I don’t) but am I glad I listened to her!  This book kept me on the edge of my seat in various parts of the book wondering if Mary was going to be ok, why did the priest take spoons and was that police officer as creepy as it seemed?  I liked how the story jumped around in time and how we learned the history of Mary even though she was mentioned often in the “present” portion of the novel until the end.  Darcie does a great job at bringing all of the characters to life and interweaving their lives.  Nearly everyone has some sort of secret.

I give this book 4 stars and if you have a chance, pick it up for your e-reader.  It is a bargain at $0.99 on Smashwords!