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
The Mill River Recluse is a story of triumph over tragedy, one that
reminds us of the value of friendship and the ability of love to come
from the most unexpected of places.