“Book Review: Trove”
Reviewed by Felicia Nicole Hall
An inspirational, emotional, and funny memoir. Perfect for anyone who can use a little soul searching–or maybe some buried treasure.
Trove by Sandra A. Miller is a memoir that follows a middle-aged woman as she adjusts her priorities and goes on the hunt for buried treasure in NYC. Finding the treasure will be a nice monetary boost, but it may just help her find herself, too. Flashbacks to Miller’s childhood and early adulthood help readers to understand what led her to this place in her life — specifically, a garden in the middle of New York, digging in the dirt with someone who is not her husband.
From the opening pages, readers venture out on the journey with Sandra, or as she is known in the book, Sandy. It’s $10,000 or bust for her and one of her closest friends. Despite trying and failing multiple times to find the treasure and upsetting her husband and kids in this quest, she continues on, searching, searching, searching and refusing to give up even when her adventure partner wants to.
Meanwhile, readers get a healthy dose of flashbacks to Sandy’s childhood and the relationships she shared with her sister, friends, and lovers. These help us to understand Sandy more, but what becomes most prominent, and arguably the heart of the entire story is the barely-there relationship with her father and the strained one with her mother.
The way that Miller weaves between the present and the past so seamlessly, really impacts the story in a positive way. All while being on the adventure with Sandy, searching for the treasure, readers also get to see why this treasure is so important to her.
One of my favorite parts of the book is the crow that Sandy sees while collecting stones as a child, the image she holds onto for the rest of her life. The crow is referenced many times and the way that Sandy continues to look for it even as an adult really warms my heart. It makes me realize that none of us are ever very far away from the children we once were and we’ll always hold a certain kind of innocence in our hearts. I love all that the crow represents through its repeated appearances.
The emphasis that Miller puts on the desire to have both familial stability and reckless independence is so relatable for myself and, I’m willing to bet, many others in the world. That connection made me fall in love with it even more so and truly admire the raw honesty that is put into this memoir. Told through the lens of a wonderfully entertaining journey, readers witness a huge transformation in Miller and are reminded that some things are much deeper than they seem.
Miller tells her story with grace and vulnerability. It flows effortlessly between the past and present and even manages a good bit of humor to soften the heavy moments. Overall, I really enjoyed Trove and would suggest it to anyone looking for a spontaneous adventure to find both buried treasure and themselves without ever leaving their home.
Publisher: Brown Paper Press
Paperback: 220 pages
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