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Millicent Glenn's Last Wish [Read] ➵ Millicent Glenn's Last Wish Author Tori Whitaker – Three generations of women—and the love, loss, sacrifice, and secrets that can bind them forever or tear them apart

Millicent Glenn is selfsufficient and contentedly alone in the Cincinnati Three generations of women—and the love, loss, sacrifice, and secrets that can Millicent Glenn's Epub / bind them forever or tear them apartMillicent Glenn is selfsufficient and contentedly alone in the Cincinnati suburbs As she nears her ninetyfirst birthday, her daughter Jane, with whom she’s weathered a shaky relationship, suddenly moves back home Then Millie’s granddaughter shares the thrilling surprise that she’s pregnant But for Millie, the news stirs heartbreaking memories of a past she’s kept hidden for too long Maybe it’s time she shared something, too Millie’s last wish? For Jane to forgive herSixty years ago Millie was living a dream She had a husband she adored, a job of her own, a precious baby girl, and another child on the way They were the perfect family All it took was one irreversible moment to shatter everything, reshaping Millie’s life and the lives of generations to comeAs Millie’s old wounds are exposed, so are the secrets she’s kept for so long Finally revealing them to her daughter might be the greatest risk a mother could take in the name of love.

10 thoughts on “Millicent Glenn's Last Wish

  1. Susan Peterson Susan Peterson says:

    “There are secrets corroding us inside, truths that affect others we love but that can only come out when our hearts are ready to release them.”
    Those words are uttered by Kelsey, the granddaughter in this profound and deeply moving story about three generations of women that includes Kelsey’s mother Jane and her grandmother Millie. When the three are reunited, Millie is 91, and she realizes she is running out of time to reveal her deeply-buried secrets, with the hope that she will be forgiven—her final wish.
    Millie’s story is remarkable, told in flashbacks that take us back to the 40s and 50s, when Millie was a young wife and then a young mother. Millie lives in a time when women are expected to adhere to the norms and standards of the time; being a perfect wife, a devoted mother, with little to no thought of a woman’s own desires and dreams outside of the home; but Millie isn’t like most women, and the choices she makes lead to her own regrets, pushing her secrets deeper inside her heart.
    The characters in this book are imperfect, complex, and endearing. They are characters you will long remember.
    This nostalgic story is joyful, sorrowful, sincere and poignant, as it explores the relationships between mothers and daughters, wives and husbands, friends and foes. Love and loss, betrayal and heartache, forgiveness and healing—these are the emotions that fill the pages of this compelling book.
    This is a debut novel not to be missed, and I look forward to reading more books by Tori Whitaker.

  2. Sheri P Sheri P says:

    A tender story of motherhood, love and forgiveness that spans multiple generations. Told through dual timelines, one is present day where Millicent in her nineties navigating her relationship with her daughter and granddaughter. The second timeline starts with Millicent's meeting of her husband and early years of her marriage. Whitaker examines the frustrating historical notion that good mothers were expected to be home. And also looks at an era where medical standards led to a tragic event that shaped much of Millicent's life. Powerful and well told.

  3. Joy Kniskern Joy Kniskern says:

    Tori Whitaker’s stunning debut novel takes us through five generations of women (great-grandmothers, grandmothers, mothers, daughters and grandchildren) weaving their stories and legacies around the central themes: the consequences of keeping family secrets; the yearning to find one’s purpose both aligned with and apart from the social norms of the times; and the need for approval.

    When we first get to meet the protagonist–Millie–she is in the final moments before she will marry Dennis Glenn, vowing “to love, to cherish, and obey, until death do us part.” Whitaker artfully portrays the beauty of the wedding moments, contrasted with tensions already ensuing between her and her soon-to-be sister in law, Abbie. Whitkaker’s portrayal of Millie’s mother and mother-in-law are pitch perfect. Dennis’ Mother Glenn is the consummate mid-Western farmer’s wife: hard-working, kind, resilient mother, and wife. Millie’s mother, whose family heralded from German immigrants, lost their brewery fortunes during Prohibition, leaving Millie a resident of Cincinnati’s immigrant slums. Her wedding advice to her daughter is “you have to have a means of earning . . . lest you find yourself without a bed or soup bone.” Millie registers her mother’s admonition, remembering at places throughout the novel her poverty against the backdrop of her family’s pride, a family unwilling to accept the simplest of charitable gifts at Christmas, a pride which seems to influence Millie’s decisions, especially one with devastating outcomes. Nonetheless, Millie’s greatest desire on her wedding day, is to bear Dennis a passel of children, enough to fill a birthday party, a desire which reflects the social norms of having large family’s in the late 40’s and 50’s, and the hope to counter her experiences as an only child.

    The novel then navigates time in a past/present format where we learn about Millie as a ninety-year old mother, who’s tortured by past regrets about a decision she made early in her marriage that changed the trajectory of her life experiences as well as her relationship with her only daughter, Jane, the daughter she so desperately wanted to have siblings. Shrouding her regret is her belief that she is fully responsible for the consequences of the decision that costed her, her daughter and her marriage so dearly. She bears the secret surrounding this decision for her lifetime, holding to the belief that some secrets shield us as well as those we love.

    When her daughter returns to Cincinnati after an adulthood of virtual estrangement from her mother, Millie feels at once thrilled, confused and threatened in that she, Millie, has forged a close bond with Jane’s daughter, Kelsey, who now works in Cincinnati. Ultimately, the test of forgiveness of oneself and others is the gift necessary to reconcile with oneself and others. For the family to be whole again, the secret must be acknowledged and forgiven.

    Whitaker did extensive research to transport her readers to the forties and fifties: her attention to details of time, place, music, home décor, T.V. shows and events like Tupperware parties where treats of the times were celery sticks stuffed with Cheez Whiz, is flawless. She captures the moments in time where a marriage is adrift, where husband and wife are struggling to communicate when the tension between them is so thick you could cut it with a knife. Similarly, the novel seamlessly travels from the present to past times both between and within chapters through flashbacks. Her deft word-craft is no surprise since Whitaker has spent the last 20 years soaking up historical fiction that moves between past and present times. She has published an article, ”Multi-Period Novels: The Keys to Weaving Together Two Stories from Different Time Periods,” appeared in the Historical Fiction Review

    The novel gives an accurate portrayal of how doctors and men of the 50’s acted like gods before the publication of Betty’s Friedan’s game-changing book, The Feminine Mystique. It was a time when women were more often than not forced to choose between motherhood and their professional aspirations. It presents the all too familiar choices women face again today in this unchartered era of COVID.

    I’d strongly recommend this book to book clubs for its robust themes worthy of understanding and deep discussions. And I’d recommend you keep an eye on Tori Whitaker. I can’t wait to read her next novel! Sign up for her newsletter by going to her website at .

  4. Melissa PI Melissa PI says:

    Not a review, however a plea, which may or may not be appropriate. For the love of a mother who hasn’t seen her daughters in 4 years, for the love of those daughters who are with our abuser and the mother who has zero idea where they are or if they’re safe and happy or not and for the women who stopped reading the day her heart (a.k.a. Her daughters) were taken from her by the sociopath, whose most devastating form of abuse was “taking my house and my girls” after a threat I could not thwart. I’m broken, wrecked, devastated, alone, living out of a storage unit, my car and a garage with nowhere else to turn.....I entered for this book in the giveaways, however if I don’t win it, I’m hoping anyone who sees this may have an ARC (print) I could please have the gift of receiving.

    I stoped reading and stopped smiling the day I last saw my girls. Over four years I’ve trained myself how to numb the pain so deeply that I often can’t feel a damn thing. To have to numb a loss like this means having to forgo even feeling joy. It’s a battle. It’s a horrible, cruel, rotten, heart wrenching, unbearable and indescribable battle, but I have turned my pain and lack of joy for myself into doing for others. My new ways are “if I cannot have joy in my own life, I’m going to do everything I can to make sure I put joy into the lives of everyone I can”. It’s amazing to be able to give my heart for others. At the end of every day I am still alone, disabled, broke, homeless and broken, but to empathize so immensely with others, I feel, is a gift in my heart to share the best way I can. During a pandemic, all this is far far worse and far more frightening without a permanent place to live.

    I’m returning to books because I’ve had to stop working (was an essential worker, but health issues made me have to stop), so now I find I just go out and drive all day or go aimlessly to my storage unit every day because I cannot sit home and still missing my girls having zero idea where they are and when I lose my only place to stay and living in my car, will they know where to find me? Will they ever try to find me. A sociopath/abuser/parental alienator is a very powerful person and that’s not a compliment. I cannot continue to drive around every day because my arrhythmia is becoming very frequent every day so I need to turn to books again and reading the synopsis to this story prompted me to spill my life and my losses out here to the public.

    Please, if anyone has an ARC, I’d would love to read this asap. It may crush me in ways, but it may help me in others. This synopsis screams that it’s a must read for me. I’ve nearly perfected my ability to numb myself, however as I type this I’m pouring tears. Family, love, loss, brokenness, poor health, homeless, mothers and daughters and abuse........this book is one I’m asking for. Thank you and please don’t judge that I just shared all that. Sometimes a miracle comes out of sharing your truths and devastations. Although, any god who can put two beautiful and precious girls into the hands of their abuser completely brainwashed, for me.......there is no god. Not anymore. I don’t want pity......’ever’, but a book, the miracle of a place to call home and reunited with my daughters would be all I would ever ever want and need. I probably won’t ever have a home (being realistic) or my daughters (being too broken to hope anymore), but a (this) book ARC would be doable

    Please be safe and be well everyone

  5. Stacy Stacy says:

    Millicent Glenn is about to turn 91. She is delighted that her daughter is moving to her town and her granddaughter is expecting. However, she knows it’s time to come clean with the truth of her past.

    I’m not too much into multiple time lines, but this one worked well. The back and forth was perfectly done, with a reveal occurring during both time lines. Many times it would end with a cliff hanger, which left excitement and anticipation for the next chapter. This book showed how family dynamics are constantly evolving and how misconceptions and secrets affect how we see our loved ones. Overall, a wonderful debut, difficult to read at times but very important topics to address. TW: infant death, birth trauma.

    Millicent Glenn’s Last Wish comes out 10/1.

  6. Liv Liv says:

    I love historical fiction, especially dual timeline books, and this book delivered. I enjoyed how Millicent Glenn’s Last Wish deftly navigated between today and the mid century, tying together generations of women. My favorite aspect of the novel was one of the “background” characters: Cincinnati. The sense of place was so well crafted that I could clearly see the former brewery-filled streets of German Town and hear the chatter of people waiting at the old Union Station. It made me want to make a travel itinerary for the Ohio River valley, just tracing Millie’s life there.

  7. Betsy Crosby Betsy Crosby says:

    “Some truths are hard to bear before their time.” So observes the main character in Tori Whitaker’s wonderful debut novel, Millicent Glenn’s Last Wish.
    Millie, a feisty and independent 91-year-old, has struggled for decades about how much she should reveal of a hard truth about herself. She has let a tragedy become a secret, one which has festered so long that it has spawned its own secrets and misunderstandings. Withholding truths has become a family trait, passed down like the German blue of their eyes from Millie to her rebellious daughter Jane, and on to her beloved granddaughter Kelsey. Would her life—and that of her daughter and granddaughter—have been different had she been more honest? And is it too late now to try to explain?
    Daughter Jane’s return to Cincinnati after a long absence coincides with 38-year-old Kelsey’s proud announcement of her pregnancy. For the first time in decades, all three women are in the same town, offering Millie the chance to break the destructive silence. Still, she hesitates, wondering if sharing her story would either be dismissed by both women as scare-mongering, or a cruel attempt to undermine Kelsey’s happy confidence. But when Jane suddenly faces her own health crisis, all three women learn to pull together, setting the stage for an honest accounting and reconciliation. Millie finds that it’s not just Jane and Kelsey’s mindset that needs to be in the right place, but her own as well, for hard truths to finally be spoken.
    Author Tori Whitaker is a master at depicting the intricacies of motherly love, including the ways it can go awry. The majority of the story is set in the 1950s, a time in which women are made to feel that their only worthwhile accomplishment is production of a large family. Whitaker transports us back in time with colorful details of young Millie’s attempts to be the perfect wife and mother—from her cherry red lipstick to her Swiss steak dinners to her homemade birthday cakes. But Millie’s steely determination to break out of the mold has contemporary relevance, giving both her daughter and granddaughter the leeway to define their own version of what it means to be a good mother. Millicent Glenn’s Last Wish is a moving, heart-filled read that is sure to get mothers and daughters of all ages talking.

  8. Christine Mott Christine Mott says:

    Millicent Glenn’s Last Wish
    By: Tori Whitaker
    This debut novel by Whitaker is about three generations of strong women. Grandmother Millicent or Millie, daughter Jane and granddaughter Kelsey. Millie and her granddaughter have always been close, but Millie’s relationship with her daughter Jane has been estranged for many years.
    👧 👧 👧
    Jane grew up with a bohemian past and was very strong-willed. She had two parents that loved her dearly, but as sometimes with mothers and daughters life can be complicated.
    Millie and her husband came from different backgrounds but loved each other fiercely and her husband always supported her. Millie was not your typical 1950’s housewife and wanted to work outside the home. She helped her husband grow his business and it thrived. They were a team!
    Decades later Jane is reunited with her mom and old wounds surface. Can they repair their relationship? As the title of this book suggest Millie has one last wish. This novel is heartwarming and deals with real-life situations that are not always easy.
    This book comes out In October and I highly recommend it. Thank you Tori for the ARC. Your debut book is phenomenal and I cannot wait to read your next novel.#millicentglennslastwish, #toriwhitaker, #lakeunion, #stamperlady50, #booksconnectus

  9. Bella Brightman Bella Brightman says:

    This book has so many gems packed in its pages! It is multi-generational historical fiction with a dual timeline (1940-50 and present day) in which the reader sees the story unfold through a spunky 91-year old's perspective. Whitaker captures how women's value mid-century was tied to producing a family and keeping a good home. I enjoyed the background into starting a business and discrimination women faced (overtly and subtly) when they tried to do things 'without their husband's permission.' It may seem cringeworthy to younger female readers that those were accepted practices back then, however, things have evolved over time thanks to people like Millicent Glenn. There's insight to medical treatment (e.g., pregnancy, labor & delivery) that's eye-opening. It's also a tribute to mother/daughter relationships and how to nurture and grow those into important networks of support and love. Lastly, it's a loving tribute to Cincinnati, both past and present with little tidbits like the whispering fountains at the old Union Station. It publishes October 1, but Amazon Prime First Reads is offering it this month - so grab a copy for free now and enjoy!

  10. Sheila Cole Sheila Cole says:

    The three generations of women in Millicent Glenn's Last Wish are believable and interesting. As in life, some are likeable, even loveable, others not so much! Their stories get your attention quickly and hold it throughout the book. An added plus are the well researched historic details of Cincinnati, Ohio. As in most good novels, you might think you know what's going to happen next in several places in the story, but belive me, you don't!

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