magnificence book cover

A woman embarks on a dazzling new phase in her life after inheriting a sprawling mansion and its vast collection of taxidermy.

This stunning new novel presents Susan Lindley, a woman adrift after her husband’s death and the dissolution of her family. Embarking on a new phase in her life after inheriting her uncle’s sprawling mansion and its vast collection of taxidermy, Susan decides to restore the neglected, moth-eaten animal mounts, tending to “the fur and feathers, the beaks, the bones and shimmering tails.” Meanwhile an equally derelict human menagerie — including an unfaithful husband and a chorus of eccentric old women — joins her in residence.

In a setting both wondrous and absurd, Susan defends her legacy from freeloading relatives and explores the mansion’s unknown spaces. Funny and heartbreaking,Magnificence explores evolution and extinction, children and parenthood, loss and revelation.


Praise and Reviews


“[An] elegant meditation on death and what it means to be alone, even you’re not … A dazzling prose stylist, Millet elevates her story[,] … exploring grief and love as though they were animals to be stuffed, burrowing in deep and scooping out the innermost layers.” (Starred Review)
–Publishers Weekly

“Millet brings her searching, bitterly funny, ecologically attuned trilogy of Los Angeles-based novels (How the Dead Dream, 2008; Ghost Lights, 2011) to a haunting crescendo. … Millet is extraordinarily agile and powerful here, moving from light to shadow like a stalking lioness. …” (Starred Review)

“… draws a detailed map of the healing process of an adulterous wife who suddenly finds herself a widow. … The deeply honest, beautiful meditations on love, grief and guilt give way to a curlicued comic-romantic mystery complete with a secret basement and assorted eccentrics.”
–Kirkus Reviews