Maine

Maine

Author:  J. Courtney Sullivan
Publisher: Knopf
Pages: 388
Genre: women’s fiction
Source: I bought it.
Goodreads:  In her best-selling debut, Commencement, J. Courtney Sullivan explored the complicated and contradictory landscape of female friendship. Now, in her highly anticipated second novel, Sullivan takes us into even richer territory, introducing four unforgettable women who have nothing in common but the fact that, like it or not, they’re family.


For the Kellehers, Maine is a place where children run in packs, showers are taken outdoors, and old Irish songs are sung around a piano. Their beachfront property, won on a barroom bet after the war, sits on three acres of sand and pine nestled between stretches of rocky coast, with one tree bearing the initials “A.H.” At the cottage, built by Kelleher hands, cocktail hour follows morning mass, nosy grandchildren snoop in drawers, and decades-old grudges simmer beneath the surface.

As three generations of Kelleher women descend on the property one summer, each brings her own hopes and fears. Maggie is thirty-two and pregnant, waiting for the perfect moment to tell her imperfect boyfriend the news; Ann Marie, a Kelleher by marriage, is channeling her domestic frustration into a dollhouse obsession and an ill-advised crush; Kathleen, the black sheep, never wanted to set foot in the cottage again; and Alice, the matriarch at the center of it all, would trade every floorboard for a chance to undo the events of one night, long ago.

By turns wickedly funny and achingly sad, Maine unveils the sibling rivalry, alcoholism, social climbing, and Catholic guilt at the center of one family, along with the abiding, often irrational love that keeps them coming back, every summer, to Maine and to each other.



Ope’s Opinion: In the beginning of this book, I needed a score card to keep track of everyone’s relationships.  As I got to know all the characters, keeping them straight got some what easier.  This was a very slow summer read.  The story took place in a family summer house.  The women in the house are the center of the story.  Their relationships are strained.  At the end of it, I did not feel like things changed or got solved. The cover pulled me, but the actually story disappointed me.  I am still interested in reading her book Commencement.

Rating: Three Chairs – I like this book enough to suggest it a friend or two, who might also share it.





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