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Maine
by J. Courtney Sullivan

Published: 2011-06-14
Kindle Edition : 0 pages
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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 ...
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Introduction

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.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Review

Guest Reviewer: Laura Dave on Maine
Laura Dave is the author of the acclaimed novels The Divorce Party, London Is the Best City in America, and The First Husband. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Glamour, Redbook, and The New York Observer. Dave graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and was recently named as a "Fun and Fearless Phenom" of the year by Cosmopolitan. She lives in California.

Having spent my favorite childhood summers in Maine, I was so excited for J. Courtney Sullivanâ??s new novel, Maine. Would her story of three generations of Kelleher women who find themselves back at their summer home--all facing their own secret hardships and challenges--deliver? It certainly did.

It is the final summer in Maine for the Kelleher family, and its four strong-willed women are dreaming of bare feet, cocktails at sunset, and that magical ocean air. Alice is the matriarch, a regular fixture at morning mass, and an equally regular fixture in the wicker chair on the sun porch where she spends all afternoon drinking manhattans and smoking cigarettes. Maggie is Aliceâ??s granddaughter, a thirty-two-year-old writer who has just realized she's pregnant, a fact she has yet to tell her off-again boyfriend. Maggieâ??s mother, Kathleen, is the prodigal daughter, camped out in California, wishing desperately to avoid the annual Kelleher showdown. And Ann Marie, Aliceâ??s daughter-in-law, is the long-suffering martyr and avid dollhouse collector who is determined to keep this chaotic household in order.

Over the course of this summer, long-held secrets are revealed, embarrassing crushes bloom, and gallons of vodka are consumed. While Alice must face reminders of a devastating tragedy, Maggie has to decide what to do about Gabe and the baby, Kathleen comes face to face with the woman she most fears, and Ann Marie desperately tries to maintain the image of a perfect family.

Sullivan spins an unhurried and thoughtful tale that delves into familial love, romantic heartaches, tightly-held longings, and a lot of hope. I loved these women and felt grateful to join them as they returned to Maine--just in time to figure out where they needed to go next.

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  "Maine"by [email protected] (see profile) 07/13/20

I found the characters miserable and sad. Everyone of them complained on and on. I would find myself wishing the current character would be done and move on only for the next one to be just as whiny. The... (read more)

 
by nmsanders34488 (see profile) 01/27/16

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