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About J. Courtney Sullivan
J. Courtney Sullivan is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Commencement, Maine, The Engagements, and Saints For All Occasions. Her fifth novel, Friends and Strangers, will be published in June 2020.
Maine was named a Best Book of the Year by Time magazine, and a Washington Post Notable Book for 2011. The Engagements was one of People Magazine’s Top Ten Books of 2013 and an Irish Times Best Book of the Year. It is soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon and distributed by Fox 2000, and it will be translated into 17 languages. Saints For All Occasions was named one of the ten best books of the year by the Washington Post, a New York Times Critic’s Pick for 2017, and a New England Book Award nominee.
Courtney’s writing has also appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Chicago Tribune, New York magazine, Elle, Glamour, Allure, Real Simple, and O: The Oprah Magazine, among many others. She is a co-editor, with Courtney Martin, of the essay anthology Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists. In 2017, she wrote the forewords to new editions of two of her favorite children’s books: Anne of Green Gables and Little Women.
A Massachusetts native, Courtney now lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and two children.
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An insightful, hilarious, and compulsively readable novel about a complicated friendship between two women who are at two very different stages in life, from the bestselling author of Maine and Saints for All Occasions.
Elisabeth, an accomplished journalist and new mother, is struggling to adjust to life in a small town after nearly twenty years in New York City. Alone in the house with her infant son all day (and awake with him much of the night), she feels uneasy, adrift. She neglects her work, losing untold hours to her Brooklyn moms' Facebook group, her "influencer" sister's Instagram feed, and text messages with the best friend she never sees anymore. Enter Sam, a senior at the local women's college, whom Elisabeth hires to babysit. Sam is struggling to decide between the path she's always planned on and a romantic entanglement that threatens her ambition. She's worried about student loan debt and what the future holds. In short order, they grow close. But when Sam finds an unlikely kindred spirit in Elisabeth's father-in-law, the true differences between the women's lives become starkly revealed and a betrayal has devastating consequences.
A masterful exploration of motherhood, power dynamics, and privilege in its many forms, Friends and Strangers reveals how a single year can shape the course of a life.
A New York Times Critics’ Top Book of 2017
"This year’s best book about family." —Ron Charles, The Washington Post
A sweeping, unforgettable novel from The New York Times best-selling author of Maine, about the hope, sacrifice, and love between two sisters and the secret that drives them apart.
Nora and Theresa Flynn are twenty-one and seventeen when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America. Nora is the responsible sister; she's shy and serious and engaged to a man she isn't sure that she loves. Theresa is gregarious; she is thrilled by their new life in Boston and besotted with the fashionable dresses and dance halls on Dudley Street. But when Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan—a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand. Fifty years later, Nora is the matriarch of a big Catholic family with four grown children: John, a successful, if opportunistic, political consultant; Bridget, quietly preparing to have a baby with her girlfriend; Brian, at loose ends after a failed baseball career; and Patrick, Nora's favorite, the beautiful boy who gives her no end of heartache. Estranged from her sister, Theresa is a cloistered nun, living in an abbey in rural Vermont. Until, after decades of silence, a sudden death forces Nora and Theresa to confront the choices they made so long ago. A graceful, supremely moving novel from one of our most beloved writers, Saints for All Occasions explores the fascinating, funny, and sometimes achingly sad ways a secret at the heart of one family both breaks them and binds them together.
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 New York Times best-selling author of Commencement and Maine comes a gorgeous, sprawling novel about marriage—about those who marry in a white heat of passion, those who marry for partnership and comfort, and those who live together, love each other, and have absolutely no intention of ruining it all with a wedding.
Evelyn has been married to her husband for forty years—forty years since he slipped off her first wedding ring and put his own in its place. Delphine has seen both sides of love—the ecstatic, glorious highs of seduction, and the bitter, spiteful fury that descends when it’s over. James, a paramedic who works the night shift, knows his wife’s family thinks she could have done better; while Kate, partnered with Dan for a decade, has seen every kind of wedding—beach weddings, backyard weddings, castle weddings—and has vowed never, ever, to have one of her own.
As these lives and marriages unfold in surprising ways, we meet Frances Gerety, a young advertising copywriter in 1947. Frances is working on the De Beers campaign and she needs a signature line, so, one night before bed, she scribbles a phrase on a scrap of paper: “A Diamond Is Forever.” And that line changes everything.
A rich, layered, exhilarating novel spanning nearly a hundred years, The Engagements captures four wholly unique marriages, while tracing the story of diamonds in America, and the way—for better or for worse—these glittering stones have come to symbolize our deepest hopes for everlasting love.
This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
Assigned to the same dorm their first year at Smith College, Celia, Bree, Sally, and April couldn’t have less in common. Celia, a lapsed Catholic, arrives with a bottle of vodka in her suitcase; beautiful Bree pines for the fiancé she left behind in Savannah; Sally, preppy and obsessively neat, is reeling from the loss of her mother; and April, a radical, redheaded feminist wearing a “Riot: Don’t Diet” T-shirt, wants a room transfer immediately. Written with radiant style and a wicked sense of humor, Commencement follows these unlikely friends through college and the years beyond, brilliantly capturing the complicated landscape facing young women today.
Not happy? No problem. Fake it. From New York Times bestselling author J. Courtney Sullivan comes a sharp-witted short story about the reality of reality TV.
Judging by the popularity of her home-makeover show, Katie has it all: a sweet-natured husband, Damian, as her cohost; adorable tween daughters; a designer mansion; and a just-folks appeal that has made the happy couple home-renovation royalty. Out of the spotlight, it’s a different story. Katie’s marriage is disintegrating, her spoiled daughters despise her, and her money can’t do anything to repair her personal problems—or her professional ones. With a contract up for renewal and Damian ready to bail after one last holiday special, Katie can kiss her artificial world goodbye too. But if there’s one thing a pro like Katie knows how to do, it’s negotiate.
When did you know you were a feminist? Whether it happened at school, at work, while watching TV, or reading a book, many of us can point to a particular moment when we knew we were feminists. In Click, editors Courtney E. Martin and J. Courtney Sullivan bring us a range of women—including Jessica Valenti, Amy Richards, Shelby Knox, Winter Miller, and Jennifer Baumgardner—who share stories about how that moment took shape for them.
Sometimes emotional, sometimes hilarious, this collection gives young women who already identify with the feminist movement the opportunity to be heard—and it welcomes into the fold those new to the still-developing story of feminism.
We've all heard the stereotypes about women who marry into money? They're gold diggers, they don't care about love. The fact is, there are plenty of fabulous men out there who happen to be wealthy, and someone's going to marry them. If you're a smart, sophisticated, independent woman looking for love, why shouldn't it be you?
J. Courtney Sullivan has created a guide for women everywhere who have worked hard to get where they are in their lives and their careers and deserve to be challenged, excited, and supported Financially and otherwise by the men in their lives. It's not anti-feminist, it's knowing what you need from a partner and demanding the entire package. With tips on everything from top 10 products for under $10, 8 types of rich men to avoid, and 9 essential clothing items that no girl should be without, Dating Up will help women attract the right kind of man. It also gives advice on where to go to meet men and how to transition from the first few dates to having sex to meeting his mother. Stocked full of top ten lists; enlightening quotes from film, literature, and pop culture; and sidebars with extra Quick Tips, this manual will be a must-have for all women ready to find Mr. Right.