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Maine Kindle Edition
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"I have never stayed at this cottage in Maine, or any cottage in Maine, but no matter: I now feel I know what it's like being in a family that comes to the same place summer after summer, unpacking their familiar longings, slights, shorthand conversation, and ways of being together. J. Courtney Sullivan's Maine is evocative, funny, close-quartered, and highly appealing." –Meg Wolitzer, author of The Uncoupling
"Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan is a powerful novel about the ties that bind families tight, no matter how dysfunctional. Sullivan has created in the Kelleher women a cast of flawed but lovable characters so real, with their shared history of guilt and heartache and secret resentments, that I’m sure I’ll be thinking about them for a long time to come." –Amy Greene, author of Bloodroot
"Everyone has dark secrets. It’s why God invented confession and booze, two balms frequently employed in Sullivan’s well-wrought sophomore effort. Alice Brennan is Irish American through and through, the daughter of a cop, a good Catholic girl so outwardly pure that she’s a candidate for the papacy. . . . As Sullivan’s tale unfolds, there are plenty of reasons that Alice might wish to avoid taking too close a look at her life: There’s tragedy and heartbreak around every corner, as there is in every life. . . . Sullivan spins a leisurely yarn that looks into why people do the things they do—particularly when it comes to drinking and churchgoing—and why the best-laid plans are always the ones the devil monkeys with the most thoroughly. The story will be particularly meaningful to Catholic women, though there are no barriers to entry for those who are not of that faith. Mature, thoughtful, even meditative at times—but also quite entertaining." –Kirkus
"At the heart of this compelling novel of three generations of women...
About the Author
- ASIN : B004G60CCU
- Publisher : Vintage (June 14, 2011)
- Publication date : June 14, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 2422 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 401 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #94,470 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Alice is the matriarch...a selfish, imperious, manipulative, judgmental, mean spirited women, whose only saving grace is that she married a lovely, kind man. Kathleen is Alice’s oldest child and Maggie’s mother. Free spirited, aging hippie and former alcoholic , more like her mother than she cares to admit,
Ann Marie is Alice’s daughter in law, married to her son Patrick. She is a good mother and wife, always striving for perfection and to do the appropriate thing...Ann Marie is the perpetual Martyr.
And finally there is Maggie, Kathleen’s daughter. Maggie is sweet, kind intelligent...a lovely person ...unfortunately she is clueless about romance and she has the worst taste in men...they all come together at the beach house...
Unlike, say, Lisa Taddeo's Three Women which doesn't try to hook the reader into the 'journey', this author was pummeling along that narrative ARC toward the resolution and then just stopped dead. Maybe she planned a cliffhanger, maybe she got bored or hit her deadline. Maybe she's trying to teach the reader that the final conflict is just a literary construct. Whatever, this book was five stars for good writing in the genre and then one star for the abysmal lack of an ending.
Alice's family home in Maine sets her apart from others in her station and gives her some freedom from the ghosts that haunt her. A lover of the Maine coast, I found myself wanting for more of Maine in the story - it was a backdrop rather than a character itself. In the end, it becomes representative of a choice for Alice, one she alone gets to make, and of some control over something in her life.
A lover of historical fiction, I liked how the tragic Cocoanut Grove fire figured into the story and found myself searching outside sources for more information about it. This plot line also illustrated the sadness of wartime and the desire to live in the moment for soldiers on leave and those caught up with them.
I had a underlying sense of editing not quite in line with the author's intent, like maybe parts were missing. I could very much relate to how messy family can be, to how magnetic a big, close related group can be to others, who never quite see what it is really like inside.
Top reviews from other countries
The only minor (and I mean minor) niggle was the abrupt ending, as some reviewers have commented on, but it didn't detract from my enjoyment of a great read.
I haven't given any detail as to the plot - I never understand those reviewers who do as this obviously spoils the anticipation for a reader - but if you look at my other reviews and have enjoyed any of my other 4 and 5 star reads, you'll love this. If you never fancied them, this won't be for you. But I'd recommend you give it a try as I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
I'm not really sure how nice any of the people are to each other - bit like a real family and knowing how to press each other's buttons. But as we learn more about them, we know more about why they are quite so prickly or behave as they do. And like a real family you learn what makes them tick and how to love (or appreciate them).
I bought this, as it was set somewhere I had visited - and was curious to read a novel set there - brought back some good memories of visiting the area!
I found this book a struggle to finish. When I reached the end, I wished I hadn't bothered to soldier on. A lot was written about each individual character, but they never seemed to gel with each other. It was a nothing book. Nothing much happened. It had great potential but it failed terribly. It was almost as if the author started off with great enthusiasm, but then decided not to bother. A great shame. I didn't enjoy it, and I wouldn't recommend it.