Author: J. Courtney Sullivan
Genre: Women’s Fiction
My take: When I finished reading Maine my first reaction (and I tweeted it) was that it is this summer’s must-read novel. Someone tweeted back that it must be really good in this summer of good reads. So after almost a week do I still think you must read it? Maybe. It could depend on how you like your fiction. If you like character-driven novels you may like this one. Your appreciation of Maine might depend on your own life experience and family. I have a similar background as the Kelleher family in that mine is American of Irish descent and I was raised Catholic. I could relate to some of the same issues within my extended family. Also, for many years my family vacationed just a few miles up the coast from the novel’s setting – some of the places mentioned in the book are very familiar. For those reasons you can see why it might be MY must-read of the summer.
This is from the Goodreads synopsis:
In her debut novel Commencement, J. Courtney Sullivan explored the relationships of four women during and after their college years. In this much-anticipated second book, she probes into four very different women connected only by family. Alice is the alcoholic, mass-going matriarch burdened by festering guilt; Maggie, her granddaughter, is single, pregnant, and at a crossroads. Ann Marie, related by marriage, seems obsessed by dollhouses and unattainable love and her (Alice’s) black sheep daughter Kathleen is only searching for the nearest exit. One earlier reviewer described Maine “as a summer spritzer that’s equal parts family drama, white wine, and Hail Marys.” Stirred to a perfect turn.
Maine is a story about a family who seem destined to repeat the mistakes of the previous generations. At times two of the women were incredibly mean-spirited. It could either annoy the heck out of you or make you think maybe your family isn’t so bad after all, haha. Seriously, who doesn’t have issues in their family? I can’t wait to discuss Maine with a few of my relatives. Recommended.
Source: I bought it.