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Once Upon a Time on the Banks (Mattagash, #2)
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Once Upon a Time on the Banks (Mattagash #2)

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  221 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Set in the backwood Maine village, Mattagash, this is a book about Amy Joy Lawler, descendant of Protestant settlers, who decides to marry a man of French-Canadian descent, an outsider.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 1st 1991 by Washington Square Press (first published 1989)
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Books Set in Maine
57th out of 175 books — 76 voters
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Books about people I wish I knew
7th out of 7 books — 2 voters

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Community Reviews

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Nov 18, 2011 Amy rated it it was ok
I couldn't find one character that I liked in this book. I would have laughed a lot if these people weren't so mean and pathetic. Still, she wrote well enough that I wanted to finish it and find out what happened at the end.
Linda C.
Amy Joy Lawler is getting married and Mattagash, Maine is abuzz. Her fiance, Jean Claude Cloutier, speaks French, lives in Frogtown and is Catholic. Horrors! Gossip races through the backwoods town, while Amy Joy's mother, Sicily, is dreaming up yet another imaginary illness so she can take to her bed. Once the invitations are mailed, the big city relatives arrive bringing more than what's packed in their suitcases, while the no good local Gifford brothers plot to crash the reception and steal t ...more
Nov 06, 2015 Cindy rated it liked it
Most of us tend to romanticize rural small town life, and I find as I'm reading these Mattagash, Maine stories that I'm waiting for those nice people to show up, people like Father Tim or Heather Lende and her friends and neighbors. But there don't seem to be any "nice" people in Mattagash, Maine. There's just people living their lives in a place where life is awful hard. Is Ms. Pelletier making fun of them? Even considering the historical times of these novels (1960s)they are living such isolat ...more
Amanda Smith
I struggled with this book, many of the reviews online gave it 5 star reviews. I do not agree. I think the book was cute and funny at times, but I did not find it overly funny. The books contains a lot of characters and Ms. Pelletier did a good job developing them and making them relatable. However, in my opinion, there were too many characters and it took nearly 1/3 of the book before it started to develop and build. I just wanted to read about what happened at the wedding and to Amy Jo. I did ...more
Suzanne Cooper
Aug 07, 2015 Suzanne Cooper rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Families in small town 1969 Maine--the family feud between the Giffords & the McKinnons--struggles to overcome small-town small-mindedness. The writing gets better towards final chapters--compassion towards their struggles & small triumphs. Bittersweet, wry-ly humorous.

fav quotes: "AA means Avon Anonymous around here."

"But in the mud & scum of things- there always, always something sings."--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Feb 10, 2016 Greta rated it liked it
As one of several books about a small town in North Central Maine, this one was bawdy, campy, and highly entertaining if you're in the mood for a lot of small town silliness. I look forward to reading more by Cathie Pelletier who caught my attention initially as a long time resident of Nashville. Maybe she'll write something just as down home about Nashville.
Ann Douglas
Dec 15, 2015 Ann Douglas rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking for a novel that is full of colourful and quirky characters, this might be the novel for you. Just be forewarned that a lot of the characters are racist and/or sexist. The only reason I kept reading (and, yes, I did make it through to the end) is because I enjoyed the narrative voice. Still, overall, not my cup of tea.
Sep 17, 2015 Valerie rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie Barrett
Aug 22, 2013 Julie Barrett rated it really liked it
Once Upon A Time On the Banks by Cathie Pellitier
Maine, first day of spring. Amy Joy Lawler comes to town and will wed and her mother has taken to her bed.
Trouble amongst the natives, when one outsider wants to marry a native townie.
This is almost like a Hatfield/McCoy battle and some of the things they do along the way are hilarious, some very dangerous.
Lots of others are followed, with what is going on with their lives. It's about family, heritage, legacy and in the remote town close to the Ca
Sharon Zink
Mar 23, 2015 Sharon Zink rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
A well written and entertaining book about some rednecks and some people who didn't think they were rednecks in Mattagash, Maine.
Feb 17, 2016 Sherry rated it liked it
What a group of characters. A wedding to A French Canadian frog is the worst Sadie can imagine for her hot to trot daughter Joy. His family isn't thrilled and connive to prevent the wedding. Clashing generations of the Portland undertaking Ivys create havoc in Mattagash or havoc is wrecked on them. Hilarious, unforgettable bk 2
Sep 18, 2015 Faye rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
this did not do it for me. There were zillions of characters and each one had quirks and were disllikeable. The setting in Maine was good.
Apr 22, 2013 Jennifer rated it liked it
A continuation of Pelletier's Mattagash series (I would say trilogy, but there is a fourth coming out soon!). We are reunited with Amy Joy, Junior, the Giffords and all the rest of the bunch ten years after The Funeral Makers takes place.

There are some moments of absolute laugh out loud hilarity (Come on down, Thel!), but really kind of a sad portrait of small town life.

As I said about The Funeral Makers, the writing is kind of like Mr.
Keillor’s Lake Woebegone, but with the sense that not every
Barb VanHorn
Aug 05, 2015 Barb VanHorn rated it it was amazing
Another one to love from Cathie Pelletier
JoAnn Plante
Feb 15, 2015 JoAnn Plante rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this story. It had a real cast of characters. Each character was so realistic. I thought I knew some of them. She is a great writer and her ability to describe people, scenes, or things is just incredible. Cathie Pelletier emmerces the reader into her fictitious world and makes everything seem real. I enjoy reading this author.
Mar 07, 2013 Jonna rated it it was amazing
This book was a wonderful reading experience. Wonderfully written. I read it in 1992 so I can't write a well-thought-through review. I just remember reading it and how good I felt while reading it. In my book (no pun intended), any book that leaves you with a smile on your face is worth reading.... (I think I'm repeating myself here...
Jun 10, 2009 Dianne rated it really liked it
Great story - every chapter was absolutely hilarious. This is the on-going tale of troubles and drama between two feuding families and the town that has to deal with all of them.
Bonnie Kerr
Jun 09, 2012 Bonnie Kerr rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was a riot, so very funny and also sad. I liked it better than "The Funeral Makers", it made me nostalgic for my hometown and the house I grew up in.
Jul 10, 2012 Xendawg rated it it was amazing
As with just about everything else Cathie Pelletier writes, this book combines humor and true heartbreak in ways that few authors are capable of
Jun 27, 2013 Jess rated it really liked it
I thought this was a great read. I found it a bit crazy and funny, but entertaining from start to finish. Reminds me of the small town I grew up in.
Aug 14, 2007 Christine rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: folks who like modern fiction about quirky people
Shelves: alltimefaves
loved all three of the books in this series (funeral makers, the weight of winter).
wonderful, interesting characters.
Nov 28, 2014 Pam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good but not as good as some of her earlier books. Some very funny sections.
Jul 21, 2010 Joanne rated it really liked it
Very funny, very good, I read it twice.
Apr 20, 2013 Donna rated it liked it
Quirky but interesting.
Paulette Ponte
Feb 19, 2010 Paulette Ponte rated it it was amazing
Cathie Pelletier's best book.
Margaret Roy
Margaret Roy rated it really liked it
Jun 20, 2016
Sue Grisenti
Sue Grisenti rated it it was amazing
Jun 15, 2016
Lynn Little
Lynn Little rated it liked it
May 30, 2016
Pat rated it really liked it
Jun 22, 2016
DEBRA W ADAMS rated it liked it
May 15, 2016
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