Amy's Reviews > Maine

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
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's review
Jul 05, 2011

really liked it
Read in June, 2011

Coming from a small family, a large family has often seemed more appealing…although it can often mean more chaos and more dysfunction. J. Courtney Sullivan tackles this complex subject in her latest novel, Maine. Four women from the Kelleher clan, a large Boston Irish Catholic family, meet at the family cottage in Maine. The matriarch, Alice, is contemplating a decision that will impact her family for years to come. Her granddaughter Maggie is running from her recent breakup, her dutiful daughter in-law, Ann Marie, is having a bit of an identity crisis and her estranged, recovering alcoholic daughter Kathleen is forced to reappear at the cottage when her daughter Maggie reveals a shocking bit of news. Alternately narrated by all four women, some sections seem a bit slow, but the subtle differences revealed in repeated stories are designed to illustrate the various ways an event can be interpreted. While much of the action takes place in Boston, New York and even California, the cottage in Main, the role it has played in the family’s history and its fate remain the cornerstone of the novel. Chock full of secrets and perceived betrayals, Maine is the perfect summer read.

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