Katy's Reviews > Maine

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
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Nov 14, 2011


Maine by Courtney Sullivan, read by Ann Marie Lee, 2011, Random House Audio, CD ISBN: 978-0307917294, 14 discs 17.4hr. $34.20.
4 Stars
Maine is told from the revolving perspectives of four Kelleher women: Alice, the widowed, 82-year-old matriarch, a distant, lonely, devout Catholic; Alice’s daughter, Kathleen, a sober alcoholic, owner of a worm farm in California; Kathleen’s daughter Maggie, a writer living in New York City, and Alice’s daughter-in-law, Ann Marie, the uptight wife of Kathleen’s brother, Patrick, who desperately wants the perfect life.
Make no mistake; Alice owes the beach house that her husband won in a card game sixty years ago. She lets her children and grandchildren come and visit but it is her house and property. Her daughter Kathleen can’t stand her, her daughter-in-law Ann-Marie wants to impress her, and her granddaughter, Maggie, just wants her love. Alice, however, can’t stop drinking or forgive herself for a tragic accident that happened when she was in her twenties, to let anyone get close to her. All four women end up at the beach house at the same time. Ann-Marie, not knowing anyone besides Alice will be there, wants to show Alice her concern for her; Kathleen wants to comfort her daughter Maggie, after a bad break-up; and Maggie wants to get away from her life and her ex-boyfriend. While spending time with each other, the family secrets and scandals slowly start to come to light.
Ann Marie Lee, brings the characters to life by making each voice distinct from one another. She performs with different inflections that distinguish each character’s age and accent. She also brings a warmth, zeal and likability to characters that readers of the book might find cold and unsympathetic. Maine received 4 stars because of Ann Marie Lee's talent with tone that gave passages, that might be glossed over by a reader, more inflection and meaning.

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