Martie Nees Record's Reviews > The State We're In: Maine Stories

The State We're In by Ann Beattie
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really liked it

Linked short stories taking place in Maine that are depressing, sometimes dark, and usually funny as we watch the characters make good and poor decisions about their lives with each story clearly written in a way not to have closure. One of my favorite characters is a bratty teen named Jocelyn who we meet in the first story. But we have to cut Jocelyn some slack once we learn that: 1) her mother is in a hospital, 2) the guy she likes in a hospital, 3) she is spending the summer with an uncle she sort of likes, 4) and an aunt she hates, 5) while going to summer school where her English teacher assigns TEN required papers in ONE month, 6) plus she is especially upset to learn that she is going to a summer school for troubled teens, 7) but it turns out her mom isn’t in the hospital but with a new boyfriend, 8) which is why she farmed out Jocelyn to her aunt and uncle in the first. In another story about widowhood one of my favorite lines is “(We) were at those points in our lives when everything made sense in not making sense, you know?" In all of the fifteen stories the author seems to be saying that a good life is not about happy endings rather it is about coming across moments of happiness.
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Reading Progress

September 11, 2015 – Started Reading
September 11, 2015 – Shelved
September 20, 2015 – Finished Reading

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