Maine: A Novel
Author: J. Courtney Sullivan
Publisher: Vintage Books, 2011
Paperback Edition: 509 pages
Source: Personal Copy
In this book published prior to Sullivan’s bestselling Saints for All Occasions, the author writes of the Kelleher family and their summer homes in Maine. The reader watches the Kelleher woman as they mostly struggle to put their relationships on firmer footing. There’s the 83-year-old matriarch Alice, granddaughter Maggie, daughter Kathleen – something of an outcast, and daughter-in-law Ann Marie, always striving and wound as tightly as coiled spring. Compassion and humor find a way to send up shoots between the rocks of fear, competition, and secrets.
Maine seems like it would be a comforting place and sometimes it is. But the beach house and the new house next door are bones of contention, too. The beach may call but not as loudly as one might expect. The reader learns about Alice through her memories, Maggie is a smart New York writer, yet she finds herself in a predicament not made of smart decisions, Kathleen wonders about like a lost soul, and yet she has experienced many life blessings.
What will become of the homes in Maine? Do family members love the place, or maybe not so much? The reader has a great time turning the pages and finding some answers to those kinds of questions.
This reader read this book because Saints for All Occasions was such a wonderful read. I enjoyed this one just as much. Highly recommended!