Maine: A Novel

Front Cover
Alfred A. Knopf, 2011 - Fiction - 388 pages
81 Reviews
In her best-selling debut,Commencement, J. Courtney Sullivan explored the complicated and contradictory landscape of female friendship. Now, in her highly anticipated second novel, Sullivan takes us into even richer territory, introducing four unforgettable women who have nothing in common but the fact that, like it or not, they’re family.

For the Kellehers, Maine is a place where children run in packs, showers are taken outdoors, and old Irish songs are sung around a piano. Their beachfront property, won on a barroom bet after the war, sits on three acres of sand and pine nestled between stretches of rocky coast, with one tree bearing the initials “A.H.” At the cottage, built by Kelleher hands, cocktail hour follows morning mass, nosy grandchildren snoop in drawers, and decades-old grudges simmer beneath the surface.

As three generations of Kelleher women descend on the property one summer, each brings her own hopes and fears. Maggie is thirty-two and pregnant, waiting for the perfect moment to tell her imperfect boyfriend the news; Ann Marie, a Kelleher by marriage, is channeling her domestic frustration into a dollhouse obsession and an ill-advised crush; Kathleen, the black sheep, never wanted to set foot in the cottage again; and Alice, the matriarch at the center of it all, would trade every floorboard for a chance to undo the events of one night, long ago.

By turns wickedly funny and achingly sad,Maineunveils the sibling rivalry, alcoholism, social climbing, and Catholic guilt at the center of one family, along with the abiding, often irrational love that keeps them coming back, every summer, to Maine and to each other.

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The ending was abrupt. - Goodreads
Overall, I'd recommend it because the writing is good. - Goodreads
The plot is rich and without clichés. - Goodreads
Maggie, her granddaughter, is a young writer. - Goodreads

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nomadreader - LibraryThing

The backstory: After liking J. Courtney Sullivan's first novel, Commencement, I finally got around to reading her second novel, Maine. The basics: Maine traces the story of the Kelleher family one ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - yukon92 - LibraryThing

I agree with a lot of the other comments posted that this book was a big let-down. I was very disappointed with the ending and really had to force my self to actually keep reading it all the way ... Read full review

All 24 reviews »

About the author (2011)

J. Courtney Sullivan is the author of the New York Times best-selling novel Commencement. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, the Chicago Tribune, New York, Elle, Glamour, Allure, and Men's Vogue, among others. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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