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Maine (Vintage Contemporaries)

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Maine (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover

ISBN13: 9780307742216
ISBN10: 0307742210
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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, Maine unveils 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.

Review:

"You don't want the novel to end in July. You want to stay with the Kellehers straight through to the end of August, until the sand cools, the sailboats disappear from their moorings, and every last secret has been pried up." Lily King, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"I have never stayed at this cottage in Maine, or any cottage in Maine, but no matter: I now feel I know what it's like being in a family that comes to the same place summer after summer, unpacking their familiar longings, slights, shorthand conversation, and ways of being together. J. Courtney Sullivan's Maine is evocative, funny, close-quartered, and highly appealing." Meg Wolitzer, author of The Uncoupling

Review:

"An ideal summer read....Gives us...characters we can care about, despite their sometimes too-familiar flaws." USA Today

Review:

"Attentive to class distinctions and hierarchies, as well as historic pressures and family dynamics, Sullivan presents women who may be stubborn and difficult, but she does so with such compassion and humor that we, too, end up rooting for them. Even if Maine weren't set on a beach, it would be a perfect beach book." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"Sullivan's smarts shed light on topics all families deal with, but her tasteful approach on the tough ones (particularly modern-day religious issues) shine through. The cast of quirky characters will have you laughing out loud and aching for their regrets in the same chapter, pining for more pages when it comes to an end." MarieClaire.com

Review:

"Maine's brisk storytelling, and the unfurling of its central mystery...sweep readers along with gratifying sink-into-your-deck-chair ease." Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"Ms. Sullivan's follow-up to her best-selling novel, Commencement ...follows adult children who gather at their beach cottage in Maine to sip that familial cocktail of misery and love....Once the women are together, the fuse is lighted. Ms. Sullivan locks the doors and waits for the explosion." The New York Times

Review:

"[Sullivan] validates the old adage that you can pick your friends, but you are stuck with your relatives. This is a powerful, evocative story, beautifully written to reveal raw human emotions....Fresh and lively....This is a well-crafted story about destructive family relationships and shameful behavior, loaded with tension, secrets, booze, marital conflict, stinging arguments, and some very funny scenes." The New Maine Times

Review:

"Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan is a powerful novel about the ties that bind families tight, no matter how dysfunctional. Sullivan has created in the Kelleher women a cast of flawed but lovable characters so real, with their shared history of guilt and heartache and secret resentments, that I'm sure I'll be thinking about them for a long time to come." Amy Greene, author of Bloodroot

Review:

"Everyone has dark secrets. It's why God invented confession and booze, two balms frequently employed in Sullivan's well-wrought sophomore effort. Alice Brennan is Irish American through and through, the daughter of a cop, a good Catholic girl so outwardly pure that she's a candidate for the papacy....As Sullivan's tale unfolds, there are plenty of reasons that Alice might wish to avoid taking too close a look at her life: There's tragedy and heartbreak around every corner, as there is in every life....Sullivan spins a leisurely yarn that looks into why people do the things they do — particularly when it comes to drinking and churchgoing — and why the best-laid plans are always the ones the devil monkeys with the most thoroughly. The story will be particularly meaningful to Catholic women, though there are no barriers to entry for those who are not of that faith. Mature, thoughtful, even meditative at times — but also quite entertaining." Kirkus

Review:

"At the heart of this compelling novel of three generations of women emotionally stunted by fate and willful stubbornness is the family vacation property in Cape Neddick, ME, where the Kellehers have convened for six decades....In her second novel (after Commencement), Sullivan brilliantly lays out the case for the nearly futile task of these three generations of badly damaged Irish Catholic women seeking acceptance from one another." Library Journal

Review:

"Sullivan creates deeply observed and believable [characters]....Moody matriarch Alice, her uninvolved hippie daughter Kathleen, brown-nosing daughter-in-law Mary Ann, and newly-single, thirtysomething granddaughter Maggie each has a simmering-below-the surface inner-monologue that lights a spark, and Sullivan makes sure we can only anticipate an explosion. Sullivan gracefully meets the challenge of crafting a cast clearly pulled from the same DNA soup, without a clunk or hitch in the machinery." Booklist

Synopsis:

A Time Book of the Year

A Washington Post Book World Notable Book

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. As three generations of women arrive at the family's beach house, 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.

Synopsis:

For generations, the natives of Harrisport have watched wealthy summer families descend on their Cape Cod town, inhabiting the massive cottages along the towns best stretches of beachfront. But when rich Southerner Tucker Moss breaks the heart of local girl Edie Wright in the summer of 1966, an enduring war starts between the two families that lasts for generations....

Edies youngest child, Lexi, should know better than to fall in love with a Moss, but at eighteen, she falls hard for Tuckers son, Hudson—only to find herself jilted when Hudson breaks off their engagement to marry the daughter of his father's business partner.

Thirteen years later, Lexi returns home after two years away studying architectural photography, just in time for yet another summer on the Cape. When Hudsons younger brother, Cooper, arrives unexpectedly to sell the seaside estate after the death of his father and hires Lexi to photograph it, an unlikely attraction forms, and Lexi finds herself torn once again between passion and family loyalty.

Then renovations at the Moss guest house reveal a forty-five-year-old declaration of love carved into a piece of framing—and a startling truth that will force two women and the men who love them to confront the treacherous waters of their pasts.

 

Synopsis:

For generations, the natives of Harrisport have watched wealthy summer families descend on their Cape Cod town, inhabiting the massive cottages along the towns best stretches of beachfront. But when rich Southerner Tucker Moss breaks the heart of local girl Edie Wright in the summer of 1966, an enduring war starts between the two families that lasts for generations....

Edies youngest child, Lexi, should know better than to fall in love with a Moss, but at eighteen, she falls hard for Tuckers son, Hudson—only to find herself jilted when Hudson breaks off their engagement.

Eleven years later, Lexi returns home after two years away studying architectural photography, just in time for yet another summer on the Cape. When Hudsons younger brother, Cooper, arrives unexpectedly to sell the seaside estate after the death of his father and hires Lexi to photograph it, an unlikely attraction forms, and Lexi finds herself torn once again between passion and family loyalty.

Then renovations at the Moss guest house reveal a forty-six-year-old declaration of love carved into a piece of framing—and a startling truth that will force two women and the men who love them to confront the treacherous waters of their pasts.

 

About the Author

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Joy JGB, January 16, 2013 (view all comments by Joy JGB)
J.Courtney Sullivan amazes me with her ability to create vivid characters from different generations, and weave their lives and voices together. Couldn't put it down.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
sjustice24, January 12, 2013 (view all comments by sjustice24)
This is the kind of book that gets into the nitty gritty detail of the familie's life. Noone is perfect here...including the mother of 3 very dysfunctional grown children who either appease her, irritate her or attempt to avoid her. The mother, meanwhile, is holding onto a vast ocean front property in Maine which the grown children visit, argue about and see as their family home. The mother sometimes seeks to invite discord even as she brittles at the thought that she might be it's cause. Truly original novel that some may veer away from if they like fluff. I still grapple with this mother's decisions...letting this book linger...resulting in a sincere recommendation.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Catherine Thompson, August 18, 2012 (view all comments by Catherine Thompson)
This is such a great book that I had to buy a copy to read at night while listening to the audio book in the car to and from work. It's a rare book that will do that to me. The characters are beautifully rendered, believable and strong. This multi-generational novel will take you away and keep you mesmerized by the question, "what's going to happen next?"
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View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307742216
Author:
Sullivan, J. Courtney
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Author:
Marks, Erika
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-Contemporary Women
Subject:
Family saga
Subject:
fiction;maine;family;women;mothers and daughters;family relationships;family secrets;relationships;novel;massachusetts
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries
Publication Date:
20120531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
528
Dimensions:
8 x 5.2 x 0.9 in 0.8438 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects


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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life

Maine (Vintage Contemporaries) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 528 pages Vintage Books - English 9780307742216 Reviews:
"Review" by , "You don't want the novel to end in July. You want to stay with the Kellehers straight through to the end of August, until the sand cools, the sailboats disappear from their moorings, and every last secret has been pried up."
"Review" by , "I have never stayed at this cottage in Maine, or any cottage in Maine, but no matter: I now feel I know what it's like being in a family that comes to the same place summer after summer, unpacking their familiar longings, slights, shorthand conversation, and ways of being together. J. Courtney Sullivan's Maine is evocative, funny, close-quartered, and highly appealing."
"Review" by , "An ideal summer read....Gives us...characters we can care about, despite their sometimes too-familiar flaws."
"Review" by , "Attentive to class distinctions and hierarchies, as well as historic pressures and family dynamics, Sullivan presents women who may be stubborn and difficult, but she does so with such compassion and humor that we, too, end up rooting for them. Even if Maine weren't set on a beach, it would be a perfect beach book."
"Review" by , "Sullivan's smarts shed light on topics all families deal with, but her tasteful approach on the tough ones (particularly modern-day religious issues) shine through. The cast of quirky characters will have you laughing out loud and aching for their regrets in the same chapter, pining for more pages when it comes to an end."
"Review" by , "Maine's brisk storytelling, and the unfurling of its central mystery...sweep readers along with gratifying sink-into-your-deck-chair ease."
"Review" by , "Ms. Sullivan's follow-up to her best-selling novel, Commencement ...follows adult children who gather at their beach cottage in Maine to sip that familial cocktail of misery and love....Once the women are together, the fuse is lighted. Ms. Sullivan locks the doors and waits for the explosion."
"Review" by , "[Sullivan] validates the old adage that you can pick your friends, but you are stuck with your relatives. This is a powerful, evocative story, beautifully written to reveal raw human emotions....Fresh and lively....This is a well-crafted story about destructive family relationships and shameful behavior, loaded with tension, secrets, booze, marital conflict, stinging arguments, and some very funny scenes."
"Review" by , "Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan is a powerful novel about the ties that bind families tight, no matter how dysfunctional. Sullivan has created in the Kelleher women a cast of flawed but lovable characters so real, with their shared history of guilt and heartache and secret resentments, that I'm sure I'll be thinking about them for a long time to come."
"Review" by , "Everyone has dark secrets. It's why God invented confession and booze, two balms frequently employed in Sullivan's well-wrought sophomore effort. Alice Brennan is Irish American through and through, the daughter of a cop, a good Catholic girl so outwardly pure that she's a candidate for the papacy....As Sullivan's tale unfolds, there are plenty of reasons that Alice might wish to avoid taking too close a look at her life: There's tragedy and heartbreak around every corner, as there is in every life....Sullivan spins a leisurely yarn that looks into why people do the things they do — particularly when it comes to drinking and churchgoing — and why the best-laid plans are always the ones the devil monkeys with the most thoroughly. The story will be particularly meaningful to Catholic women, though there are no barriers to entry for those who are not of that faith. Mature, thoughtful, even meditative at times — but also quite entertaining."
"Review" by , "At the heart of this compelling novel of three generations of women emotionally stunted by fate and willful stubbornness is the family vacation property in Cape Neddick, ME, where the Kellehers have convened for six decades....In her second novel (after Commencement), Sullivan brilliantly lays out the case for the nearly futile task of these three generations of badly damaged Irish Catholic women seeking acceptance from one another."
"Review" by , "Sullivan creates deeply observed and believable [characters]....Moody matriarch Alice, her uninvolved hippie daughter Kathleen, brown-nosing daughter-in-law Mary Ann, and newly-single, thirtysomething granddaughter Maggie each has a simmering-below-the surface inner-monologue that lights a spark, and Sullivan makes sure we can only anticipate an explosion. Sullivan gracefully meets the challenge of crafting a cast clearly pulled from the same DNA soup, without a clunk or hitch in the machinery."
"Synopsis" by , A Time Book of the Year

A Washington Post Book World Notable Book

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. As three generations of women arrive at the family's beach house, 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.

"Synopsis" by ,
For generations, the natives of Harrisport have watched wealthy summer families descend on their Cape Cod town, inhabiting the massive cottages along the towns best stretches of beachfront. But when rich Southerner Tucker Moss breaks the heart of local girl Edie Wright in the summer of 1966, an enduring war starts between the two families that lasts for generations....

Edies youngest child, Lexi, should know better than to fall in love with a Moss, but at eighteen, she falls hard for Tuckers son, Hudson—only to find herself jilted when Hudson breaks off their engagement to marry the daughter of his father's business partner.

Thirteen years later, Lexi returns home after two years away studying architectural photography, just in time for yet another summer on the Cape. When Hudsons younger brother, Cooper, arrives unexpectedly to sell the seaside estate after the death of his father and hires Lexi to photograph it, an unlikely attraction forms, and Lexi finds herself torn once again between passion and family loyalty.

Then renovations at the Moss guest house reveal a forty-five-year-old declaration of love carved into a piece of framing—and a startling truth that will force two women and the men who love them to confront the treacherous waters of their pasts.

 

"Synopsis" by ,
For generations, the natives of Harrisport have watched wealthy summer families descend on their Cape Cod town, inhabiting the massive cottages along the towns best stretches of beachfront. But when rich Southerner Tucker Moss breaks the heart of local girl Edie Wright in the summer of 1966, an enduring war starts between the two families that lasts for generations....

Edies youngest child, Lexi, should know better than to fall in love with a Moss, but at eighteen, she falls hard for Tuckers son, Hudson—only to find herself jilted when Hudson breaks off their engagement.

Eleven years later, Lexi returns home after two years away studying architectural photography, just in time for yet another summer on the Cape. When Hudsons younger brother, Cooper, arrives unexpectedly to sell the seaside estate after the death of his father and hires Lexi to photograph it, an unlikely attraction forms, and Lexi finds herself torn once again between passion and family loyalty.

Then renovations at the Moss guest house reveal a forty-six-year-old declaration of love carved into a piece of framing—and a startling truth that will force two women and the men who love them to confront the treacherous waters of their pasts.

 

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