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Sullivan, J. Courtney

Book - 2011
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Three generations of women converge on the family beach house in this wickedly funny, emotionally resonant story of love and dysfunction.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307595126
Branch Call Number: Fiction
Characteristics: 388 p. ; 25 cm


From the critics

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Jul 02, 2013
  • canoegirls9 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A great beach read, nice character study. Don't pick this one up if you're looking for action, but the character development and setting are great.

Jun 30, 2013
  • mmg2681 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed this book from each woman's perspective; however, there were way too many characters in this book. Between the matriarch and her family (brothers, sister, parents) and then her three kids and their families, it was difficult in the beginning to know who was who. By the end, I think I got them all down, and it turned out to be an OK book. I want to know...what happens next? (Isnt that the case with so many books?)

May 14, 2013

I did not meet one person in this book that I liked. Usually there is one. They are all narcissistic whiners. All are so self-centered it is a hard book to like.

Dec 17, 2012
  • kaela02129 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I was so excited to read "Maine" and after turning the last page, I felt my expectations were plainly set too high. Sullivan tried to nail the funny, lovable and sad characters that come from so many dysfunctional Irish Catholic families of Boston, but in the end she missed. They often felt phony and too forced.

The images of the grittiness of working-class Boston and the beaches of Maine didn't shine through. In the end, the plot being so close to home was what made me not appreciate "Maine" for its lack of authenticity. Maybe if I lived in Nebraska or California I would've bought what she was selling.

Feb 15, 2012

Very well written book, love to explore the lives of the women and their interaction with each other and the circumstances in which they have been placed. Having been to Maine, I can picture the surroundings, and the particular lifestyle of that area. GOOD READ !!

Jan 17, 2012
  • BrigidScott rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Surprisingly good.

Dec 22, 2011
  • kestober rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

There were too many internal monologues for my taste - background character information that would have been better left in the author's research notebook. Could have been more.

Dec 20, 2011
  • tupelo rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Enjoyable book. Not your average "beach read" about families at their summer homes

Oct 13, 2011
  • annelibnyc rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Maine is not always a place in this book but a representation of what the family, in the story, aspires to. A dysfunctional Irish-Catholic family has a summer cottage, a property the patriarch won in a card game. the matriarch, Alice, now in her 80s, is a selfish, stuck-in-her-ways, old woman who has no appreciation for her extended family and clearly her family feels the same way about her. For pretty much all of them, the only thing in the family they really love is the their beach house in Maine which represents status, freedom and escape. The story of the family and it's dysfunction is told through several generations of the family including: Alice, her daughter Kathleen, her daughter-in-law Ann Marie and her granddaughter Maggie. This is not a literary tour de force but there is sense of tragedy, angst and real family tension that leaves the reader more than little uncomfortable in spots. I kept thinking of similar people in my own family. in the end, i liked this book but I didn't love it. I would think it would make a good book club selection - if only because at the end I know that, like me, you will be wanting to discuss the book with somebody!

Oct 01, 2011
  • BeverlyK rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I, too, expected more after reading some great reviews of this novel. A nice, fast beach read, but not particularly well-written and none of the characters really resonated with me. Not bad, just disappointing.

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