Maine by J Courtney Sullivan

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If you're looking for a book to transport you into another family's life for a while, look no further. Maine is told from the point of view of four women in the Kelleher family; Alice, the matriarch, Maggie, Alice's granddaughter, Kathleen, the daughter, and Ann Marie, Alice's daughter in law. In this Irish Catholic family everyone talks about everyone else behind their backs; they have a love-hate relationship with one another. Each thinks they know just what the others shortcomings are and, as we find out, they're not too far off the mark. This summer, as they arrive at the family beach house in Maine, they slowly share secrets including a pregnancy, an inappropriate crush and a deeply held resentment for past misdeeds.

Sullivan (Commencement) has written a very intuitive portrait of family. The mother-daughter relationships resonated for me quite strongly because I fear I will turn into my mother. We often don't see eye to eye and spend a good deal of time practicing our passive aggressive communication skills with one another. The Kelleher women have similar relationship dynamics and it was amusing to watch them learn to come to terms with the fact that, like or not, they're family. Though relationships would stretch toward a breaking point, and things did snap, they never broke.

Submitted by Jacki @ Central


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This page contains a single entry by Jacki published on July 5, 2011 11:01 AM.

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