Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
(Knopf, 2011, 400 pages)
I read J. Courtney Sullivan’s Commencement not too long ago and when I finished it I almost immediately went out and picked up Maine (her second title). The format for the two books was essentially the same – there are 4 female protagonists and each chapter is conveyed from a specific character’s point of view. The four women in Maine represent 3 different generations in the same family. Alice is the matriarch, Ann Marie and Kathleen are her daughter-in-law and daughter (respectively), and Maggie is her granddaughter (Kathleen’s child). The four women all find themselves at the family’s summer house in Maine at the same time – an incredibly rare occurrence.
Alice, Ann Marie, Kathleen, and Maggie all find their own sense of solace in their beach house in Maine. It has been a part of their family for as long as they can remember. In spite of whatever may be going on their lives, it has always been a constant they can count on. A number of secrets are revealed and the women all learn something surprising about one another during this impromptu “shared vacation.”
I really enjoyed this book – I enjoy Sullivan’s writing style and her ability to make you a part of the story. As a side note, the way Maine is portrayed makes me want to spend summers there. I’ve always wanted to go (to lounge around and eat lobster – yum!), but Sullivan has me wanting to make that happen sooner rather than later 😉