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Maine by Courtney Sullivan


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August 2012 Book of the Month.

Four separate points of view from four female narrators of an extended family across three generations as they descend on their holiday beach house in Maine. Thought-provoking and well written, it beautifully portrays how they all knew in their hearts of hearts there is no such thing as a perfect family. Each and every one puts on their own public face which now cracks under the weight of secrets. A great book.

If you like Courtney Sullivan you might also like to read books by Bella Pollen, Curtis Sittenfeld and Esther Freud.

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Maine by Courtney Sullivan

The Kelleher clan's beachfront holiday house creaks under a weight of secrets. It's a place where cocktails follow morning mass, children eavesdrop, and ancient grudges fester. One summer, three generations of Kelleher women descend on the shore. Kathleen, finally sober, hoped never to set foot there again. Maggie, pregnant, has left her useless boyfriend. Ann-Marie, bound to the family by marriage, fantasizes about an extra-marital affair. In the middle of all this is matriarch Alice, who drinks to forget her failings as a parent and the events of a single night, decades before. These mothers and daughters are by turns fierce and loving, cruel and unforgiving, and through their shared history and private dreams, Maine lays bare the paradoxical nature of family and the love that we are bound to, no matter how savage the storm.


Rich and exhilarating... The dialogue sizzles... Maine does not falter. You don't want this novel to end. -- Lily King * New York Times Book Review * This read will transport you... 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. * Marie Claire * Thoughtful, witty and totally compulsive * Woman & Home * A funny, touching, beautifully written triumph... Hand of heart, I didn't want it to end. * Psychologies * A crackling-smart character study of the Kelleher women, who retreat to their oceanfront Maine compound, unearthing 60 years of family secrets, grudges, and regrets. * Elle * Whether you're in need of a beach-read or looking for a festive fireside book, Courtney Sullivan's Maine... is just the thing. * Grazia * Bittersweet, true to life, Maine is a reminder that every family should be celebrated, however dysfunctional. -- Bella Pollen * author of The Summer of the Bear * Simple yet elegant, sometimes funny, often sad and always convincing. -- Emma Henderson * author of Grace Williams Says It Loud *

About the Author

Courtney Sullivan

Courtney Sullivan is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel, Commencement. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Elle, Glamour, Men's Vogue, and the New York Observer, among others. She is a contributor to the essay anthology The Secret Currency of Love and co-editor of Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Author photo © Michael Lionstar

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Book Info

Publication date

1st August 2012


Courtney Sullivan

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Atlantic Books


400 pages


Relationship Stories
Books of the Month
Family Drama
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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