Thursday, July 30, 2015

Review: Maine

Maine Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alice dreams of going to art school and becoming an artist, but in her Boston Irish Catholic family, her wages are needed to help pay the mortgage once she finishes high school. She eventually marries, after a tragedy occurs which she feels responsible for. At the end of World War II, her husband wins some prime waterfront property in Oguniquit, Maine in a card game, and thus a family summer home is established. Alice is now quite elderly, living on her own in Boston during the winter, and then spending the warmer months in Maine. Her family has grown and they take turns spending time at the family cottage. The book focuses on one summer when Alice, her daughter-in-law Ann Marie, her daughter Kathleen, and her granddaughter Maggie all wind up at the summer home. From flashbacks and the main character perspectives, the reader is drawn into the family history, both happy and unhappy, and over the course of a few weeks, long-held resentments and family secrets are aired.

I enjoyed the characters, and the details about places I'm familiar with. It's clear the author has spent some time in Oqunquit,and in the Boston area.

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