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Maine [Kindle Edition]

Courtney Sullivan
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'Rich and exhilarating... The dialogue sizzles... Maine does not falter. You don't want this novel to end.' --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

'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. By the end, I felt as if I knew the characters intimately. Their shared history, with all its secrets, guilt, fear and hope, will definitely stay with me.'
--Emma Henderson, author of Grace Williams Says It Loud

Product Description

The Kelleher's beachfront holiday house creaks under a weight of secrets. A place where cocktails follow morning mass and children eavesdrop, it is home to matriarch Alice, who would trade every floorboard for a chance to undo the events of one night, decades before. As summer arrives and the women in Alice's family descend on the shore, it soon becomes clear that these mothers and daughters have been deeply hurt by the people they love the most. But as this fierce, irrational love burns ever brighter, anger builds and painful secrets are unearthed.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 626 KB
  • Print Length: 530 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0307742210
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (1 Jan 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006BAS4R4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #48,317 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great premise but story doesn't deliver 14 Aug 2012
By Robyn S
Format:Kindle Edition
After I finished this book I was left wondering if the author had planned a sequel or simply lost enthusiasm completely. The bulk of the book is spent setting the scene, describing the four key narrators and their backstory and setting the stage for their summer retreat in Maine. In fact, the title of the book, as other reviewers suggest, hints at descriptions of summers gone before at the very least, but even this the reader is not privy to. Although the characters are not especially likeable, they are believable and the dialogue is well written.

For me the greatest problem with this book is that it fails to follow through on the many back stories created. The characters are brought together a good couple of hundred pages in, and even then very little of action follows. Although I didn't expect action in the classic sense of the word, I was disappointed that so much attention was given to the background of the four characters who then failed to shift or redeem themselves in any way. Only one of the characters appears to experience some evolution and even then reluctantly. I was left with endless questions as so many potential plot lines and back stories emerged, and so few were resolved. I also agree wtih other reviewers that the absence of any male voice was sorely lacking and the book was poorer for it, if only because it would have injected some variety into the novel. Overall this book left me yearning for more insight from the author into the characters and their stories and concluding that the author didn't have any.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly convincing generational story 3 Jan 2012
By Ripple TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Courtney Sullivan's "Maine" is quite simply a terrific read. It's the story of three generations of the Irish-American Kelleher family, and more specifically four women and their relationships. Each of the four main characters are brilliantly drawn - there's something quite vile about each but you also sympathise with their plights - which is not an easy trick to pull off. It's touching, dysfunctional and often laugh out loud funny (I know that sounds like a cliche but it genuinely did make me laugh out loud on several occasions).

The matriarch is Alice, a bereaved woman, devoted to the Catholic church and wine in almost equal measure, both driven by the need to forget a painful incident in her past. Her relationship with her three children is strained and she's a difficult woman - elegant and charming one moment and cutting and spiteful the next. Her eldest daughter, Kathleen, is a recovering alcoholic who has fled as far as she can from the family home to live in California where she has gone all New Age and runs a worm farm producing "poop tea". Alice's son, Patrick, is married to Ann Marie whose emotional crutch is the drive to be the perfect, all-American Mom - although the reality is far from that. She is pure in deed if not in thought, fantasising about a relationship with her next door neighbour while designing perfect dolls houses. She's the outsider, as the only non-Kelleher in the story, but does more for Alice than any of the old lady's own children. Then there is Kathleen's daughter, Maggie who is probably the most sympathetic character. Her addiction is to bad relationships and the most recent has left her pregnant but single again.

The characterisation is superb - particularly of the women.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maine by Courtney Sullivan 2 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book tells the story of the Kelleher family, an Irish-American family living in New England. The story centres around their beach-side holiday home in rural Maine. This is shared by 4 generations of the family all of whom spend part of every summer here. It holds many memories, some happy, some sad. The family is headed by matriarch Alice, aged 83. Alice can be utterly charming but can also be calculating, manipulative and totally self-centred. Above all, she is completely lacking in self-awareness. We meet Alice's 3 children, Patrick, Kathleen and Clare, each of whom has been allocated 1 month each summer in the holiday cottage. All 3 adults have had, and still have, considerable difficulties in their relationship with Alice. Both Kathleen and Clare have chosen to live in other parts of the country in order to escape her. Finally, we meet the 3rd generation - Alice's grandchildren. The grandchildren have just as many problems with their parents as their parents had with Alice.

The message given by the book is that children are shaped by their families and they then go on and shape their children in a similar manner. And so it goes on, generation after generation. In this novel we see how the malign influence of Alice filters down through the different generations. People may try to escape their background, but they cannot do so completely - that background has made them what they are. The circle can never be completely broken.

The great thing about this book is the character development. We are dealing with an extended family but each family member is brought vividly to life. I particularly liked the way each individual chapter in the book is written from the viewpoint of one of the characters.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Very amateur novel that goes nowhere. Didn't deserve its hype.
Published 13 days ago by DT
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked
This was my kind of book - a family saga, told from the point of view of different female members thus giving a totally different perspective in each chapter. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kindle Junkie
3.0 out of 5 stars its okay
cant remember much about this book as I brought it a while ago but I think it was fine, it downloaded ok
Published 6 months ago by Dee
5.0 out of 5 stars Such an enjoyable read
It is not too often that I read a book twice. Well maybe after 4 or 5 years have elapsed and then just my very all time favourites. Read more
Published 6 months ago by gillyflower
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, quick ending
This is a good story about the lives of four women in a family and how their lives connect through the matriarch’s property/holiday home in Maine. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Rose CT
3.0 out of 5 stars Such a promising start...
I like books that are just stories about people, and am not too fussed about major incidents as long as the characters are engaging and interesting. Read more
Published 8 months ago by sparkle3
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit slow
Maine is about different generations of American/Irish women and a daughter - in law, that meet at a beach cottage and a very expensive property in Maine. Read more
Published 11 months ago by mrsb2011
3.0 out of 5 stars about a quarter too long
Excellent at conjuring up Maine, but too long and slow moving in parts for me. Not brilliant but a decent family saga.
Published 12 months ago by Wellingtonatic
4.0 out of 5 stars Maine-not quite what I expected
I enjoyed this book as it is similar to D orothea Benton Frank's books about the same area in US , I felt the characters were well drawn but the ending was rather weak
Published 12 months ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging and gentle read.
I bought this book as Maine was the first place after Boston I visited in the USA, so I was intrigued. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Jen 24
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