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Sunday, August 12, 2012


#54 Book Read in 2012
Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

A beach cottage in Maine is the setting for a family full of issues.  Alice is the matriarch who lives at the beach cottage.  Every summer her children and grandchildren come out for a month (rotating the time through each child and family) to spend time at the beach house.  Alice is a hard woman for them to feel connected to and she is not really enamored with how her children and grandchildren turned out.  The fur really begins to fly when the children find out that Alice has agreed to donate the cottage and land to her church after her death.  Alice's children are devastated; they assumed they would inherit the place and that their children could continue to spend time there in the summer.

But this book is more about a beach house.  This book details the complicated relationships among family members.  Alice's daughter Kathleen is a recovering alcoholic.  She has not come to the beach house for years.  She does this summer after learning that her own daughter, Maggie, is pregnant and no longer with the father of the baby.  Ann Marie, Alice's daughter-in-law, is not happy in her marriage.  She feels taken for granted by her husband and by Alice, as Ann Marie is the one who does the bulk of the domestic matters.

The characters in this book are complicated and sometimes hard to like but they are interesting to read about and to follow.  The description of the setting is well written.  I enjoyed this book.

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