Thursday, October 18, 2012

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan


Oh, how I love a good family saga! Chapters told from alternating viewpoints by three generations of women, and a large summer home on the Maine coast only enhance the experience. Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan offers both, along with the requisite problems and drama you've come to expect in a multi-generational family story. Just don't expect it to be neatly tied up with a ribbon at the end... life isn't like than anyway.

For me, Maine  was absolutely the right book at the right time. It was the story I'd been craving all summer long, made even more special because it came from one blogging friend (thanks, Jennifer!) via another. I've already added my inscription to the inside cover and shipped it off with hope that the next reader loves it just as much.

A couple of favorite passages:

" You all seem to think that you should marry someone when you feel this intense emotion, which you call love. And then you expect that the love will fade over time, as life gets harder. When what you should do is find yourself a nice enough fellow and let real love develop over years and births and deaths and so on."
-Alice, family matriarch  p. 253

They hardly said a word to one another as they walked the path, humbled by the natural beauty. You couldn't come here and not be absorbed by it. Off to the left on the other side of the fence stood stately homes with big front porches and Adirondack chairs on the lawns. To the right there was nothing but the pounding surf below, crashing against the rocks, the tide swaying back and forth like a dance. It made you feel as though you were part of something more important than just you. Like even if there was no God there was always the ocean - before you and after you, breathing in and out for all eternity.  p. 257

My rating:

24 comments:

  1. Oh, love the quotes! I want to read this too!

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  2. I listened to this on audio, and didn't mind the narrator. But I just couldn't get into the story. Most people have loved this book, so I've chalked it up to a mood. Sometimes I am angsty and distracted and books like this (drama but nothing actually HAPPENS) just don't connect. I kept waiting for an accident, or someone to have a breakdown, or something. Isn't that horrible? Haha

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    1. Sandy - There are definitely times when family drama books don't work with my mood and, you're right, not an awful lot actually happens in Maine. It seems like the reading stars all lined up for this one though!

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  3. I LOVED this book, too. After I finished it, I had to order (and read) her first book, Commencement.

    I actually enjoyed Maine more....

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - And I just added Commencement to my wish list! Maybe I'll read it next summer.

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  4. Both those quotes do make me want to read this book - I'm off to see if the library has it, and how long the queue is.

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    1. Lisa May - Hope you decide to give it a try!

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  5. I had this book in my hand and almost checked it out from the library. Need to go back and get it for sure!!

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  6. :-D that's great when a book just works out like that. good for you!

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    1. Marie - There's nothing better than the right book at the right time :-)

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  7. A 4.5 Stars rating is quite something. I must keep this in mind. And, I'm sure your header photo depicts the exact beauty you're seeing now at Lakeside and in New England.

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    1. Arti - This is such a beautiful time of year! Lots of wind and rain ahead, so the days are numbered...

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  8. I listened to this one last summer and loved the audio and felt like I was there with the family:) glad it worked for you as well.

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    1. Diane - Glad to hear it worked well on audio, too. I may even decided to listen to it one day...

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  9. I've had this book on my stacks, but have decided to listen to the audio, but now after reading your review I may read since it is close to my fingers!

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    1. Nise' - Hope you enjoy it... which ever format you choose :-)

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  10. I have this on my kindle, your review has made me excited to read it :)

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    1. Sam - If you enjoy multi-generational stories and alternating POVs, then you can't go wrong with Maine.

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  11. Oh that Alice - some of the things she said made so much sense and I understood why she developed the shell she had so in a way I liked her. My mom says I liked this book because Alice reminded me so much of my own grandmother - true enough. Thank heavens she didn't mess with my head as much as Alice did with her family's heads!

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    1. Lisa - You know, there were a lot of things I liked about Alice, too. She seemed so real and familiar to me in many ways. Maybe you're given special license once you get to be the grandmother??

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  12. I bought this sometime in the last year and it's been sitting on my shelves, but after reading the quotes you included I want to read it NOW~

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    1. Stacybuckeye - This was definitely the right book at the right time for me. Hope you enjoy it just as much!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

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