10.13.2011

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

MaineMaine by J. Courtney Sullivan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

*Sigh*

I wanted to love this book. One review I read said to make it your final summer read. I'm a little beyond summer, but that's neither here nor there.  I was expecting something fun and light, but there was nothing fun about this book. Once I realized it wasn't the light read I thought it was going to be, I just went with it. The story is told from the points of view of four women who cover three generations: Alice, the matriarch; Kathleen, her daughter; Ann Marie, her daughter-in-law, and Maggie, Kathleen's daughter. None of these women is likable. Alice is a racist piece of work. But despite that, at least Alice had an interesting back story involving the death of her sister years before. I would've preferred the whole book was about Alice. I enjoyed the writing, but the plot was very slow. There's a LOT of buildup to these women finally coming together at the family's summer beach home (2/3 of the book), and then....not much happened. I felt let down and then just plowed through to finish. If it weren't for the pathetic ending, I might've given it three stars just for the writing, but the ending was so rushed, I just felt annoyed that I read the whole thing.


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1 comment:

Ελλάδα said...

Maine' is not really about Maine, but about a family...explaining why the family behaves the way they do. The Kellehers own a piece of ocean side property in Maine that the relatives have shared for years; but behind that is a family without much love, just familial ties and we see how this has come to pass. The viewpoints of the family matriarch Alice, a daughter, Kathleen, her daughter Maggie and a daughter-in-law Ann Marie are presented in rotating chapters as they prepare to spend some time one summer at the family's house in Maine.
Alice's meanness and her non maternal attitude is well presented; as are the emotions, thoughts and actions of the othere three characters. Of course there is also the usual suspense technique of mentioning `secrets' which are revealed finally- what happened to Alice's sister and why does she feel she is responsible? Something happened at the father's funeral, and then there is little David's mishap? - sometimes these feel like a second-rate technique to keep a reader turning the pages. The women, with one exception spend an exceptional amount of time cleaning, washing down cabinets.