Thursday, May 10, 2012

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to read. I am fortunate that I can read anywhere, and when I get into a book, will take that book along in case I get even just a minute to read.

During a recent trip for work, I had the opportunity to start the book Maine. Maine is written by J. Courtney Sullivan, a new author to me, but also the author of the best-selling Commencement.

Maine explores the lives of four women, who have nothing in common other than being family. The family has a summer cottage (and house) on the shores of Maine. Won in a bet years ago, everyone of them has memories tied to that property, but it hasn't been quite the same since the patriarch of the family has passed away. This summer, finds them all on a course to be at the property together, if only for a few days.

The story is set in a present day and is told from each of the four women's perspective. The author uses flashbacks to slowly build the back story and help the reader understand a bit more about the make-up of each women and how they came to be the family that they are today.

I really enjoyed getting to know the four women, and found myself wishing that perhaps they could know each other better. How often does that happen in our own lives? How much better relationships could we as women, sisters, mothers, daughters, have, if only we better understood each other and our history?

I've always found the concept of a summer home both intriguing and romantic. I can only imagine what it must be like to be able to 'drop everything' and head to the shore for the summer. It certainly was refreshing to learn that while there were those that could actually just go to the summer house for the full summer or even a full month, there were also those that had to coordinate a vacation at work to get away for just a week or two at the summer house. In my life, I certainly relate better to the schedule of coordinating a vacation; but if I ever become independently wealthy, would be more than willing to explore escaping for the entirety of summer to a relaxing beach house.

To me the ending left me hanging a bit, as I believe the author intended...wondering, exactly who was it that called out to Alice.

I enjoyed this book and look forward to going back to read the author's earlier book, Commencement.

Are you local to Columbus? Early next month, you can participate in the Thurber House, Evenings with Authors event featuring J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Maine.

Evenings with Authors Event Details:

J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Maine
When: June 5, 7:30p
Where: Columbus Museum of Art, 480 East Broad St., Columbus
Cost: $20 for adult; $18 for students and seniors
About: The coast-to-coast bestseller about four unforgettable women who have nothing in common but the fact that, like it or not, they’re family—set in their Maine summer cottage, where not even cocktails at sunset and the magical ocean air can create order out of chaos or soothe the pain of secrets revealed.

You can read more about the event, purchase tickets on-line and read a brief synopsis of the book on the Thurber House website for this event.

No compensation was received for this post. I received a copy of the book for the purposes of this review and information about the upcoming Evenings with Authors event from Thurber House. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family.