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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Maine: A Novel

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan was a recommendation from an entertainment magazine on a list of stories about families. It looked interesting, and boy howdy, was it!

Not long after the Great War, a young couple come into land on the coast of Maine. The Kellehers build a summer home there that becomes the rock of their family. Over the course of decades children grow up, relationships fall apart, and time marches on. The house sees it all. As Alice, the matriarch, prepares the house to live on without her, one last summer sees a family struggle with age, with love, and with striving for acceptance.

I was intrigued with this book from the moment I began reading, and the sensation I felt at the end was the same I feel when I hear a song that I think I will like. I listen to it, intrigued, and then I play it again. Then again and again and again, each time noticing something different I like about it. I may walk away but I find myself humming it, thinking about it, and wanting to hear it again until I finally break down, bust out my iPod and play it on repeat. That is exactly how I felt about this book.

It caught me in the beginning and as I continued reading I found that I didn't want to put it down. I loved these characters as much as I sometimes despised them for their lack of love and understanding. Family can be this way, as every one of us knows well. I wanted to stay with them a while, to love them and to support them as best as I can. I wanted to whack them over the head and I wanted to tell them it will all work out fine, just hold on a few months. I really cared about these fictional people and I found myself telling all of my friends about the book. That's the sign of something great.

Kindle version on the left, hard copy on the right:

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