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In her best-selling debut, Commencement, J. Courtney Sullivan explored the complicated
and contradictory landscape of female friendship. Now, in her highly anticipated second
novel, Sullivan takes us into even richer territory, introducing four unforgettable women
who have nothing in common but the fact that, like it or not, they?re family.
For the Kellehers, Maine is a place where children run in packs, showers are taken
outdoors, and old Irish songs are sung around a piano. Their beachfront property, won on
a barroom bet after the war, sits on three acres of sand and pine nestled between
stretches of rocky coast, with one tree bearing the initials ?A.H.? At the cottage, built
by Kelleher hands, cocktail hour follows morning mass, nosy grandchildren snoop in
drawers, and decades-old grudges simmer beneath the surface.
As three generations of Kelleher women descend on the property one summer, each brings
her own hopes and fears. Maggie is thirty-two and pregnant, waiting for the perfect
moment to tell her imperfect boyfriend the news; Ann Marie, a Kelleher by marriage, is
channeling her domestic frustration into a dollhouse obsession and an ill-advised crush;
Kathleen, the black sheep, never wanted to set foot in the cottage again; and Alice, the
matriarch at the center of it all, would trade every floorboard for a chance to undo the
events of one night, long ago.
By turns wickedly funny and achingly sad, Maine unveils the sibling rivalry, alcoholism,
social climbing, and Catholic guilt at the center of one family, along with the abiding,
often irrational love that keeps them coming back, every summer, to Maine and to each