The Kelleher family has owned a beach house in Maine for decades, yet this idyllic family retreat has become a point of contention.  As Maine begins, Alice, the widowed matriarch of the family, is haunted by memories of a long-ago tragedy.  Her daughter-in-law, Ann Marie, is thrilled at the prospect of an ill-advised crush, and her granddaughter Maggie struggles with the fresh news of an unplanned pregnancy.  Unwilling to reward her bickering heirs with the home they assume will be theirs, Alice sets in motion a plan that will sow deep unrest among them.

"It seemed to Alice that everyone these days was out for themselves.  The sort of families she and Daniel had grown up in and tried to carry on no longer existed, not really.  Her mother had had eight children, including the two babies that died. Daniel's mother had had ten.  Though she had hated the noise and the chaos and the sacrifice this implied back then, now Alice saw that it gave you something, being part of a family like that.”

J. Courtney Sullivan is the author of Maine, Commencement, and The Engagements, and co-edited the anthology Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists.  She lives in New York.

Published:  2008
Length:  388 pages
Set in:  Maine, United States