I really enjoyed J. Courtney Sullivan’s Saints for All Occassions so I looked for some of her previous work. Maine follows a similar pattern- middle class Irish Catholic matriarchal family on the East coast with family drama bursting at the seams.
Alice Kelleher’s husband, Daniel, won the land their beloved summer home sits on in a bet decades ago; Daniel is long gone and Alice has decided to donate their home to the local church after her death. Her donation is penance for a secret she’s kept for decades, even from her desceasdd husband.
Alice’s daughter, Kathleen, disgraced her family by getting a divorce when her children were young. Afterwards she got clean through AA and moved to California with her new partner to start a worm farm. She tries to stay out of family drama but get a sucked in from time to time.
Kathleen’s daughter, Maggie, just found out she’s pregnant and got dumped before she could tell her boyfriend the news. She decides to go to the family beach house alone to wallow.
Anne Marie is the vapid wife of Alice’s only son. She strives to live a perfect life- her hobby is decorating doll houses for Christsake- and aims to inherit Alice’s beach home by being the most helpful relative. She is one of the more irritating characters ever committed to paper.
A mix up in the Kelleher beach house schedule puts all 4 women together and stirs up hard feelings between the family members- plus Alice’s secret donation comes to light.
Not much happens in this one which is a shame becsuse it’s well written. This is a 2 star story saved by 4 star writing.