Nora and Theresa Flynn are 21 and 17 when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America. Nora is the responsible sister; she's shy and serious and engaged to a man she isn't sure that she loves. Theresa is gregarious; she is thrilled by their new life in Boston and besotted with the fashionable dresses and dance halls on Dudley Street. But when Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan - a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand.
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. 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. 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....
"Hope author stays true as she continues to write"
Evelyn has been married to her husband for 40 years - 40 years since he slipped off her first wedding ring and put his own in its place. Delphine has seen both sides of love - the ecstatic, glorious highs of seduction, and the bitter, spiteful fury that descends when it’s over. James, a paramedic who works the night shift, knows his wife’s family thinks she could have done better; while Kate, partnered with Dan for a decade, has seen every kind of wedding - beach weddings, backyard weddings, castle weddings - and has vowed never, ever, to have one of her own.
"This story required some brain exercise."
This radiant debut novel from J. Courtney Sullivan examines the deep bonds of friendship and the complex landscape facing today’s young women. Celia, Bree, Sally, and April arrive at Smith College as four very different people. But the years bring them closer together, and once they graduate and face the real world, they realize they need each other more than ever.
"What an amazing journey...."
Every person alive can define himself in a single sentence. That’s what the novelist Susan Rieger once told me, and as soon as she said it I knew what mine would be: I come from a large, Irish Catholic family.
"Kiss Me, I’m Pretty Sure I’m Irish" is from the March 10, 2017 Opinion section of The New York Times. It was written by J. Courtney Sullivan and narrated by Fleet Cooper.
"After the Broadway Show, a Trip to Hamilton’s Grave" is from the Arts section of The New York Times. It was written by J. Courtney Sullivan and narrated by Barbara Benjamin-Creel.