Sunday, September 11, 2011

Maine and Good Poems: American Places

I promised myself no more detours while reading this book.  Luckily, it rained here most of last week so I had lots of time to finish it.  And it wasn't difficult.  There's just something about the characters in this novel that made me want to keep turning the pages.

The Kelleher family has beachfront property in Cape Neddick, Maine.  (That's only about twenty miles from me so I'm familiar with the area.)  The patriarch, Daniel, won it in a bet.  For years they've enjoyed vacationing there.  Now, Daniel is dead and his widow must decide what to do with it.

The book centers on four female characters:  Alice, the matriarch, who was totally unsuited for motherhood and who has a devastating secret she's held inside for years; Kathleen, her daughter who has never gotten along with her; Maggie, Kathleen's daughter, pregnant and alone; and Ann Marie, Alice's son's wife, the only other family member Alice can stand.

They all gather at their summer home for a two-week period and sparks fly.  These characters are so well drawn that even when you hate them, you love them.  Told with humor and insight, this book and these people will stay with me for a long time. 

I ordered Good Poems: American Places in the spring and have been slowly making my way cross country poem by poem.

Garrison Keillor collected poems of place about America and compiled them into this book.  He's so smart!  He knows how to pick poems that are easy to understand but have literary value, also. 

I really enjoyed this road trip!

1 comment:

thereadingpanda said...

Thank you for the review! Maine sounds like a book that is right up my alley. I guess I will be adding it to my TBR.