Thursday, June 30, 2011



By J. Courtney Sullivan

The Kelleher family is a close Irish Catholic family. Every summer they reunite at the family cottage off the coast of Maine. One particular summer four of the Kelleher women are privately battling issues. Some of these issues are between the adult Kelleher children, but some are within the Kelleher matriarch herself. Of course, there are many issues within the Kelleher family, as with all families.

Family dysfunction is an old issue, a common issue in itself. In “Maine”, J. Courtney Sullivan writes of this in a straightforward way, taking the Kelleher family and all of their problems head-on. Tradition and denial don’t mix, or make for happiness on any level.
There is sibling rivalry, unplanned pregnancy, religion, and alcoholism, among other personal and family dilemmas.

Maine is a good depiction of a typical dysfunctional family who gets by  year after year, by maintaining what they know of each other and themselves, holding on to the past and history because it works. The sorrow and pain in these characters is palpable. They are their own worst enemies, just as in real-life.

J. Courtney Sullivan gets it right when it comes to family dysfunction and the family dynamics of it, like it or not.

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