Good morning, and welcome to another “sparks” moment with today’s Friday Memes.  Book Beginnings is hosted by A Few More Pages, and The Friday 56 is led by Freda’s Voice.

How does it work?  Just excerpt from the opening lines of a current (or soon to read) book;  share your thoughts, if you wish.  Then turn to page 56 and grab something there to tease us.  That’s it!

Today I’ve grabbed a book that is on this week’s reading list.  It’s an ARC, and I’m really looking forward to it:  Maine, by J. Courtney Sullivan, is a story about family, secrets, and a beach house where everything unfolds.

It is the final summer in Maine for the Kelleher family, and its four strong-willed women are dreaming of bare feet, cocktails at sunset, and that magical ocean air. Alice is the matriarch, a regular fixture at morning mass, and an equally regular fixture in the wicker chair on the sun porch where she spends all afternoon drinking manhattans and smoking cigarettes. Maggie is Alice’s granddaughter, a thirty-two-year-old writer who has just realized she’s pregnant, a fact she has yet to tell her off-again boyfriend. Maggie’s mother, Kathleen, is the prodigal daughter, camped out in California, wishing desperately to avoid the annual Kelleher showdown. And Ann Marie, Alice’s daughter-in-law, is the long-suffering martyr and avid dollhouse collector who is determined to keep this chaotic household in order….


Beginning:  Alice decided to take a break from packing.  She lit a cigarette, leaning back in one of the wicker chairs that were always slightly damp from the sea breeze.  She glanced around at the cardboard boxes filled with her family’s belongings, each glass and picture frame and salt shaker wrapped carefully in newspaper.


While it doesn’t really pack a wallop, it does carry the reader into the nostalgic moments this woman is feeling as she packs her belongings and gets ready for the summer.


p. 56:  Later that night, her sister, Claire, called.  “I heard you’re considering turning Ann Marie in to Social Services,” she said.  “Apparently at this very moment she’s trying to pick out the right potpourri for her prison cell.”


That one hints at intriguing moments happening in this family already!

What treasures have you discovered today?


  1. I would luv to collect dollhouses. Sent a dollhouse to my granddaught, since my son is good using his hands. If he gets it together, it’s going to be lovely. Have you seen those dollhouse kits at Hobby Lobby? So pretty. Some expense. Coupon helps. I really, really want to read MAINE.


  2. LOVE the cover art and great writing. I have visited Maine in the summer, so lovely. Nice colors on your background. You always choose interesting books and I look forward to our Friday visits.


  3. You’re right, the first sentence doesn’t really grab me, but the page 56 is much more interesting. I like books that deal with family relationships so I hope you enjoy this one!


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