In the past week, I’ve had to say the phrase, “well, that’s the night I work at the library” about three times. Each time, it’s to a bewildered face, one that immediately questions when I left my job at the magazine, if I am really a librarian now and ultimately, a look that implies, what have you done with your life?
No, the answer to all of the above. I decided to step up my giving back game and get on board with a charity that would mean something to me. And not that building houses, serving spaghetti and bidding on silent auction items aren’t things I have done or enjoy doing, but I wanted the charity of choice to be something that actually fell close to my heart. Alas, literacy. So, I joined Friends of the Library for Forsyth County and work a cozy little bookstore at the Sharon Forks branch in Cumming. We sell used books for dollars that help the library’s various reading programs. Hooray for a community that loves to come to the library and can read what’s in there!
Anyway – all that to say, I am not a librarian, but I have had a lot of idle time on my hands every Tuesday since I started. So, what do you do when you’re twiddling your thumbs in a room full of books? You read, duh. So, I polled my Twitter followers (to no avail) and decided on a book I had sitting on my shelf at home, never read but constantly fingering my curiosity. The book was Maine.
It’s the story of a broken family, one that grew up vacationing on the northeast coast together. (Which is something reminiscent of my own’s glory days on the Gulf).
The chemistry is off, and slowly life happens to the tune of spreading members across the country, alienating emotions, and ultimately, creating a line of strife spanning generations.
The narrative is told through the parallel viewpoints of four main female characters. This technique, in my opinion, makes for very few antagonists, therefore a fascinating trip through who is in the right, who is in the wrong (but we want them to be right) and a sneak peek inside the possibility of retribution.
Maine reads quickly. It’s witty, emotional and stays just enough on the surface to keep the reader as a third party (or, in this case, a fifth?). I can’t really decide if that’s a good or bad thing, but it certainly helps you put it down at the end and reflect unbiasedly. Then again, that’s probably what qualifies it as nothing more than a “beach read.”
Alas, pick it up if you need something for the holidays that celebrates family quirks and plays on the chemical makeup that makes those quirks so stringent. You’ll be done before the new year, ready to start fresh with something a little more gripping.