As part of our Best Books of 2011 coverage, our editors weigh in on some of their personal favorites from the list.
I love complicated stories about dysfunctional families—even better if some of the story takes place on the beach. In Maine, J. Courtney Sullivan’s second novel, the author proves again that she is skilled at writing from multiple perspectives—in this case, women who range in age from their 30s to 80s. There are a lot of personalities on display here, from a matriarch with a sharp tongue and a painful secret to a “little miss perfect” daughter-in-law who has a few secrets of her own. Thanks to Sullivan’s attention to detail, the characters truly come to life, in all their imperfections, and readers will be left wondering if they need to atone for past mistakes, and repair relationships while they still can.
Read a review of Maine, or read a review of Commencement, Sullivan’s first novel. Our entire “Best of 2011″ list will be revealed in our December issue. What was your favorite book of 2011? Tell us, and you could be entered to win 10 free books in the genre of your choice.