Somewhere off the Coast of Maine by Ann Hood, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine

Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine

3.3 6
by Ann Hood
     
 

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This novel begins in 1969, and as Peter, Paul and Mary croon on the radio and poster paints are splashing the latest anti-war slogans. Suzanne, a poet, lives in a Maine beach house awaiting the birth of a love child she will name Sparrow. Claudia, who weds a farmer during college, plans to raise three strong sons. And Elizabeth and Howard marry, organize protest

Overview

This novel begins in 1969, and as Peter, Paul and Mary croon on the radio and poster paints are splashing the latest anti-war slogans. Suzanne, a poet, lives in a Maine beach house awaiting the birth of a love child she will name Sparrow. Claudia, who weds a farmer during college, plans to raise three strong sons. And Elizabeth and Howard marry, organize protest marches, and try to raise their two children with their own earthy, hippie values. By 1985, things have changed. Suzanne, now with a M.B.A., has taken to calling Sparrow "Susan." After personal tragedy, Claudia spirals backward into her sixties world—and into madness. And Elizabeth, fatally ill, watches despairingly as her children yearn for a split-level house and a gleaming station wagon.

In this beloved, critically acclaimed first novel, Hood's clear, brave, and penetrating voice captures the spirit of three friends struggling to resolve their lives in a complicated time warp called lost youth.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hood has written a provocative, uneven tale of three women who were flower-child friends at an unnamed New England college in the late 1960s. Suzanne eventually reverts to a life of which her parents would approve, earning an M.B.A., becoming an investment banker, avoiding her past and old friends, and refusing to tell her daughter, Sparrow, about Sparrow's father, Abel, a poet who lives in a house on the coast of Maine. Claudia is semicatatonic following the accidental drowning of her oldest son in the mid-'70s. And Elizabeth, who lives with her potter husband and their children, suffers a bout with cancer. This is also the story of the women's children, particularly of Sparrow's efforts to learn about her father and the love of Claudia's oldest son for Rebekah, Elizabeth's daughter. The narrative is at times rickety and self-conscious, and Hood often seems afraid to take risks with her characters' lives and motivationstoo often a single, extraordinary event rigidly determines their personality forever after. Nonetheless, this is an intriguing work by an author of promise.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312195557
Publisher:
Picador
Publication date:
07/15/1998
Series:
New Fiction Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.26(w) x 8.53(h) x 0.62(d)

Meet the Author

Ann Hood is the author of six other novels: Ruby, Waiting to Vanish, Three Legged Horse, Something Blue, The Properties of Water, and Places to Stay the Night. She lives in Rhode Island.

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Somewhere off the Coast of Maine 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Read this when it was first published--and found it compelling. Sure, some first novel sins, but the characters have stayed with me for years! I've read all of Ann Hood's books, and this is the one I love best
Guest More than 1 year ago
I listened to this on Books on Tape. It was enjoyable to listen to while driving. It is the kind of book one could read at an airport and still not miss what is going on all around. I am not sure that I would have found it a book to just sit and read because it did not have a particularly intriguing plot that left me aching to get back to it. It was a book of many events but not a lot of depth. Yet, it would be a good read when sitting on the beach this coming suumer. One attractive feature of the book was that everything was not tied up into neat little packages at the end.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
After reading the Knitting Circle, I found old copies of several other books by Ann Hood. I lost myself in the Knitting Circle - something that did not happen with this book. The characters were shallow and unlikable the book felt like it didn't know where if was going or what its point was.