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J. Courtney Sullivan Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Commencement (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Maine (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Engagements (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Saints for All Occasions (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Friends and Strangers (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cliffs (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Author J. Courtney Sullivan’s works have found their way on the New York Times bestseller list. She is often classified as chick lit or romance. Her novel “Maine” was named a best book of the year by Time magazine. “The Engagements” was on People’s Top Ten Books of the year 2013, it was also an Irish Times Best book.

Sullivan’s writing has found its way into many publications, some of which include: The Chicago Tribune, New York magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Elle, Real Simple, and Glamour. She was one of the editors of an essay anthology called “Click: When We Knew We Were Feminists”.

“Commencement” was J. Courtney Sullivan’s debut novel and was released in the year 2009. Four women (who are named April, Bree, Celia, and Sally) have gotten assigned to the same dorm room in their first year at Smith College, and they could not have less in common with one another.

Celia (who is a lapsed Catholic) arrives and has a bottle of vodka in one of her bags and her grandmother’s rosary beads. Bree the beautiful still wants the guy that she left back in Savannah; Sally (dressed in Lillyy Pulitzer) is still trying to get over her mother dying. April (she is a radical feminist and redheaded and wears a shirt that says “Riot: Don’t Diet) wants transferred immediately.

They bond through experiencing the highs and lows that come with early adulthood. April finds that she has friends that she can tell things to. Sally tries to find solace in a professor. Bree falls for a guy that she could never bring home to meet her traditional family. Celia loses all her trust that she had in men on a terrible evening.

Four years after graduating, they get back together for Sally’s wedding. Their friendship has changed, but they are still strongly devoted to each other. They are schooled in the ideals of feminism and have to figure out how it applies to the real world and their daily lives. Celia, Sally, and Bree face maiden names, their parents disapproving, and one night stands; it also comes with some heartbreak and loneliness. For April it means something more dangerous, due to the fact that she has devoted her life to activism.

Fans of the novel found this to be witty and fun; it even had some interesting twists in it, not to mention it is about multiple women and not just one woman dealing with her attraction to some guy. Some found the way that Sullivan is able to provide perspective on different kinds of relationships to be refreshing. You will not be able to put the novel down for very long.

“Maine” is J. Courtney Sullivan’s second novel that she published and was released in the year 2011. For the Kelleher family, the state of Maine is where children run around in packs, showers are taken outside, and you gather around a piano to sing old Irish songs. Their property on the beach, which was won because of a barroom bet, sits on three acres of both pine and sand that is placed between different parts of rocky coast. One tree has the initials “A.H” on it.

While at the cottage (built by some Kellehers), the nosy grandchildren go through the stuff in the drawers, cocktails are had after morning mass, and old grudges are left to fester under the surface.

Three generations of Kelleher women go to the property one summer, and they all bring their hopes and fears with them. Maggie is pregnant and thirty-two years old; she waits for the best time to tell her boyfriend (an imperfect man) the news. Ann Marie (Kelleher by marriage) directs the frustration she has on the domestic front to an inadvisable crush and an obsession with dollhouses. The black sheep (named Kathleen) did not want to return to the cottage ever. Alice (the matriarch of the whole thing) would like to trade the whole cottage to undo what happened one night, a long time ago.

Fans of the novel found this easy to be caught up in and its moving story; plus it had good drama. Some found that they were impressed by the novel especially the way that you sympathize with each woman in the book, even if they are bad characters. Sullivan is able to pack a lot of material into the book, without ever confusing the reader at all. All of the characters have their own personality which is an important thing when the book has multiple female narrators.

“The Engagements” is J. Courtney Sullivan’s third novel that she published and was released in the year 2013. This book is about Frances Gerety, who came up with the slogan “A Diamond is Forever”, she was a real pioneering advertising woman. She is the reason that the tradition that men give their fiances diamond engagement rings. This is despite never marrying herself. Four unique marriages will test how true these words really are.

Evelyn and her husband have been married for forty years now, but the divorce their son has been going through has put them at rare odds. James (a paramedic) has been haunted the whole time he has been married by the expectations his wife’s family has for him. A woman named Delphine has left the peaceful life she had in French for the rocky but exciting romance that she has in America. Kate (who is with Dan) has witnessed every single kind of wedding there is and wants nothing to do with one for herself.

Fans of the novel felt that the story stuck with them for days after they had finished the book. Some felt that the story picks up a head of steam throughout and you never want to put it down or be done with it. The novel is able to do a fascinating thing in the way it demonstrates the effect that advertising has on people. The biggest example would be the way that before the slogan, diamond rings were not a part of the engagement process, but now it is the most important part of the whole thing.

Book Series In Order » Authors » J. Courtney Sullivan

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