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Commencement

by J. Courtney Sullivan

A sparkling debut novel: a tender story of friendship, a witty take on liberal arts colleges, and a fascinating portrait of the first generation of women who have all the opportunities in the world, but no clear idea about what to choose. Assigned to the same dorm their first year at Smith College, Celia, Bree, Sally, and April couldn't have less in common. Celia, a lapsed Catholic, arrives with her grandmother's rosary beads in hand and a bottle of vodka in her suitcase; beautiful Bree pines for the fiancé she left behind in Savannah; Sally, pristinely dressed in Lilly Pulitzer, is reeling from the loss of her mother; and April, a radical, redheaded feminist wearing a "Riot: Don't Diet" T-shirt, wants a room transfer immediately. Together they experience the ecstatic highs and painful lows of early adulthood: Celia's trust in men is demolished in one terrible evening, Bree falls in love with someone she could never bring home to her traditional family, Sally seeks solace in her English professor, and April realizes that, for the first time in her life, she has friends she can actually confide in. When they reunite for Sally's wedding four years after graduation, their friendships have changed, but they remain fiercely devoted to one another. Schooled in the ideals of feminism, they have to figure out how it applies to their real lives in matters of love, work, family, and sex. For Celia, Bree, and Sally, this means grappling with one-night stands, maiden names, and parental disapproval--along with occasional loneliness and heartbreak. But for April, whose activism has become her life's work, it means something far more dangerous. Written with radiant style and a wicked sense of humor,Commencementnot only captures the intensity of college friendships and first loves, but also explores with great candor the complicated and contradictory landscape facing young women today.

Dating Up: Dump the Schlump and Find a Quality Man

by J. Courtney Sullivan

We?ve all heard the stereotypes about women who marry into money?they?re gold diggers, they don?t care about love. The fact is, there are plenty of fabulous men out there who happen to be wealthy, and someone?s going to marry them. If you?re a smart, sophisticated, independent woman looking for love, why shouldn?t it be you?J. Courtney Sullivan has created a guide for women everywhere who have worked hard to get where they are in their lives and their careers and deserve to be challenged, excited, and supported?financially and otherwise?by the men in their lives. It?s not anti-feminist?it?s knowing what you need from a partner and demanding the entire package.With tips on everything from ?top 10 products for under $10,? ?8 types of rich men to avoid,? and ?9 essential clothing items that no girl should be without,? DATING UP will help women attract the right kind of man. It also gives advice on where to go to meet men and how to transition from the first few dates to having sex to meeting his mother. Stocked full of top ten lists; enlightening quotes from film, literature, and pop culture; and sidebars with extra Quick Tips, this manual will be a must-have for all women ready to find Mr. Right.

The Engagements

by J. Courtney Sullivan

From the New York Times best-selling author of Commencement and Maine comes a gorgeous, sprawling novel about marriage--about those who marry in a white heat of passion, those who marry for partnership and comfort, and those who live together, love each other, and have absolutely no intention of ruining it all with a wedding. Evelyn has been married to her husband for forty years--forty years since he slipped off her first wedding ring and put his own in its place. Delphine has seen both sides of love--the ecstatic, glorious highs of seduction, and the bitter, spiteful fury that descends when it's over. James, a paramedic who works the night shift, knows his wife's family thinks she could have done better; while Kate, partnered with Dan for a decade, has seen every kind of wedding--beach weddings, backyard weddings, castle weddings--and has vowed never, ever, to have one of her own. As these lives and marriages unfold in surprising ways, we meet Frances Gerety, a young advertising copywriter in 1947. Frances is working on the De Beers campaign and she needs a signature line, so, one night before bed, she scribbles a phrase on a scrap of paper: "A Diamond Is Forever." And that line changes everything. A rich, layered, exhilarating novel spanning nearly a hundred years, The Engagements captures four wholly unique marriages, while tracing the story of diamonds in America, and the way--for better or for worse--these glittering stones have come to symbolize our deepest hopes for everlasting love.This ebook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.

Maine

by J. Courtney Sullivan

In her best-selling debut, Commencement, J. Courtney Sullivan explored the complicated and contradictory landscape of female friendship. Now, in her highly anticipated second novel, Sullivan takes us into even richer territory, introducing four unforgettable women who have nothing in common but the fact that, like it or not, they're family. For the Kellehers, Maine is a place where children run in packs, showers are taken outdoors, and old Irish songs are sung around a piano. Their beachfront property, won on a barroom bet after the war, sits on three acres of sand and pine nestled between stretches of rocky coast, with one tree bearing the initials "A.H." At the cottage, built by Kelleher hands, cocktail hour follows morning mass, nosy grandchildren snoop in drawers, and decades-old grudges simmer beneath the surface. As three generations of Kelleher women descend on the property one summer, each brings her own hopes and fears. Maggie is thirty-two and pregnant, waiting for the perfect moment to tell her imperfect boyfriend the news; Ann Marie, a Kelleher by marriage, is channeling her domestic frustration into a dollhouse obsession and an ill-advised crush; Kathleen, the black sheep, never wanted to set foot in the cottage again; and Alice, the matriarch at the center of it all, would trade every floorboard for a chance to undo the events of one night, long ago.By turns wickedly funny and achingly sad, Maine unveils the sibling rivalry, alcoholism, social climbing, and Catholic guilt at the center of one family, along with the abiding, often irrational love that keeps them coming back, every summer, to Maine and to each other.From the Hardcover edition.

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