Maine has long been a haven for authors, as both a state of residence and as a setting for their works. Here are three books with deep ties to the state to watch for this summer.

Photo courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

“Roughhouse Friday,” by Jaed Coffin. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27.00, hardcover, on sale June 18.

In his second memoir, Brunswick writer Jaed Coffin recounts his years as an amateur boxer in southeastern Alaska while also reckoning with his past and family struggles. “Roughhouse Friday” shines particularly when Coffin describes the fights themselves, devoting equal weight to the kinetic physical acts and to the deep emotion behind them. It’s a stunning examination of growing up, toxic masculinity, and how fathers (and society) make and break our ideas of what it means to be a man.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Ballantine Books

“Evvie Drake Starts Over,” by Linda Holmes. Ballantine Books. $26.00, hardcover, on sale June 25.

In her debut novel, National Public Radio host Linda Holmes brings readers to small-town Maine. The book concerns itself with a budding relationship between the recently widowed and solitary Evvie and Dean, a former major league pitcher who escapes to Maine to try to conquer his case of the yips. Holmes is a smart plotter with a gift for naturalistic (and funny) dialogue, and “Evvie Drake” is an absolutely charming romance that’s perfect for a summer escape.

 

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Knopf

“Chances Are …” by Richard Russo. Knopf. $26.95, hardcover, on sale July 30.

After a string of nonfiction works, short stories and a sequel (of sorts), “Chances Are …” is Pulitzer-winner Richard Russo’s first standalone novel in a decade. While its northeastern setting will be familiar to Russo’s readers – the book is set on Martha’s Vineyard – the suspenseful, mystery-like beats of the story are a new flex from the author. For fans and new readers, the book blends the new with Russo’s classic knack for character, comedy and storytelling.

 

 

Josh Christie is co-owner of Print: A Bookstore in Portland, and is a freelance writer.


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