âA peerless, contemplative page-turnerâ (Vanity Fair), The State Weâre In is about how we live in the places we have chosenâor been chosen by. Itâs about the stories we tell our families, our friends, and ourselves, the truths we may or may not see, how our affinities unite or repel us, and where we look for love.
Many of these stories are set in Maine, but The State Weâre In is about more than geographical location. Some characters have arrived in Maine by accident, others are trying to escape. The collection is woven around Jocelyn, a wry, disaffected teenager living with her aunt and uncle while attending summer school. As in life, the narratives of other characters interrupt Jocelynâs, sometimes challenging, sometimes embellishing her view.
âAnn Beattie slips into a short story as flawlessly as Audrey Hepburn wore a Givenchy gown: an iconic presentation, each line and fold falling into place but allowing room for surpriseâ (O, The Oprah Magazine). âSplendid...memorable...every pageâ¦fitted out with the blessed finery of hypnotic storytellingâ (The Washington Post), these stories describe a state of mind, a manner of being. The State Weâre In explores, through womenâs voices, the unexpected moments and glancing epiphanies of daily life.