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The Country Of The Pointed Firs

by Sarah Orne Jewett

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About Book

From Publishers Weekly
Jewett's 1896 novel and selected stories about the fictional town of Dunnett Landing in rural Maine.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From AudioFile
A summer's idyll unfolds at Dunnett's Landing on the coast of Maine. This turn-of-the-century classic is read by Cindy Hardin, whose mellifluous tones may seem sentimental to some younger readers. But for those of us old enough to remember reading aloud by the fire, her voice conjures up a mood rich with bittersweet memory. The characters are well-depicted although confusion in the regional accent and mispronunciations occasionally occur. The overall effect, however, is convincing and professional. S.B.S. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Suzanne Leslie Simmons
Sarah Orne Jewett draws the reader into The Country of the Pointed Firs with scenic descriptions, honest characters, and conversations written with true dialect and emotion. While you'll find no adventure within these pages, the series of everyday events which are recounted create a warm and enchanting tale of simpler times. The female narrator speaks in the first person, inviting you to see her world through her eyes as she observes life in the New England seaside village where she is spending the summer in the late 1800s. During her stay she develops a friendship with her hostess, as well as her hostess's mother and brother who live on a nearby island, and learns much about the history and dwellers of the town. Each person, including the narrator, seems to find satisfaction in his or her life's course, while never quite believing that neighbor or kin holds the same contentedness. At the reunion of a local family the narrator comments, "More than one face among the Bowdens showed that only opportunity and stimulus were lacking - a narrow set of circumstances had caged a fine character and held it captive." The bonds and love of community and kin are clear and strong, and it is difficult to leave these people at the end of the book, yet the narrator's words offer assurance and a final challenge: "Their counterparts are in every village in the world, thank heaven, and the gift to one's life is only in its discernment." -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14.

"Immense?it is the very life."
?Rudyard Kipling

Book Description
This Elibron Classics book is a reprint of a 1896 edition by Houghton, Mifflin and Company, Boston, New York.

Download Description
Sarah Orne Jewett's place in American letters was assured when this acclaimed collection of stories about her native state of Maine was first published in 1896. Her crisp style and skillful observation of people and places gives her work lasting appeal.

Card catalog description
The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896) is Sarah Orne Jewett's most popular book. In its elegantly constructed sketches, a worldly, anonymous writer spends the summer in a tiny Maine fishing village where she hopes to find peace and solitude. As she gains the acceptance and trust of her hosts, the community's power and complexity are slowly revealed. While its episodes portray the difficulty and loneliness of rural life, they also display its dignity and strength, particularly as expressed in the bonds between women: mothers, daughters, and friends. Written during a time of rapid change and national conflict, surprisingly modern in its treatment of character and its literary techniques, The Country of the Pointed Firs addresses the delicate and uncertain art of understanding others. This centennial edition contains a facsimile of the original text, thereby restoring the novel to Jewett's own version, which had been considerably altered in other published versions, plus four related stories. Further enhancing the importance of this volume is editor Sarah Way Sherman's introduction, which includes a sketch of Jewett's life and professional development, a commentary on textual accuracy, and a discussion of the book's themes and techniques as well as its historical context.

From the Publisher
Sarah Orne Jewett's place in American letters was assured when this acclaimed collection of stories about her native state of Maine was first published in 1896. Her crisp style and skillful observation of people and places gives her work lasting appeal.

From the Inside Flap
The story of an endearing, unlikely friendship set against the backdrop of a remote and beautiful Maine coastal town, The Country of the Pointed Firs is one of Sarah Orne Jewett's most loved works, and it quickly earned her a reputation as a talented writer upon its publication. Praised by Alice Brown for its "idyllic atmosphere of country life," Jewett's moving novel shows her intimate understanding of New England and its unique inhabitants, whose prickly exteriors often concealed a warm and loyal nature.

This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition includes four additional Dunnet Landing stories: "The Queen's Twin," "A Dunnet Shepherdess," "The Foreigner," and "William's Wedding."

From the Back Cover
"Immense--it is the very life."
--Rudyard Kipling

About the Author
Sarah Orne Jewett (1849 - 1909) was born and raised in South Berwick, Maine. Before publication of The Country of the Pointed Firs, she published the novels A Country Doctor (1884) and A Marsh Island (1885), and nine collections of short stories.

Sarah Way Sherman is Associate Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire and author of Sarah Orne Jewett, An American Persephone (UPNE, 1989) and numerous articles on 19th-century women writers.



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