Fellowship Point by Alice Elliott Dark: A review

Fellowship Point refers both to the place name of a community in Maine and to the actual lifelong "fellowship" or friendship between two women, now in their eighties. The women are Agnes and Polly. They were both born to affluent Philadelphia Quaker families.

Agnes is a successful author of children's books featuring a ten-year-old girl named Nan. She has never married and has no children of her own. 

Polly is a traditional wife and mother of a son named James. James is keen to see Fellowship Point developed. Agnes and Polly are determined to see the place protected from such "progress."

The storyline of the novel involves a young editor named Maud from the publishing house that handles Agnes' books. Maud is a single mother to a daughter. She is very interested in Agnes' life story and approaches her about writing a memoir. Agnes is absorbed in her own health issues and in making sure that Fellowship Point is protected; she has little energy left over to think about writing a memoir.

A secondary character who plays an important role in the plot is a man named Robert who was unjustly, erroneously accused of robbery and assault and as a result, spent years in prison. All of these characters are deeply involved in the decision that is to be made about what will become of Fellowship Point.

Back in the late 1800s, Agnes' great-grandfather had purchased 145 acres on the Maine coast and named the place Fellowship Point. He built five houses for family and friends and also a sixth house for servants who would work for the families. Most of the land eventually was controlled by an association with specific rules about membership and dissolution. In the twenty-first century, the land came to the attention of a local developer who recognized possibilities for its commercial exploitation.  

Alice Elliott Dark develops her story very slowly over almost six hundred pages of fiction. Honestly, there were moments when that story seemed a bit too slow and my interest would begin to flag, but then the writer would pull me right back in and I would keep turning those pages because I just had to see what was going to happen next to Agnes and Polly and Maud and Robert. I was completely invested in all of those characters and wanted to see how their stories would turn out, hoping all the while for the best for them.

This is only my second 5-star read for this year. (The first was Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt.) I can't say that this is necessarily the best-written book or the most original that I've read, but it was a book that I connected with from its first pages, and that connection stayed with me all the way to the end. What a pleasure it was to encounter it and spend time with its characters!

Comments

  1. You'd have to be invested in the lives of all those characters to keep with it for 600+ pages. I have a hard time committing to such long books these days...probably because I just don't have the patience for them right now. I used to read longer books, but I need more short and sweet reads these days. Glad you ended up loving this one so much! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I learned early on in my life as a reader of Dickens that if there are characters that I love, I will stick with the story regardless of the length. And I did love and identify with Agnes and Polly.

      Delete
  2. Like you mentioned on my blog; It's so rare for you to give 5 stars. This sounds like a really good book, so I'm adding it to my TBR!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was just what I wanted to read at the time that I read it so it hit that sweet spot.

      Delete
  3. This is definitely going on my list!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree with you about this book. I loved it, but, it was so slow at times yet, never did I want to quit reading. I loved the way the author easily drew me back - fabulous writing. I think I read the book was 20 years in the making.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had not heard that but I can easily believe it. It is an intricate story with a lot of detail and I would think it would take a goodly amount of time to get it right. And the writer did "get it right."

      Delete
    2. I agree with you and Diane. The pace was slow at times, but the compelling aspects of the story kept me reading. I will always take a short book over a long one (just my personal preference) so the length and the occasional drag knocked a point off my final rating of the book.

      Delete
    3. I went back and forth with myself about the rating but in the end, I liked the book so much that it overcame any hesitancy I had.

      Delete
  5. Wow 5 stars! Nice. Sounds like you became invested in their lives. I rarely give 5 stars either but sometimes it happens!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, those five-star reads are few and far between.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Poetry Sunday: Hymn for the Hurting by Amanda Gorman

Poetry Sunday: Don't Hesitate by Mary Oliver

Open Season (Joe Pickett #1) by C.J. Box - A review