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Fellowship Point: A Novel by Alice Elliott…
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Fellowship Point: A Novel (edition 2022)

by Alice Elliott Dark (Author)

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1359174,740 (4.3)3
The masterful story of a lifelong friendship between two very different women with shared histories and buried secrets, tested in the twilight of their lives, set across the arc of the 20th century. Celebrated children's book author Agnes Lee is determined to secure her legacy--to complete what she knows will be the final volume of her pseudonymously written Franklin Square novels; and even more consuming, to permanently protect the peninsula of majestic coast in Maine known as Fellowship Point. To donate the land to a trust, Agnes must convince shareholders to dissolve a generations-old partnership. And one of those shareholders is her best friend, Polly. Polly Wister has led a different kind of life than Agnes: that of a well-off married woman with children, defined by her devotion to her husband, and philosophy professor with an inflated sense of stature. She exalts in creating beauty and harmony in her home, in her friendships, and in her family. Polly soon finds her loyalties torn between the wishes of her best friend and the wishes of her three sons--but what is it that Polly wants herself? Agnes's designs are further muddied when an enterprising young book editor named Maud Silver sets out to convince Agnes to write her memoirs. Agnes's resistance cannot prevent long-buried memories and secrets from coming to light with far-reaching repercussions for all. Fellowship Point reads like a classic 19th-century novel in its beautifully woven, multilayered narrative, but it is entirely contemporary in the themes it explores; a deep and empathic interest in women's lives, the class differences that divided us, the struggle to protect the natural world, and, above all, a reckoning with intimacy, history, and posterity. It is a masterwork from Alice Elliott Dark.… (more)
Member:MelisaVick
Title:Fellowship Point: A Novel
Authors:Alice Elliott Dark (Author)
Info:Scribner / Marysue Rucci Books (2022), 592 pages
Collections:Your library
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Fellowship Point: A Novel by Alice Elliott Dark

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Agnes and Polly, lifelong friends, native Philadelphians, Quakers and members of the Fellowship Point Association - a simple book about not so simple relationships encompassing eight decades.

I came to believe that there is nothing to replace an old friend who knew everything.

“This story is only a sleight of hand, a disguise for how the book is shaped, which is the real subject ……it isn’t about the plot. Like all the best books and works or art, it’s about form, ultimately.”

I loved this book. ( )
  kimkimkim | Sep 18, 2022 |
Agnes Lee and Polly Wister have been best friends since childhood, when their families split their time between Philadelphia and summer houses in Maine. Fellowship Point was the brainchild of their Quaker ancestors, and is managed collectively by the current homeowners. When the book opens in the early 2000s, Agnes and Polly are in their 70s and Fellowship Point is threatened by younger family members with a bent towards real estate development.

Agnes is the author of a wildly popular children’s book series, and has remained single. Her other work has been equally successful, but written under a pseudonym. No one, not even Polly, knows the author’s true identity. Polly has led a different sort of life: devoted to her professor husband and four children, almost to the point of subjugating herself. Yet the bonds of friendship are strong, and have sustained both women through all of life’s ups and downs.

From the beginning it’s clear there are long-standing secrets and conflicts to be explored, which are gradually revealed as the narrative shifts between time periods and other characters are introduced. For the most part, this all works, especially a twisty reveal that I didn’t see coming. But in the final chapters the novel felt rushed, with loose ends being tied up far too quickly and conveniently. Still, if you like a good family saga, you’ll enjoy Fellowship Point. ( )
  lauralkeet | Sep 2, 2022 |
I loved this novel, despite a few flaws. 80 year old women rarely feature as the central characters in fiction, and as an old lady I found it deeply gratifying to see this done. The two central characters are 80 when the novel begins, and have been friends since infancy. Agnes, a writer, is a staunch (and sometimes difficult) writer who sticks to her principals: Polly, a wife and mother, is much better with people but has difficulty standing up for herself. Their relationship is central to the novel, which ranges back and forth, showing how each woman became what she is now -- and how they are still growing and changing. There is a wide range of other characters, and a plot line which keeps pulling the reader forward. It is also a novel of ideas -- about men and women, about friendship, about what we owe other people. I do have a few quibbles. Several (though not all) of her male characters are a bit one dimensional. Also, the plot twist that wraps everything up is quite a stretch. Because of that, I shaved off half a star, but still strongly recommend this book. ( )
1 vote annbury | Aug 10, 2022 |
This is a well-written novel that celebrates friendship, family and the love of a special place in Maine known as Fellowship Point. It also addresses the challenges of grief, heartbreak and sorrow for three engaging women. Agnes has never married and is known for her acclaimed children's book series. Her best friend from birth, Polly has three sons and one deceased daughter. Their families were wealthy Quakers from Philadelphia who bought and established five family homes on 145 acres in Maine that they named Fellowship Point. Maud is a single mother of a young daughter and cares for her mentally ill mother, Heidi. Maud is Agnes' book editor with the hope of convincing Agnes to write a memoir. Their professional relationship becomes a lasting friendship when Maud visits Fellowship Point at a time when there is contention about the future of this land due to a developer's increasing interest.

These characters, including those peripheral to the story, are thoroughly developed in a slowly-evolving manner. It required a suspension of disbelief for me when Heidi was ultimately revealed as having a strong connection to Fellowship Point and, especially, to Agnes. ( )
  pdebolt | Jul 23, 2022 |
Another anomaly for me. I usually don't read books that are this long and when I do, I wonder where the editor was. Not the case here. I felt like I knew Agnes, Maud and Polly and that I had been to Fellowship Point. It rang true to me emotionally and I did not expect the plot twist toward the end. This is an absorbing read for any time of year but especially in a New England summer. ( )
  ccayne | Jul 17, 2022 |
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The masterful story of a lifelong friendship between two very different women with shared histories and buried secrets, tested in the twilight of their lives, set across the arc of the 20th century. Celebrated children's book author Agnes Lee is determined to secure her legacy--to complete what she knows will be the final volume of her pseudonymously written Franklin Square novels; and even more consuming, to permanently protect the peninsula of majestic coast in Maine known as Fellowship Point. To donate the land to a trust, Agnes must convince shareholders to dissolve a generations-old partnership. And one of those shareholders is her best friend, Polly. Polly Wister has led a different kind of life than Agnes: that of a well-off married woman with children, defined by her devotion to her husband, and philosophy professor with an inflated sense of stature. She exalts in creating beauty and harmony in her home, in her friendships, and in her family. Polly soon finds her loyalties torn between the wishes of her best friend and the wishes of her three sons--but what is it that Polly wants herself? Agnes's designs are further muddied when an enterprising young book editor named Maud Silver sets out to convince Agnes to write her memoirs. Agnes's resistance cannot prevent long-buried memories and secrets from coming to light with far-reaching repercussions for all. Fellowship Point reads like a classic 19th-century novel in its beautifully woven, multilayered narrative, but it is entirely contemporary in the themes it explores; a deep and empathic interest in women's lives, the class differences that divided us, the struggle to protect the natural world, and, above all, a reckoning with intimacy, history, and posterity. It is a masterwork from Alice Elliott Dark.

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