• Title: The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories
  • Author: Sarah Orne Jewett Anita Shreve
  • ISBN: 9780451527578
  • Page: 258
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories In at the age of forty seven Sarah Orne Jewett published this classic novel of a female writer looking for seclusion and inspiration in the coastal town of Dunnet Landing Maine Returning to th
    In 1896, at the age of forty seven, Sarah Orne Jewett published this classic novel of a female writer looking for seclusion and inspiration in the coastal town of Dunnet Landing, Maine Returning to the women and men of small New England towns for the accompanying collection of short fiction, this remarkable volume weaves a colorful and moving tapestry of the grand complexIn 1896, at the age of forty seven, Sarah Orne Jewett published this classic novel of a female writer looking for seclusion and inspiration in the coastal town of Dunnet Landing, Maine Returning to the women and men of small New England towns for the accompanying collection of short fiction, this remarkable volume weaves a colorful and moving tapestry of the grand complexities, joys, and beauties of life.

    One Reply to “The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories”

    1. "… the first salt wind from the east, the first sight of a lighthouse set boldly on its outer rock, the flash of a gull, the waiting procession of seaward-bound firs on an island, made me feel solid and definite again, instead of a poor, incoherent being. Life was resumed, and anxious living blew away as if it had not been. I could not breathe deep enough or long enough. It was a return to happiness."I seem to keep returning to these tranquil, quiet stories of a time gone by, when life was sim [...]

    2. When I decided to read this book again now as a "buddy" read, I had a residual memory from a distant reading maybe 25 or more years ago. A memory that was positive but nebulous. Now I have a new, and, happily, very precise memory to carry forward. I love this book with its portrait of the rural towns and peoples of New England, primarily of the state of Maine and primarily of the town of Dunnet's Landing, seen through the eyes of a visitor from the city, a woman sympathetic to the people and lif [...]

    3. This chronicle of life in a Maine coastal village around the end of the 19 century was a pleassure to read. It's a novel, but each chapter has the feel of a short story, stories of this very quaint place and the people who live there. It's inhabitants are mostly widows, husbands lost to the sea, and aging seamen, all struggling to make a daily living off the land and sea. But best of all, the author paints a visually stunning picture of the landscape and seascape of the setting. Jewett was born [...]

    4. This is the 4th or 5 the time I've read this book, and once again I returned to a simpler time with gentle people in a small Maine village. Most of the women in these tales are widows or spinsters, making the best of their lives despite disappointments and diminished circumstances, finding happiness in small things: a nice cup of tea and a warm fire on a stormy night, an unexpected visit from a neighbor, a beautiful day, or seeing relatives at a family reunion. I read these stories at bedtime, a [...]

    5. i feel that my love for this book indicates that i am actually a 57-year-old trapped in the body of a 27-year-old.

    6. As a teenager, Jewett was inspired to become a writer by her indignation over the sneering condescension with which summer visitors from Boston treated the country people of her beloved native Maine. "I determined to teach the world," she wrote, "[that they] were not the awkward, ignorant set those people seemed to think. I wanted the world to know their grand, simple lives; and so far as I had a mission, when I first began to write, I think that was it." Most readers of these stories will feel [...]

    7. The Country of the Pointed Firs was first published in 1896, when Sarah Orne Jewett was about 47 years old. The only thing I had previously read by Sarah Orne Jewett was “The White Heron,” which seems to be the short story that is always chosen for the anthologies. It is a fine story, but it seems to be a rather limited example of Jewett’s writing, which is otherwise so full of human interactions and details of social life in coastal Maine.The details are the glory of this book. I learn wh [...]

    8. 1. The ReturnThere was something about the coast town of Dunnet which made it seem more attractive than other maritime villages of Eastern Maine. Perhaps it was the simple fact of acquaintance with that neighborhood which made it so attachingLike the unnamed narrator of The Country of Pointed Firs, I also felt a gentle happiness at my return to Dunnet Landing in my second reading of this book. How I love its quiet serenity. On the surface, it, like Cranford, is about a town full of dear old ladi [...]

    9. I have just rediscovered a favorite old author. One of the antique books from the 1800's sitting on my bookshelf is a collection of Sarah's short stories, and I love every one of them.The setting for many of these stories is coastal Maine, and so the pull of the sea and the old village way of life is very strong in them.I'm charmed with her language from the past and the postcard view of a simpler time long gone, when Nature spoke and pies were the solution to the world's problems, when Watchers [...]

    10. This is classically prosed dialect as spoken in a certain mid-summer place and time. It is exquisite. The locale is late nineteenth century into earliest 1900's Maine coastal town- and the web of islands that surround its rocky shores. Surroundings are detailed to form and purpose and entwined within its occupants' mood. The characterizations of these elder women, the visitor and some of the sea-faring men who visit come completely alive. Beautiful read.

    11. Recommended to me by my daughter, this book is just a literary masterpiece. I will never know why I had to read Ivanhoe in high school instead of something like this. I never knew this author existed. Jewett's use of language just sets a standard few authors have ever mastered. I just loved it.

    12. Country of Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett is not a book many would lift off the library shelf but I'd read a few of her short stories, including one that I used successfully in an intermediate level ESL class with a large variety of students. For that reason, I was curious to read the author's longer work and found its descriptions of Maine landscapes to be interesting but exceedingly bleak. Entering Jewitt's world was like being cast backward into a time near the start of the 20th Century, t [...]

    13. I completed my annual re-read of Country of the Pointed Firs more in love with it and my native New England than ever. So much so that I did something I had (for some inexplicable reason) not yet done. I continued on and read the titular "Other Stories."There is something happening in Jewett's writing that borders on perfection. And I don't mean that hyperbolically. Her slice of small town life is not for every occasion, I'll admit it. If you're in the mood for a thriller or something wrought wi [...]

    14. I have no idea where this book came from, sometime in the past few years it just sort of appeared on the bookshelf in my old room at my parentsI probably picked it up at a yard sale before leaving for school one summer.Anyway, it is regarded as something of a classic and despite my misgivings at having it be lumped with Huck Finn and the Scarlet Letter, two books I despise, I decided to give it a whirl.It's full of engaging sentences, dead-on dialect and good folkisms; it's real slice of life st [...]

    15. Sarah Orne Jewett was a woman profoundly admired by the young Willa Cather; and, in fact, Jewett told Cather (paraphrasing) 'to stop writing like Henry James, and just tell the story.' Cather was so affected by Jewett's influence that she dedicated her 1913 novel, "O' Pioneers" to Jewett. This collection of Jewett's short stories is magnificent; they are a quiet, pastoral, lovely and idyllic look at a small slice of Americana in a small Maine sea-side village at the end of the 19th century, and [...]

    16. Written in 1896 (the year after my grandmother was born, this book made me think so much of my own life and family. I was continually distracted as I made comparison after comparison of life in a small rural community where all such small towns run together. It just made me think of the simpler time of my own life - back when there were noo computers, no pagers, no cellphones ringing all the time. We had one phone (and the number was always something like Oxford 2-3462) and a black and white TV [...]

    17. A nice, little known American classic. I've been meaning to read this for years, and I'm glad I did, although it wasn't quite a good as I had hoped for.It wasn't always an easy book to read, IMO, but the character studies and sense of place were beautifully drawn by Jewett, with some real food for thought to mull over and savor.This collection of loosely woven story vignettes will likely bore a reader craving plot and action. However, if you're in the mood to cerebrally explore a small Maine coa [...]

    18. 4.5 stars. The Country of the Pointed Firs itself was a solid 5 for me, but most of the short stories were more like a 4. My favorites of the short stories were "A Native of Winby," "Decoration Day," "The Flight of Betsey Lane," and "The Hiltons' Holiday."

    19. I am in good HISTORICAL company when I state that this short book is one the finest literary pieces ever written by an American. When it was published at the beginning of the 20th Century, America's greatest writers did indeed sit up and take notice. Later it seemed to be forgotten amidst the phony "he-man" fiction of the next generation.Jewett's prose here is the densest [but not ornate] and most rewarding of almost any American prose I can think of. It is not a book to be read quickly, but it [...]

    20. I share the nostalgia and love for the people of Maine depicted through the imaginary narrator in this lovely novel. Our spokesperson comes to a small town to find inspiration and solitude. Her generous and open heart invites her into the lives of these isolated folks, and I like to think that she is forever changed.For example, when the narrator travels to an isolated island to meet the mother of her hostess, Mrs. Todd she writes, "Lookin' pretty well for an old lady, ain't she?" said Mrs. Todd [...]

    21. No more Maine classics, I promise! But this loosely structured novel from 1896—a collection of sketches set in a fictional coastal town—is an unsung gem and fully deserving of the label "classic." Jewett (like Miriam Colwell, author ofContentment Cove) was a Down East lady in a Boston marriage; she dedicated her life to Annie Fields, the widow of a prominent publisher. Field and Jewett (with their two maids) spent a month summering in Martinsville, Maine, believed to be the inspiration for D [...]

    22. One of those important books by women that were not part of the canon when I was in college.At first it feels as if each chapter is a character sketch of an inhabitant in a small town. But gradually the "sketches" intertwine. And the context grows from individual to family to the town community and beyond as characters become part of Dunnetts Landing, Dunnetts Landing becomes part of Maine, Maine becomes part of New England, and New England becomes part of the world as the sea provides a link wi [...]

    23. Published in 1896, this well known novella covers the summer stay of a fictional seacoast town in Maine. There is little plot, merely some interesting portraits of local characters and charming depictions of typical village scenes and events intended to evoke a way of life that was disappearing even then. An old sea captain entertains her with tales of his career and a shipwreck. The visitor befriends her herbalist landlady and accompanies her on forays, including a boat trip to visit her mother [...]

    24. While there is not much that is truly remarkable about Jewett's stories, they are, for me, very comfortable. I hope to do more study of her work in the future in order to understand all the reasons that they are comfortable yet unremarkable. The most obvious is that her stories are regional and portray good stories about strong women. Recommended for those who enjoy female writing from the late 19th and early 20th century.Update 2014 - last summer I visited Southern Maine and the house where Jew [...]

    25. This is a feel-good book with none of the guilt! It's smart, it's beautifully written--and it's got no love story (despite its being about a young, single woman on her own in a small town). The depiction of Maine is as vivid as a photograph. The setting is the 1800s, so a woman without a husband--and not LOOKING for a husband--is something of an oddity in the first place. But the people she meets are interesting, and there's a restfulness to each chapter that's rare in fine literature. I genuine [...]

    26. Female friendship and love. Pleasure in boredom. This book was boring in a healthy meditative way that I loved and beautifully written. I adored it all. "Perhaps it was the simple fact of acquaintance with that neighborhood which made it so attaching, and gave such interest to the rocky shore and dark woods, and the few houses which seemed to be securely wedged and tree-nailed in among the ledges by the Landing." "At first the tiny house of Mrs Almira Todd, which stood with its end to the street [...]

    27. I wish people had more appreciation for this type of writing. I wish Jewett had written more and I wish more of what she wrote was still available.I first read an excerpt from the principal story in my college American Lit course and it whetted my appetite for the full novella. Unfortunately, there never seemed to be any urgency about getting to it. In the college course, it was classified as "local color." I prefer to think of it as just very good writing. Jewett's portrayals of dialect and cha [...]

    28. A pleasure to read. If you do visual imagery to relax and go to your happy place, add reading this book with your feet up, by a sweet little pond, sipping a tall drink, add some of your favorite things here_______________.

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