The BookBrowse Review

Published June 22, 2022

ISSN: 1930-0018

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Contents

In This Edition of
The BookBrowse Review

Highlighting indicates debut books

Editor's Introduction
Reviews
Hardcovers Paperbacks
First Impressions
Latest Author Interviews
Recommended for Book Clubs
Book Discussions

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Publishing Soon

Literary Fiction


Historical Fiction


Short Stories


Essays


Mysteries


Thrillers


Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Alt. History


Biography/Memoir


History, Current Affairs and Religion


Science, Health and the Environment


Travel & Adventure


Young Adults

Literary Fiction

  • Big Girl by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan (rated 4/5)

Thrillers


Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Speculative, Alt. History


Extras
  • Blog:
    6 Novels for Book Clubs That Reflect on Reproductive Rights
  • Wordplay:
    T O Thing W H T F I F I
  • Book Giveaway:
    Win a signed copy of Where the Crawdads Sing
Book Jacket

Fellowship Point
A Novel
by Alice Elliott Dark
5 Jul 2022
592 pages
Publisher: Marysue Rucci Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
Critics:
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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.

"Dark (Think of England) celebrates women's friendships and artistic mentorship in this expansive yet intimate novel. The families and their grudges and grievances fill a broad canvas, and within it Dark delves deeply into the relationships between Agnes and her work, humans and the land, mothers and children, and, most indelibly, the sustenance and joy provided by a long-held female friendship. It's a remarkable achievement." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A sweeping story of lifelong best friends...you will surely want to read this book. Elegantly structured, beautifully written, and altogether diverting, with a powerful message about land ownership in America." - Kirkus (starred review)

"Dark's novel takes on serious topics, from patriarchy to capitalism, with a multifaceted main character and a story line that's as surprising as it is satisfying. Sure to please fans of literary women's fiction like the work of Elizabeth Strout." - Library Journal

"Fellowship Point is a marvel. Intricately constructed, utterly unique, this novel set on the coast of Maine is filled with insights about writing, about the perils and freedoms of aging, about the great mysteries, as well as the pleasures, of life. The story about the relationships between three women unfolds, as life does, through joys and losses, confrontations and confessions, with twists along the way that change your perception of all that came before. This is a world is so closely and acutely observed that I felt I lived in it. I was sorry to leave." - Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Fellowship Point is deeply relevant in its concerns—about the land, the creatures who inhabit it, and the legacies of ownership, stewardship, and friendship—but it's also just a great, absorbing, and transformative read. Like a Maine glade, Dark's book is filled with light." - Jo Ann Beard, author of Festival Days and In Zanesville

"I fell into Fellowship Point--fell in step and in love with its characters, with its landscape, with its ideas about art and marriage and, above all, friendship. It's a beautifully passionate book about what it means to love a place and to love all the people of your life, and how life itself is a riveting plot and deep mystery." - Elizabeth McCracken, New York Times bestselling author of Bowlaway and The Giant's House

Alice Elliott Dark is the author Think of England and two collections of short stories, In the Gloaming and Naked to the Waist. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, The New York Times, Best American Short Stories, and O. Henry: Prize Stories, among others. Her award-winning story "In the Gloaming" was made into two films. Dark is a past recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She is an Associate Professor at Rutgers-Newark in the MFA program.

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