Celebrated children’s book author, eighty-year-old spinster, Agnes Lee, has left an indelible mark on the literary world. But her goal to secure her legacy and protect the majestic coastline of Maine’s Fellowship Point really drives her. Now that the next generation is determined to sell the land to a developer, Agnes is adamant about protecting this bird sanctuary by creating a land trust, especially after her third breast cancer diagnosis.
However, her path is fraught with obstacles, not the least of which is convincing shareholders to dissolve a generations-old partnership. And to make matters worse, one of those shareholders is her best friend, Polly Wister. Agnes and Polly are childhood friends who grew up together in 1930s Philadelphia and summered in their cottages on Fellowship Point, an unspoiled coastal Maine peninsula shared by their Quaker families for generations.
Polly has lived a different life than Agnes. Despite her wealth and privilege, she has devoted her life to creating beauty and harmony in her home, friendships, and family. But as Agnes’s request pits her against the wishes of her three sons, Polly finds herself at a crossroads, torn between her loyalties and desires.
An enterprising young book editor named Maud Silver sets out to convince a cantankerous Agnes to write her memoirs, throwing a wrench into Agnes’s already complicated plans. The two form a unique attachment and Maud’s tenacity reveals long-held secrets.
As a woman of a certain age, it was hard for me to read about Agnes, Polly, and her husband growing old. Getting old certainly isn’t for sissies. Yet the bond between Polly and Agnes was so endearing. I’m blessed to have long-term friends who support each other.
Fellowship Point’s plot was unique and well thought out. The book never really captured my attention, though, and I started losing interest almost right away. About halfway through, I was just plain bored. I found it well written, but at almost 600 pages, it was just too long. 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.
P.S. I learned something historically important about Quakers. Thomas Scattergood (aka the “Mournful Prophet” because he suffered from depression) founded Friends Hospital in North Philadelphia in 1813 as The Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason. The Quakers interpreted mental illness differently than most. They believed every person was born with an Inner Light that shone with integrity. In the mentally ill, that light flickered, but the mind might heal itself in an environment of rest, good food, fresh air, and general dedication to health. The Friends Hospital now sits on a beautiful 100-acre campus and still has the same mission.