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The Country Of The Pointed Firs

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  2,520 ratings  ·  340 reviews
The country of the pointed firs was originally published: Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1896. The Dunnet Landing stories are comprised of 2 stories which appeared in The queen's twin and other stories (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1899), one which appeared in Atlantic monthly (1900) and one left unfinished at the author's death and which was published in the same magazine in Augu ...more
Paperback, 294 pages
Published November 13th 2009 by Broadview Press Inc (first published 1896)
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3.75  · 
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 ·  2,520 ratings  ·  340 reviews

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Sarah Orne Jewett was born in 1849 to a well to do New England family. Her family split their time in Boston while summering in south Bostwick, Maine. Jewett exhibited that she wanted to be a writer early on, and, after striking up a friendship with editor William Dean Howells, her stories began to appear in the Atlantic. Her most famous collection of stories, which can also be known as a novella and has gained inclusion in 500 Great Books By Women by Erica Bauermeister, is The Country of the Po ...more
This short story sequence bored me out of my mind. Other reviewers state that this book appeals to an older, more experienced audience, though I hope I do not have to reread this in my old age. Sarah Orne Jewett's acclaimed novel follows a young writer who spends a summer in Dunnet Landing, Maine. There, she befriends various townsfolk and notices the decline of the Coastal New England town itself.

While perhaps there is something to be said about how Jewett eschews typical plot constructions in
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenny (Reading Envy) by: Kate Bolick in Spinster
My note to myself, since I've tried keeping better track of why I add books to my tbr list, is that I first learned about this book in Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own by Kate Bolick. It makes sense, as the "Mrs. Todd" of this book is a wonderful example of a woman living on her own and is quite satisfied, thank you very much. The narrator of this book is a younger woman, boarding with Mrs. Todd so she can work on her writing, and she also qualifies for the spinster test (in Bolick's definit ...more
Magrat Ajostiernos
Simplemente perfecto ♥
Carol Rodríguez
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Novelita corta, bucólica, sencilla y bien narrada sobre una época y lugar ya desaparecidos. Nostálgica, bonita, habla de la soledad y los cambios generacionales de una forma que me llegó. Si bien es cierto que es una novela pausada en la que no ocurre gran cosa, los personajes y sus recuerdos y, precisamente, su narración, es de lo que más me gustó. Me resultó muy agradable gracias a ese entorno de pueblo pesquero y a las vivencias que van contando los mayores del lugar, sobre tiempos pasados y ...more
Jan 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
What a sweet, lovely book. Composed of a series of vignettes that are bound together by an overstory of a young lady spending the summer in Dunnet Landing, Maine. Jewett does a spectacular job of portraying the people who populate this seafarer's town and its neighboring islands. She captures both their relationships and sense of community and their naturally reticent and independent natures.

Every occupant of this town has his own unique tale, and while there is no driving plotline, but more a
Richard Derus
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 5* of five

My review is live today at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud. I gave it 5 stars because Jewett records the social injustice endemic in 19th century Maine in gorgeous, lush writing. I hadn't noticed this when I first read the book forty-plus years ago.
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La narradora de esta historia se traslada durante el verano a la costa de Main para retomar su trabajo como escritora ["había algo en el pueblo costero de Dunnet que lo hacía más atractivo que el resto de las aldeas marí litoral rocoso, umbríos bosques y las pocas casas que parecían encajadas en los propios arboles"].
Allí será huésped de la señora Todd, una mujer apasionada por las hierbas silvestres y cultivadas, ["pisaba el tomillo y su aroma se hacía notar entre todo lo demás"] y de
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read some other comments, and generally this one seems to appeal more to those who are a bit on the experienced side. It makes me realize how favorite books fit one's age. when I was 18, I was forced to read Pride and Prejudice. Hated it. At 23 in grad school. Hated it. At 35, a friend said: "You really should give it a try." Loved it. So, since the book didn't change, that means I did.
As a writer of young adult fiction, this is actually quite encouraging. I'm not a great writer for adults, b
Diane S ☔
Review soon.
Free download available at Project Gutenberg.

And the audio version is available at LibriVox.


I. The Return

II. Mrs. Todd

III. The Schoolhouse

IV. At the Schoolhouse Window

V. Captain Littlepage

VI. The Waiting Place

VII. The Outer Island

VIII. Green Island

IX. William

X. Where Pennyroyal Grew

XI. The Old Singers

XII. A Strange Sail

XIII. Poor Joanna

XIV. The Hermitage

XV. On Shell-heap Island

XVI. The Great Expedition

XVII. A Country Road

XVIII. The Bowden Reunion

XIX. The Feast's End

Jul 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
The Country of the Pointed Firs is a very quiet novella. It doesn't really even have a plot. Yet somehow Jewett pulls off a masterful work of rumination and lazy summer days, set in rural coastal Maine. This novella's triumph -- it was published originally in 1896 -- is its resistance to the oncoming onslaught of railroad and stylish magazine homogeneity encouraged among American people and places alike.

It's slow going with this novella at first, but, sure enough, by the turn of the last page I
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My edition not here - a lovely hardcover with artful illustrations. I'm sure reading that made all the difference. Reading an old mm pb or gutenberg on the e-reader would not have felt meaningful, or given me the experience of giving Jewett's words & ideas the consideration they deserved.

So, I'm glad. I'm glad I got to know this little fishing village in Maine, of over 100 years ago. What interesting people, talking even then about the way of life they were saying goodbye to. Unfortunately f
John Mccullough
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First published in 1894, this small jewel of a classic has survived largely unnoticed for well over a hundred years. Jewett presents us a series of character studies in a small Maine town that had once been a prosperous if not wealthy seaport and whaling village, recounting stories of or from a few of its inhabitants. Most of the stories are those of the town’s women, left widowed or single by the dangers that befell sailors in particular but late 19th century life in general. The main idea is s ...more
Cinco estrellas

Una historia sencilla y hermosa. La magia de los días que transcurren pacíficamente en un pueblo pesquero (Dunnet Landing) Maine, en Nueva Inglaterra y sus habitantes, personas carismáticas y llenas de entereza.

Todo es calma, serenidad, nostalgia...

"Las nubes habían teñido el cielo de gris, como es una temprana tarde de otoño, y la orilla se había cubierto de sombras. Pero de repente vimos como un dorado rayo de sol se filtraba y caía sobre las islas más lejanas, y una de ellas b
Cocoa Books
En La tierra de los abetos puntiagudos presenciamos el verano que pasa una escritora en un pueblo pesquero de Maine.

La autora nos quiere mostrar a través de ésta historia la vida de éste pueblo; de su aislamiento, su dureza, la forma de vida de sus habitantes.

Es un lectura ágil y ligera; qué entretiene pero no aporta mucho más. Está bien si queremos leer algo sencillo, que nos haga despejarnos y no pensar en nada negativo pero para mi ha pasado sin pena ni gloria.
“In the life of each of us, I said to myself, there is a place remote and islanded, and given to endless regret or secret happiness; we are each the uncompanioned hermit and recluse of an hour or day...”

I’ve only come across a few books like this one – so quietly beautiful that it calls no attention to itself, a book so engrossed in its subject that one forgets it was actually written – it feels so like an actual experience. The narrator like a coat one can slip into. Walking with Mrs. Todd, gat
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: year-1890s, female, novel

Do you need a lazy extended vacation? Then this is the book for you. You'll see landscapes breathtaking yet familiar, meet people who will welcome you into their homes and tell you stories of their youth. You'll learn to gather herbs and forage for supplies in the coasts of Maine. You'll take day-long or weekend-long trips to a nearby island while folklore swims in your head. You'll never feel hurried or stressed out. But if all this socializing is too much for you, don't worry. You'll find time
Mar 26, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Willa Cather
Shelves: fiction
I agree with Willa Cather that reading this book is kind of like watching paint dry. Actually the way she expressed it was,

If I were to name three American books which have the possibility of a long, long life, I would say at once, The Scarlet Letter, Huckleberry Finn, and The Country of the Pointed Firs. I can think of no others that confront time and change so serenely.

An unnamed female narrator, probably in her 30s, spends a summer in a small Maine coastal town and describes her interactions
Elizabeth (Alaska)
I'm glad I finally got to this. It is a collection of vignettes that make a novel, in much the same way as is Olive Kitteridge a novel. The stories are in the individual chapters, but the thread between them is strong. This is a quiet book, told in the first person by a visitor to a Maine fishing village. Ketchikan was one such town before tourism arrived and a good portion of our population continues to make its livelihood by harvesting the sea. Though we are on opposite coasts, I was able to r ...more
There’s a term sometimes used in film and literature studies: Mise-en-scène, French for "placing on stage.” Some writers just put me there—they make me feel like I am experiencing what the character in their story is experiencing. It involves little details about the surroundings and the character's reactions, but the key is the right details, and I’m learning that which details work differs from one reader to the next. These details didn’t work for me.

I was so looking forward to this book. I wa
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
I received this book from a Facebook chain mail type scheme where you send the next person on the list a book. ( I generally shun chain letters but this one really worked!) I can see why someone would choose this. It's a slow paced, meditative novella set in a small town in Maine in the late 1800's. An unnamed woman writer stays in town for the summer, meeting the townsfolk and falling into the rhythms of their lives. It's a very short book but I found that I could not read it quickly. Just when ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Set in a coastal town of Maine (USA) about a hundred years ago. The characters you'll meet here are practically all old people who stitch, mend clothes, make preserves, stare at the sea, collect herbs and gossip about other people living and dead. Peaceful and serene, with tall pointed firs growing everywhere, crime had yet to be invented in this place and time where people can leave their doors unlocked without worrying about being robbed. If this is going to be made into a movie the only actio ...more
JG (The Introverted Reader)
A woman spends a couple of summers in a small town on the coast of Maine. She becomes a part of the everyday life thanks to her garrulous landlady and becomes privy to many of the residents' life stories.

I read this back in college and loved it so much that I still have my copy from that class. I decided to re-read it when my husband and I visited the coast of Maine last month. I might love it even more now.

The narrator, who remains unnamed, is accepted in this tightly-knit community, but she's
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Adriii by: Magrat Ajostiernos
Shelves: historico, drama
Es curioso pensar que estoy segura que en casi cualquier otro momento pasado de mi vida este libro no habría sido para mí. Me habría frustrado su costumbrismo y mi lado más cínico habría rechazado el espíritu de la historia. Pero no ahora; no hoy. Me ha pillado un momento en el que necesitaba la paz que transmite. Un momento en el que ha sido casi terapéutico meterme en ese entrañable universo en el que los pequeños placeres definen una buena vida.
Ben Loory
Apr 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is a beautiful book. 88 pages long, 1896. willa cather apparently named this book along with the scarlet letter and the adventures of huckleberry finn as the three soon-to-be-eternal cornerstones of american lit. can't help but notice moby-dick isn't on that short list, which is weird, because while reading this i just kept thinking "wow, this is sort of like moby-dick on land minus all the story and adventure." which i'm not really sure what that means, but hey... this is a great book. it' ...more
Sarah Orne Jewett was born in New England and lived there and in Boston. The daughter of a rural doctor, as a child Jewett accompanied him on visits, her early experiences fostered an interest in New England and an affection for its inhabitants which informed her later writing. Jewett’s classic novella is narrated by a woman staying at Mrs Todd’s boarding house in a small coastal town Dunnet Landing, in New England. Mrs Todd’s house is scented with the herbs that she uses for healing balms, whic ...more
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-lit
A charming tale of life in the slow lane, perhaps equal to Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables, which features less botanical talk, and a less wild, more civilized setting. Green Gables is positively bourgeoise compared to the coastal cottages featured in Jewett. But both novels give a rich sense of the life and character of inhabitants of specific northeastern areas.
In Jewett, one of the lifelong sailors is described as a great reader all his life, which addled his brains a bit. Can this be said
Andy Tsukuyomi
A ver, puedo entender por qué esta novelita gusta tanto, sí; y, no obstante, a mí me ha aburrido soberanamente: no he sentido ningún tipo de apego hacia los personajes, la trama se me ha hecho demasiado simplona,... ¿Qué rescato, entonces, de La tierra de los abetos puntiagudos? Tanto los valores que pretende transmitir a través de unas protagonistas francamente bien construidas como el estilo de escritura de Sarah Orne Jewett, que es toda una delicia por lo poético, pero directo que es.

Esta cla
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Sarah Orne Jewett was an American novelist and short story writer, best known for her local color works set in or near South Berwick, Maine, on the border of New Hampshire, which in her day was a declining New England seaport.
“In the life of each of us, I said to myself, there is a place remote and islanded, and given to endless regret or secret happiness; we are each the uncompanioned hermit and recluse of an hour or a day; we understand our fellows of the cell to whatever age of history they may belong.” 19 likes
“I couldn't help thinkin' if she was as far out o' town as she was out o' tune, she wouldn't get back in a day.” 8 likes
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