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The Country of the Pointed Firs

by Sarah Orne Jewett

Considered Jewett's finest work, and described by Henry James as her ''beautiful little quantum of achievement.'' Despite James's diminutives, the novel remains a classic. Because it is loosely structured, many critics view the book not as a novel, but a series of sketches; however, its structure is unified through both setting and theme. Jewett herself felt that her strengths as a writer lay not in plot development or dramatic tension, but in character development. Indeed, she determined early in her career to preserve a disappearing way of life, and her novel can be read as a study of the effects of isolation and hardship on the inhabitants who lived in the decaying fishing villages along the Maine coast.

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Author of the Day

Carrie Doyle
Carrie Doyle's mysteries are extra cozy. She loves keeping her readers guessing, but also appealing to their senses with charming scenes straight from East Hampton, quirky characters and mouthwatering food descriptions. When she is not writing her latest novel, Doyle is sure to be part of one of a myriad of projects, which may include co-writing with another author, doing magazine articles, interviewing celebrities, arranging events or cooking up a storm in the kitchen. As our Author of the Day, Doyle talks about why her books are so yummy, gives us some insights in the character of Antonia Bingham and reveals why East Hampton is her favorite place in the world.
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