Alice Elliott Dark Writes Women in Their 80s Like Men in Their 30s

From Electric Lit:

Alice Elliott Dark’s Fellowship Point is an abundantly generous novel, rich in the love of a lifelong friendship and the beauty of Maine in the summer. It opens with a map of its titular location—a small peninsula where five wealthy Philadelphia Quaker families established summer homes decades ago. Fellowship Point is private property, a fact which drives one of the novel’s main conflicts. What will happen to this sanctuary after the point’s primary caretakers, Agnes Lee and Polly Garner—both in their 80s—die? 

I always relish a map at the start of a book, as I did this one, studying it closely, even though the word it depicts meant nothing to me—yet. But as I read each marked location grew in significance, and by the final chapter I felt as connected to this place as I do to its inhabitants.

Agnes and Polly are old women by any definition, set in their ways formed by their families, by Philadelphia society, by living through most of the 20th century, by leveraging their strengths and coping with their weaknesses. Agnes is a successful author and Polly is a homemaker—each leads a life their friend has not lived. And yet the differences in their world views and personalities spur them both to grow and to change, undergoing personal evolutions that provide the novel’s most poignant revelations.

Fellowship Point may be private property, but as a setting for a novel, it’s open to all. To be invited there, and be welcomed into this deep and lasting friendship—the likes of which many of us will never have—is a gift Alice Elliot Dark gives to her readers. 

Link to the rest at Electric Lit