Saturday, April 20, 2013

The End Of The Point by Elizabeth Graver

The year is 1942, the place Ashaunt Point, Massachusetts.  The reader is introduced to this place where well-to-do families summer, and to the Porter family.  In this first section, the Point has new residents.  The Army has built a compound where soldiers train and watch for spies or enemies trying to land.  The Porter family is there, as always.  The two oldest girls, Helen and Dossy, run wild.  The son is in the military and posted overseas.  The littlest Porter, Janie, is coddled and raised by the Scottish nurse, Bea, who has been with the Porter family for years.  This is the summer that Bea falls in love and must decide between her life with the Porters and building one on her own elsewhere.

The next section takes place a generation later.  Helen is now grown and married, as are Dossy and Jane.  They all have children of their own, who still have summers as they did themselves.  Helen is obsessed with her academic career, and sets high standards for her children. 

The 1970's are represented by Helen's son, Charlie's story.  Caught up in the hippie phase, he must decide whether to drop out of society or let his love for Ashaunt Point define his life forward.  He strays from the straight and narrow, and it is unclear what life will hold for him.

The book ends in the present, when all the children are grown with children of their own.  Yet the Porter family attachment to the land they have all shared is intact, no matter how short a time they can actually spend there each year.

Elizabeth Graver has written a luminous, generational saga that covers the life of one family.  Family secrets and arguments are covered, as well as the family loyalty and love of the land that defines them.  The children and parents strive against each other but the love and time they spend together keeps them from separating.  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction and those interested in family relationships.

No comments: