Agnes Lee, a never-married author, and Polly Wister, a devoted wife and mother, have known each other since birth. They both were born into affluent Philadelphia Quaker families. In the 1870s, Agnes’ great-grandfather purchased 145 acres on the Maine coast and named the area Fellowship Point. He eventually built five houses for his family, his brother’s family, and three friends. There was also a home for the servants. The homes were individually owned, but the majority of the land was owned by an association with very specific rules on membership and dissolution. In the year 2000, a local developer set his sites on the land. Agnes, who is in her 80s, wants nothing more than to protect it from commercial exploitation. Unfortunately, Polly’s oldest son who will inherit her association voting rights, is very friendly with the developer. Polly is torn between her friendship with Agnes and her love for her son. Agnes’ cousin who is the third association voting member is also at odds with the two women after he accuses one of their friends of a crime.
Agnes is well-known for a children’s book series called “When Nan” based on the various adventures of a ten-year-old girl. A young book editor, Maud Silver, tries to convince Agnes to write her memoirs to coincide with an upcoming repackaging of the When Nan series. Unbeknown to anyone, including, Polly, Agnes has been keeping a secret that she had planned on taking to her grave. Maud is a single mother to a daughter named Clemence and is also caring for her mentally ill mother. Over the next two years, Maud’s tenacity convinces Agnes to write the memoir, setting the stage for the author’s secret to be discovered. And through Maud and Agnes’ friendship, another secret is revealed that surprises all of the women.
If I had realized that Fellowship Point is 592 pages long, I probably would not have requested an Advanced Reader copy. I typically find long books to have too much fluff. In this case, I found Polly’s storyline to be mundane at times. I would have made her a minor character and focused on Agnes. That being said, Alice Elliott Dark is a gifted writer. I look forward to reading more of her works.
4-stars. Many thanks to Scribner and NetGalley for my advanced reader copy. This book will be published on July 5, 2022.