The End of the Point

Elizabeth Graver, Author
Elizabeth Graver. Harper, $25.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-218484-9
Reviewed on: 01/14/2013
Release date: 03/01/2013
Paperback - 338 pages - 978-0-06-218485-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-233112-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4830-0345-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-4830-0346-7
Ebook - 368 pages - 978-0-06-218486-3
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-7116-3
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It’s 1942, and the Porters are coming back to Ashaunt, Mass., the piece of the New England coast they’ve always come back to, no matter that the Army is building barracks and viewing platforms there. Graver (Awake) opens her fourth novel with a beautifully evoked glimpse of the very first arrival at Ashaunt—that of the Europeans—and the native people’s eventual sale (or, alternately, “bargain, theft, or gift”) of the land. She then moves omnisciently and believably through the minds of Bea, the Porters’ Scottish nanny, and the wild Helen, the oldest daughter. As 1942 gives way to 1947, 1961, then 1970, and finally 1999, Graver also moves fluidly across time, all on this same beloved piece of land. Bea is a wonderful character, and Graver is incredibly good at evoking past, present, and future, and the ways in which they intersect. Unfortunately, the latter sections of the book, which focus mostly on Helen, no longer a wild girl, and her adult son Charlie, aren’t quite as strong, perhaps because the issues of generational strife, blowback from drug use, and land development are more familiar. That said, Graver’s gifts—her control of time, her ability to evoke place and define character—are immense. Agent: Richard Parks, the Richard Parks Agency. (Mar.)
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