Review: The End of the Point by Elizabeth Graver

March 27, 2013 Harper Books, Historical Fiction, Review 5

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (March 5, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0062184849
  • Source: Publisher

Ashaunt Point, Massachusetts has been a quiet, relaxing home to generations of the Porter family. When the Army arrives in 1942 using the Point as a look-out for enemy submarines, that quiet solace is abandoned. That summer, the lives of three of the Porter girls are forever altered. The two oldest, Helen and Dossie, run wild as teenagers do. Their youngest sister, Janie, is involved in an incident that puts an abrupt end to their summer. Finally, their nurse Bea, a woman in her mid-thirties, falls hopelessly in love. The family lays witness as they lose a family member to war just as they lose a site so lush with beauty and nature to the travesties of war.

The End of the Point follows the Porter family during the historic 1940s, from the transition of Ashaunt Point to a place of rest and luxury to a town tainted by war. Ashaunt served as a home for the Porters for decades and, as the world changes after the war, it too is permanently altered by the changing world. The novel continues to follow the Porter girls into the 1950s and 60s as they grow into woman and have children of their own. Helen’s oldest son, Charlie, is emotionally damaged after an LSD trip. This one incident sparks a series of horrid flashbacks and hallucinations. He seeks solace in Ashaunt Point, only to learn that it has been sold to developers. Time and change is never easy, but in the case of the Porters, it appears to be even more devastating.

Graver creates a remarkable world in The End of the Point. Her descriptions of the lush, Massachusetts shoreline are so vivid and realistic that readers will feel that they, too, are immersed in the beautiful scenery. The characters she creates are dynamic, coming alive right on the pages of this incredibly beautiful, yet also emotionally devastating, novel. Her world-building, the creation of time and space, is truly remarkable. She captures the essence of what is going on in the world, yet never detracting from what is going on with this singular family.

A key theme that runs throughout the novel is the characters inability to live up to the standards and expectations put upon them by their elders and society as a whole. It is this expectation that, in many cases, holds the Porter family back from their true potential.

Graver frequently changes point of views as decades pass, giving the reader a multi-layered view of the Porter family. Starting with Bea, moving on to Helen and then her son Charlie, this shift in point in view adds vast dimension to this already lush novel. I cannot put into words the beauty of the writing in this novel. At times, I forgot I was reading a book, instantly becoming immersed in the incredibly detailed and fluid prose. An in immensely deep novel about family and a sense of home, this is one book that will stick with me for some time. Graver isn’t simply a writer, but a true artist of the written word. Highly, highly recommended.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me the opportunity to review this book. Please be sure to check out the other tour stops along the way.


5 Responses to “Review: The End of the Point by Elizabeth Graver”

  1. Heather J. @ TLC
    Twitter: age30books

    I was already looking forward to reading this book but this: “a true artist of the written word” … now I’m REALLY excited!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

  2. kelly Simmons
    Twitter: kellysimmons

    I’ve had my eye on this book — and since I like everything you like 🙂 I’m gonna buy it today.