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From My Bookshelf: Firs, Serpents, Everything

Since it’s summertime and I live in Vacationland, I thought it fitting to pull three books From My Bookshelf that were written by Maine authors. Let me know below if you’ve heard of any of the authors, or better yet, if you’ve read any of the books themselves.

The County of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories | Sarah Orne JewettThe Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories
Sarah Orne Jewett

I’ve never read anything by Sarah Orne Jewett, which is really quite sacrilegious to admit [for a Mainer], but here I am admitting it.

From the back:

“Here in the fictional town of Dunnett’s Landing on the coast of Maine, Sarah Orne Jewett introduces people – now mostly women, as many of the town’s men have been lost at sea or moved away in this era of whaling’s decline – who have lived next to the sea for generations and seem to share its strength, silence, and mystery. In prose of exquisite simplicity, Jewett draws a resonant portrait of people creating and tending bonds of relationship in a landscape buffeted by the forces of isolation as well as by nature’s severity.”

The Serpents of Blissful | Bruce Pratt

The Serpents of Blissful
Bruce Pratt

I read this in college, and while most of the story doesn’t take place in Maine, Bruce Pratt is quite infamous here. As little as the subject matter of this book interests me, the writing is quite captivating.

From the back:

“InΒ The Serpents of Blissful, Isaac Butts is forced to confront venomous serpents, both physical and emotional, in order to rebuild his life and exorcise the demons from his past.”

The Police Know Everything | Sanford PhippenThe Police Know Everything
Sanford Phippen

Born and raised in Maine, Sanford Phippen is a great storyteller. I was lucky enough to be in an English class (in college) he visited – during the time we read his book – and not only did I learn about his publishing process, writing process, and more Maine stories, but I got my copy of his book signed.

From the back:

“Phippen’s characters suffer, enjoy, puzzle, use and are used; above all, endure. For while they are ‘wild and crazy,’ they also have a streak of granite Puritanism that goes directly back to the tombstones in seaside churchyards. It is this combination of opposing energies that propels Sanford Phippen’s Downeast stories and gives rise to the qualities that critics and readers have consistently hailed: hilarity and poignance in equal measure, simultaneously. Phippen’s people are splendidly human and uniquely ‘Maine.'”


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