A place out of time, Ashaunt Point--a tiny finger of land jutting into Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts--has provided sanctuary and anchored life for generations of the Porter family, who summer along its remote, rocky shore. But in 1942, the U.S. Army arrives on the Point, bringing havoc and change. That summer, the two older Porter girls--teenagers Helen and Dossie--run wild. The children's Scottish nurse, Bea, falls in love. And youngest daughter Janie is entangled in an incident that cuts the season short and haunts the family for years to come.
As the decades pass, Helen and then her son Charlie return to the Point, seeking refuge from the chaos of rapidly changing times. But Ashaunt is not entirely removed from events unfolding beyond its borders. Neither Charlie nor his mother can escape the long shadow of history--Vietnam, the bitterly disputed real estate development of the Point, economic misfortune, illness, and tragedy.
An unforgettable portrait of one family's journey through the second half of the twentieth century, The End of the Point artfully probes the hairline fractures hidden beneath the surface of our lives and traces the fragile and enduring bonds that connect us. With subtlety and grace, Elizabeth Graver illuminates the powerful legacy of family and place, exploring what we are born into, what we pass down, preserve, cast off or willingly set free.
About the Author
Elizabeth Graver is the author of the novels Awake, The Honey Thief, and Unravelling; her short story collection Have You Seen Me? won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize. She is the mother of two daughters, and teaches English and creative writing at Boston College.
“In this globalized age, with everyone talking about migration, here comes Elizabeth Graver to remind us of just what place can mean. The attachment in this gorgeously written, enormously moving book transcends time and personality. It is deep, extraordinarily ordinary, and finally provocative.”
-Gish Jen, author of World and Town
“One place and one family are inextricably linked in this marvelous novel. Elizabeth Graver writes with a painter’s attentiveness to detail, and creates from these particulars a vivid rendering of American life from 1942 to the century’s end.”
-Ron Rash, author of The Cove
“An engrossing and intimate portrait of a New England family and the patch of land that gives them solace, generation after generation, when other people cannot. Graver’s writing is simply stunning on every page, and she has gone deep under the skin of these characters to create this magnificent novel.”
-Lily King, author of Father of the Rain
“This absorbing novel spans half a century, and deals with war, love, illness, frustration, ambition, politics—and most particularly with place and its meaning. I was embedded in The End of the Point—not so much reading it as living it: a deep and singular experience.”
-Edith Pearlman, author of Binocular Vision: New and Selected Stories
“The End of the Point is intimate and rich and compelling, a sprawling saga that evokes both the wildness and fragility of the New England coast.”
-Stewart O'Nan, author of A World Away and Wish You Were Here
“Elizabeth Graver is an uncommonly fine writer: dancingly in command of language, yet always, foremost, faithful to something quieter and more essential - call it the complexities of truth. The ambitious scope of her new novel is beautifully matched by her largeness of spirit. I would read anything this author writes.”
-Leah Hager Cohen, author of The Grief of Others
“Is it possible for a novel to be at once cunning and magnificent, epic and compressed, topical and timeless? Yes, yes, yes, in the case of Elizabeth Graver’s gorgeous The End of the Point.”
-Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy
“A lovely family portrait: elegiac yet contemporary, formal yet intimate….Helen and Charlie’s difficult but enduring mother-son relationship is particularly moving, but every character is given his/her emotional due.”
-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)