Celebrated children’s book author Agnes Lee is determined to secure her legacy—to complete what she knows will be the final volume of her pseudonymously written Franklin Square novels; and even more consuming, to permanently protect the peninsula of majestic coast in Maine known as Fellowship Point. To donate the land to a trust, Agnes must convince shareholders to dissolve a generations-old partnership. And one of those shareholders is her best friend, Polly.
... enthralling, masterfully written ... The aftermath of this explosion feels both wholly believable and complexly imagined, true to both women’s characters and the demands of the entire world Dark has so deftly created ... One of the novel’s deepest pleasures lies in the ways in which Dark intertwines the social and personal concerns of the main characters with the historical and political ... The novel’s resolution — unexpected and yet, once we get there, satisfying and inevitable — is handled with such skill in its temporal layering, I had to tip my writerly hat over and over to Dark. What first appears to be the story of two old ladies in Maine turns out to be a sophisticated inquiry into the course of female lives, with time as an instrument of revelation, folding in on itself, opening out, revealing the multilayered histories of both Polly and Agnes as a means of showing a kind of existential truth ... a novel rich with social and psychological insights, both earnest and sly, big ideas grounded in individual emotions, a portrait of a tightly knit community made up of artfully drawn, individual souls.
... powerful, enchanting ... Dark fans who devoured In the Gloaming and other, earlier works, rejoice. Striking from the first for its clear, sharply intelligent voice, streaming wisdom and wit on nearly all of close to 600 pages, Fellowship embodies a magnificent storytelling feat ... Some of the many miracles of this dense, bristling, multilayered work are its gut-level reality checks on modern sex, love, money, class, aging, and power. Yet though it fearlessly faces down topical problems (ecology, marriage, inequality) Fellowship remains compassionately complex, avoiding polemic, caricature, or infomercials. Its life is rooted in loyalty to humanness, to people so real you can see, hear, and smell them ... So much is deeply considered: facets of memory, family (parent viewing child; child assessing parent), death and grief, thwarted love, socio-ecological responsibility ... this wealth of rumination never sags, or drags. Instead it manages a seamless fluidity between interiority and scene, gathering relentless momentum, drawing us in tight as it pushes toward a stinging culmination — to resolve (secrets spilled, mysteries cracked) by its amazing close ... What may be most astonishing is Dark’s ability to totally inhabit a series of disparate characters down to the DNA — to walk around in their skins: a canny, contemporary George Eliot.
... marvelous ... [its] intricate plot and precise prose sparkle like the waters off the Maine coast where the book is set ... The contemporary conflict occurs during a time of millennial sea change, and Dark trains a sharp eye on the shifting tides of money, class, marriage and land ownership. She has created a phenomenal portrait of aging and the consequences of choices we're forced to make. Along with these concrete, realistic details, Fellowship Point also has a sort of fairy-tale quality when ruminating on literature and the struggle to create it ... [Dark's] exquisite craftsmanship shines throughout ... Reading this novel is a transportive experience, similar to spending a long, luxurious summer on the shores of a picturesque Maine peninsula. It's full of memorable adventures, tense moments of family drama and opportunities for restorative contemplation.