Sunday, July 24, 2016

... on the lonely coast of Maine stood a small gray house facing the morning light. - Sarah Orne Jewett, "By the Morning Boat"

Selections from two stories in Strangers and Wayfarers by Sarah Orne Jewett

In such weather I found even the East Wilby railroad station attractive, and waiting three hours for a slow train became a pleasure; the delight of idleness and even booklessness cannot be properly described.

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On the coast of Maine, where many green islands and salt inlets fringe the deep-cut shore line; where balsam firs and bayberry bushes send their fragrance far seaward, and song-sparrows sing all day, and the tide runs plashing in and out among the weedy ledges; where cowbells tinkle on the hills and herons stand in the shady coves,—on the lonely coast of Maine stood a small gray house facing the morning light. All the weather-beaten houses of that region face the sea apprehensively, like the women who live in them.

Jewett House #maine IMG_20160723_115417 2016.07.23-DSC08247

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(Pictures above are from the Sarah Orne Jewett Historic Site, South Berwick, Maine)

I'd read Jewett's Country of the Pointed Firs (often considered her best work) a number of years ago. A significant figure in American regionalist literature, she lived and worked in Maine, just across the water from Portsmouth, NH where I'm spending some summer vacation.

Sarah Orne Jewett (September 3, 1849 – June 24, 1909) was an American novelist, short story writer and poet, best known for her local color works set along or near the southern seacoast of Maine. (Wikipedia)

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