The Cape Elizabeth lighthouse, available from Allposters
Sarah's delicate renderings of a summer on the coast of Maine are like a beautiful watercolor -- she catches the tone, the depth, the color of every character she describes and every incident she records. She paints a scene with her pen, bringing it to life in some mysterious way. I have always been fascinated by Maine, by the craggy and breathtaking landscape of its coastline; now I understand why.
I was unwilling for the story to end. As it came to a close, I felt a sense of loss. I had grown to love Mrs. Todd and her sweet mother, the wise old sea captains, and the anonymous narrator herself, as if they were real people. I long -- I think every person longs -- for the peace and simplicity that Sarah describes in daily village life. Simple, it may be called, and yet deeper and more real than any other kind of living. As the narrator looked back with regret on a summer at Dunnett Landing, I longed to be by her side as the ship pulled out of harbor -- if only to catch a glimpse in person of the beauty and simplicity she had painted on paper. I don't often feel such pain -- or such peace -- when I finish a book.
It's a good thing I still have A White Heron to listen to.