Composed in a series of beautiful web-like sketches, the novel is narrated by a young woman writer who leaves the city to work one summer in the Maine seaport of Dunnet Landing, and stays with the herbalist Mrs. Almira Todd. She writes a New England idyll rooted in friendship, particularly female friendship, weaving stories and conversations, imagery of sea, sky and earth, the tang of salt air and aromatic herbs into an organic "fiction of community" in which themes and form are exquisitely matched. To quote Willa Cather: "The 'Pointed Fir' sketches are living things caught in the open, with light and freedom and air spaces about them. They melt into the land and the life of the land until they are not stories at all, but life itself."
This edition, introduced by Alison Easton, also includes ten of Sarah Orne Jewett's short stories, among them 'The Queen's Twin', 'The Foreigner' and 'William's Wedding' set in Dunnet Landing.