"The Country of the Pointed Firs," by Sarah Orne Jewett, is a charming exploration of people whose lives were shaped by where they lived. The book begins with the narrator's arrival in Dunnett Landing, a village that had thrived in the seafaring era that the Industrial Age had all but eclipsed. This collection of stories that makes up "The Country of the Pointed Firs" is based on the personal experiences of Sarah Orne Jewett as she grew up in rural Maine and traveled with her doctor father. The closely-knit sketches of a small fishing village in Maine seaport town in the 1890's are narrated by a summer resident. In the title story, a writer retreats to spend a quiet summer in a remote seaport, where she discovers a strong and cohesive community even as the town faces economic decline. "The Country of the Pointed Firs" is considered by some literary critics to be Sarah Orne Jewett's finest work. Henry James described it as her "beautiful little quantum of achievement." Because it is loosely structured, many critics view the book not as a novel, but a series of sketches; however, its structure is unified through both setting and theme. "The Country of the Pointed Firs" can also be read as a study of the effects of isolation and hardship experienced by the inhabitants of the decaying fishing villages along the Maine coast.