Aristocratic young ladies from Boston, gentlewomen and salty yarns of sea captains in a small harbor village in Maine.

Deephaven is the debut novel of Sarah Orne Jewett, a Maine author whose works of realist literature are often set in the small coastal towns of her home state. Published in 1877, the novel is narrated by Helen Denis, about whom little is revealed other than that she is a Bostonian. Helen’s best friend Kate Lancaster informs her that Kate’s family has inherited a house in the small coastal town of Deephaven. Kate invites Helen to spend the summer with her there, and the two big-city ladies set off for an extended girls’ trip to this secluded village in coastal New England. (from a review at Old Books by Dead Guys)

More linked short stories by this author

The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896)

More reading

Deephaven – by Sarah Orne Jewett – Goodreads

Sarah Orne Jewett biography at Wikipedia

Full review at Old Books by Dead Guys (!)

Full text of Deephaven at Project Gutenberg

Note: The reviewer quoted above describes Deephaven as a “novel”. As with other linked short story collections interpretations of its status can differ. I’ve also seen it described as an ‘episodic novel’, as in this dissertation about short story cycles. In other works, such as The Subversive Storyteller: The Short Story Cycle and the Politics of Identity in America by Michelle Pacht, it is described as a short story cycle.


This site is a labor of love so many entries could benefit from more quotes, links to interesting background material, author interviews, etc. If you have material for the collection on this page, please get in touch.

Unless otherwise noted, the blurb is adapted from Goodreads.
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