For the Porter family, summers at Ashaunt Point – a mile and a half long finger of land on Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts – have anchored life, providing sanctuary for generations. But in 1942, everything abruptly changes when the U.S. Army sets up a base on the Point. The two older girls – teenagers Dossie and Helen – run wild. Their Scottish nanny, Bea, falls in love. And the youngest daughter, Jane, is involved in an incident that cuts the summer short, unsettling notions of safety and home.
As decades pass, first Helen and then her son Charlie return to the Point, seeking refuge in rapidly changing times. But Ashaunt proves to be a space at once protected and contested – geographically remote, but never entirely removed from the events of history unfolding beyond its borders. Neither Charlie nor his mother – nor any other family member – can escape the long shadow of the Vietnam War, the bitterly disputed development of the land around them, economic misfortune, and illness, both psychological and physical.
A powerful portrait of one family’s journey through the second half of the twentieth century, The End of the Point artfully traces the hairline fractures that lie beneath the surface of our lives, even after they’ve been reassembled by time, place, and one another. The result is a layered exploration of the complex legacy of place, and of family – what we are born into, what we pass down to the next generation, and what we must preserve, cast off, or willingly set free