I read A Girl of the Limberlost when I was a girl. I remember absolutely loving it. I think I actually read it because I watched the movie at school. Even then I knew that the books are better than the movies.
A Girl of the Limberlost was written by Gene Stratton Porter as a sequel to Freckles. I didn’t know this until I read the “About the Author” section of the book. Now I have a new book that I have to read. It’s the first book on my list when I go back to the library. Sigh! If only I had my kindle already! I’d have started it last night……but I digress.
As I reread A Girl of the Limberlost I couldn’t help but notice that I love it just a much now as I did as a child. Elnora, a perfectly lovely (in every sense of the word) child of sixteen, is getting ready for her first day of highschool in town. She is so excited to get her education, but also very painfully aware of the homely clothing and heavy shoes provided by her bitter mother. She is indeed the spectacle that she fears she will be and as a sensitive teenager she feels it to her core.
In addition to being different from the other pupils Elnora discovers that school is far from free, and her hopes of going seem to be buried by the financial burden of tuition and books. Her harsh mother provides no help and no hope, but Elnora finds a way through her love of the Limberlost, a swamp near her farm.
It is a heart warming story of personal growth and finding love in the most unexpected ways. Elnora touches the lives of so many people for the better. Everything that could make her bitter she tries to make into a stepping stone of personal growth. What a lesson for us today, over 100 years later.
Love triumphs in the very end. Mother learns to love. Elnora finds personal fulfillment in her life. It’s a book to make you laugh and cry. It’s a book that leads to personal examination as one reflects on Elnora’s struggles. With scenes having lines like “The wages of sin are the hardest debts on earth to pay, and they are always collected at inconvenient times and unexpected places” it’s no wonder it’s a classic. It has an enduring depth that will bring it back to readers time and again.
If you have never read A Girl of the Limberlost, well, you are really missing out. I think I’d read Freckles first since there are references to that book throughout the novel.
Get a copy and read it today!