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A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene…

A Girl of the Limberlost (original 1909; edition 1910)

by Gene Stratton-Porter, Wladyslaw T. Benda (Illustrator)

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1,588294,590 (4.08)118
Title:A Girl of the Limberlost
Authors:Gene Stratton-Porter
Other authors:Wladyslaw T. Benda (Illustrator)
Info:Doubleday, Page & Co (1910), Hardcover, 485 pages
Collections:Your library

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A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter (1909)


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69/150 ( )
  moonlight_reads | Dec 11, 2016 |
I found this book very strange. I wanted to love it but it was so clunky! It's not like I don't read older fiction, I do and am comfortable with a lack of modernity in dialogue or storyline, but the characters are so odd and I'm not sure I believed in anyone's transitions. I was also sad that there was so little descriptions of her surroundings. I was hoping for some great nature writing but was sorely disappointed. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
Loved this classic! ( )
  RhondasReading | Jun 2, 2016 |
It was great fun to finally read this book I had heard about through my childhood and growing up---from my mother---but somehow I never read it. It has a fairy-tale like quality to it but so many things have changed since 1909, when this was first published. Elnora was written as a girl/woman ahead of her times in terms of interests and ambition and even the ending presents her as a person who will equal her husband at the same time she performs the wifely duties required of the time. Too bad there isn't a sequel, written after children arrive---will she be just like Freddie and Angel? Fascinating to see how many mothers and grandmothers of reviewers introduced this book to their offspring. ( )
  nyiper | May 3, 2015 |
How did I miss this book when I was younger? It’s like a slighter darker version of Anne of Green Gables, and I loved every second of it.

Published in 1909, the story is about a young girl named Elnora who lives in the country. She is going to high school for the first time, but her lack of social skills and money makes the way difficult. Her whole life has been spent on her farm with her cold, unloving mother. Her father died in the Limberlost swamp the day she was born and her mother has resented her ever since.

Elnora is such a unique character. She is stubborn and driven to succeed. She's fiercely intelligent but incredibly compassionate. She is patient, giving her mother the benefit of the doubt for years. She's a hard worker, willing to make money to achieve her dreams. She has self-respect and is willing to sacrifice in order to find true happiness. She reminded me a little bit of Jane Austen’s Lizzy Bennet, particularly in a scene where one woman comes to talk to her about her possible engagement.

There is so much I loved about this book. There's a fantastic female lead who isn't just trying to win a man. The plot focuses on relationships with her family and friends and pursuing her dreams. She stands up for herself even when she doesn't fit in. She's a problem solver and isn't overwhelmed when a slight obstacle gets in her path.

Kate Comstock, Elnora's mother, is a fascinating character. She’s so oblivious to the pain she causes her daughter because she’s trapped in a prison of grief. She has one of the most drastic changes in attitude and overall character development that I've ever read. The way it's done it's completely believable, but it's still a 180 and it was so satisfying to see her relationship with Elnora change throughout the book.

I love how the romantic aspect of the story played out too. Elnora protects her own feelings and isn’t swayed the moment Philip gave her a second glance. She waited until she was sure he didn't want anyone else and she was not just a consolation prize. That’s so unusual to find in a novel, especially one written more than 100 years ago. She wanted someone who loved her deeply, not someone who settled for her in a moment of passion.

BOTTOM LINE: I fell hard for this novel. Elnora is so determined and intelligent, she’s definitely become one of my new favorites. The book is chocked full of wonderful characters, including her Uncle Wesley, the young ruffian Billy and even her selfish, detached mother becomes a character you care about. ( )
  bookworm12 | Mar 5, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gene Stratton-Porterprimary authorall editionscalculated
Aiken, JoanAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Benda, Wladyslaw T.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To all girls of the Limberlost in general, and one Jeannette Helen Porter in particular.
First words
"Elnora Comstock, have you lost your senses?" demanded the angry voice of Katharine Comstock whle she glared at her daughter.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Available online at The Hathi Trust:

Also available at The Internet Archive:

Also available at Project Gutenberg:
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0253203317, Paperback)

Of all the books written by Hoosier writers, Gene Stratton-Porter’s A Girl of the Limberlost is unquestionably the most cherished: the timeless story of an impoverished young girl, Elnora Comstock, growing up on the edge of the Limberlost swamp. Elnora Comstock has served as a role model for successive generations of independent young readers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:45 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Deeply wounded by her embittered mother's lack of sympathy for her aspirations, Elnora finds comfort in the nearby Limberlost Swamp, whose beauty and rich abundance provide her with the means to better her life.

(summary from another edition)

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An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

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Indiana University Press

2 editions of this book were published by Indiana University Press.

Editions: 0253203317, 0253133203

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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