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A Girl of the Limberlost

A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter
By: (1863-1924)

Elnora Comstock is a sixteen year old girl who lives on the edge of the famous Limberlost swamp in Indiana. Her widowed mother is a cold and bitter woman who deprives Elnora of all that a young girl's heart desires. The mother lives in a fog of depression caused by Elnora's father's tragic death on the night Elnora was born. She ekes out a living from a small poultry business, but refuses to exploit the resources of the forest land around her like the rest of their neighbors. Elnora is a brilliant student, but financial problems hinder her from continuing her education. She begins to catch moths from the swamp to sell to collectors and slowly resumes her studies. How Elnora and her mother come to understand each other and overcome their difficulties is told in the rest of this famous classic, A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter.

First published in 1909, the book is one of the author's best known works. Gene Stratton Porter was an American naturalist, wild-life photographer and author who was also credited with setting up the first movie studio and production company to be owned by a woman. Many of her novels became instant best-sellers and her books and newspaper columns reached an estimated fifty million readers at one time. Being a passionate nature conservationist, she used much of her income to support the eco-system of the Limberlost Swamp, which has now almost disappeared due to oil-rigs and construction activity in and around it.

She and her husband built a large home near the swamp, but when their efforts to curtail the draining of the swamp and protect its wetlands failed, they moved to another location in Indiana. Both homes are now historic sites and museums managed by the government.

A Girl of the Limberlost may seem contradictory in its message to today's readers. Elnora who loves nature sees it only as a resource to be exploited whereas her mother, a presumably unfeeling person, refuses to cut down the trees for timber. However, there are many other social issues also discussed in the book such as peer pressure, ostracism, unhealthy grief, alcoholism, parental neglect and the dichotomy between social classes. Towards the end of the book, Elnora grows into a mature young lady and must face the travails of romance and disappointment before she can find her own Mr Right.

Adapted several times for stage, screen and TV, A Girl of the Limberlost is a classic that would certainly be a great addition to your bookshelf.

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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 2 reviews)

Reviewer: - September 25, 2015
Subject: Awesome
Reviewer: - March 10, 2015
I read this book a while ago and liked it. There were several readers and most did an excellent job. Only 1 was harder to listen to. But an excellent story.

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