Month: May 2012

My Thoughts on A Lantern In Her Hand by Aldrich

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Our neighborhood bookclub is reading this book for May.  It is a good pick because it is completely CLEAN.  And it looked like a fast read, a mere 250 pages.  But the font was a little small, making it a little longer than expected.

When we first meet Abbie, she is eight.  Following the death of their father, they are heading out west.  She is in the wagon with her sister and asks her sister to tell her about her father and how he was wealthy and lived in an estate.  But he lost it all and went to America with his wife and growing family.

Time speeds quickly along and soon Abbie is a young adult, teaching school.  And she realizes when the neighbor boy returns from the Civil War that she loves him.  They are married and decide to start their family on their own homestead in Nebraska.  Well, her husband decides.

I really expected this story to be a love story between Abbie and Will, and, in a way, it sort of is.  But this is a story of an entire life.  It does not end with a kiss at the alter or even with the first child or even with the first grandchild.  This is Abbie’s entire life, and it was a good reminder to keep planning and keep dreaming because life does not pause at 24 like we think it does when we are 12 and dreaming.  It does not even pause at 35!

An interesting read, a good bookclub book because it is entirely clean and uncontroversial.

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My Thoughts on A Lantern In Her Hand by Aldrich

Posted on

Our neighborhood bookclub is reading this book for May.  It is a good pick because it is completely CLEAN.  And it looked like a fast read, a mere 250 pages.  But the font was a little small, making it a little longer than expected.

When we first meet Abbie, she is eight.  Following the death of their father, they are heading out west.  She is in the wagon with her sister and asks her sister to tell her about her father and how he was wealthy and lived in an estate.  But he lost it all and went to America with his wife and growing family.

Time speeds quickly along and soon Abbie is a young adult, teaching school.  And she realizes when the neighbor boy returns from the Civil War that she loves him.  They are married and decide to start their family on their own homestead in Nebraska.  Well, her husband decides.

I really expected this story to be a love story between Abbie and Will, and, in a way, it sort of is.  But this is a story of an entire life.  It does not end with a kiss at the alter or even with the first child or even with the first grandchild.  This is Abbie’s entire life, and it was a good reminder to keep planning and keep dreaming because life does not pause at 24 like we think it does when we are 12 and dreaming.  It does not even pause at 35!

An interesting read, a good bookclub book because it is entirely clean and uncontroversial.

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What I’m Reading Now: A Lantern In Her Hand by Aldrich

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From books.Google.com:

When A Lantern in Her Hand came out in 1928, critics took little notice, but people everywhere soon discovered it. By the end of 1919, even as the Great Depression set in, Bess Streeter Aldrich’s novel was in its twenty-first printing. Now translated into over twenty languages, A Lantern in Her Hand has outlasted literary fashions to touch generations of readers.
 
It is the classic story of a pioneer woman. Bess Streeter Aldrich knew what she was writing about. Her protagonist, a strong-minded pioneer woman named Abbie Deal, was modeled on her own mother, who in 1854 had traveled by covered wagon to the Midwest. In A Lantern in Her Hand, Abbie accompanies her family to the soon-to-be state of Nebraska. There, in 1865, she marries and settles into a sod house of her own.
 
The novel describes Abbie’s years of child-raising, of making a frontier home able to withstand every adversity. A disciplined writer knowledgeable about true stories of pioneer days in Nebraska, Bess Streeter Aldrich conveys the strength of everyday things, the surprise of familiar faces, and the look of the unspoiled landscape during different seasons.
 
Refusing to be broken by hard experience, Abbie sets a joyful example for her family – and for her readers. This Bison Book edition includes Bess Streeter Aldrich’s own story of how she came to write A Lantern in Her Hand.

My Thoughts on The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

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This was an interesting read.  You want to read it and are quickly drawn in because you want to get the girls to a safe place and know that they are okay.

Little Calli is put in a dangerous situation by her father, and you assume that her friend, Petra, is close behind.  But that’s actually just a twist.  I have to admit, I read ahead in order to find out if Calli made it out of the woods and what happened to her father.  And I was somewhat surprised by the Petra twist.

You know right away that the father is a jerk but my feelngs toward the Mom changed from chapter to chapter.  Sometimes I felt as though she was another victim and other times I felt that she should have done more to get her children out of a bad situation.  I was astonished that she could not figure out what caused her daughter’s selective mutism.  Well, duh, lady, you saw the entire thing. . .but like I said, my feelings toward the Mom changed a lot.

It was a good read, a quick read, but not necessarily a must read.