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A Girl of the Limberlost (Limberlost #2)

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,230 Ratings  ·  1,140 Reviews
Elnora Comstock's first day at high school is a disaster. The other students laugh at her clothes, and then--to make matters worse--she learns she has to pay for her books and tuition. But her mother has never been able to show Elnora any real love, and she refuses to part with money for "foolishness."

Just when everything seems hopeless, Elnora learns that the Limberlost,
...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1909)
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Evelyn I also read it in high school and it became one of my favorites. Kilian is correct, there is no sex or graphic violence, although one of the…moreI also read it in high school and it became one of my favorites. Kilian is correct, there is no sex or graphic violence, although one of the supporting characters, Billy (along with his sister and brother) is malnourished and neglected by his alcoholic father at the start of the book. He's plucky and upbeat, <spoiler>and he gets rescued and adopted into a loving family (and his siblings are taken care of too),</spoiler> but the initial descriptions are sad and a little upsetting.

There are also mentions of children who died young of illness, a character in the process of dying of cancer (not described in detail), and references to childbirth and adultery that are so oblique to modern readers you'll probably need to explain them.

So I second Kilian's recommendation. 12 and up, maybe 10 if the child is unusually advanced and savvy (or experienced with vintage fiction), maybe 14 if s/he's sensitive or not great with older prose. Hope that helps!(less)
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Community Reviews

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Sparrow
Jul 10, 2009 Sparrow rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sarah Palin
Shelves: reviewed
Childrens' books like A Girl of the Limberlost remind me of the instruction manuals that come with furniture that you have to assemble yourself. They are assembly instructions for morality. Life is so easy, and there are little stick people on the pages to show you how it is all done successfully. I adored Little Women when I was a kid, for example, but in recent years I've tried to re-read it a couple of times, and I can't get past the part where Marmie makes the girls give up their Christmas b ...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
I have some GR friends who are into old-timey books. I had great luck with their recommend of Daddy-Long-Legs, so when A Girl of the Limberlost, written in 1909, was also highly recommended, I was all up for another delightful, old-fashioned experience. Anne Shirley, make way for Elnora Comstock . . . okay, Elnora was losing ground already with that name, but outdated names kind of come with the territory here, so I was still optimistic.

At the beginning of the book, Elnora is a 16 year old girl
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Nicola O.
Jul 22, 2007 Nicola O. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of old-fashioned young adult books
Shelves: youngadult
Read lots and lots of GSP when I was a kid-- Girl of the Limberlost remains my favorite. It's an engrossing coming-of-age story with elements of redemption and romance, set in rural Indiana, early 20th century (I would guess by the publication date). I think most adolescent girls can relate to Elnora's struggles with her mother, and the resolution of that is very satisfying. Elnora herself triumphs over adversity through courage, integrity, and hard work, but is not obnoxiously saintly. The auth ...more
Heidi
Jun 26, 2015 Heidi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Girl of the Limberlost is one of those true treasures of the book world, one I personally never would have uncovered if it weren’t for my notion to do Booking It Across the US. I was at a loss for an Indiana book, there weren’t an abundance of titles that I recognized, but when I called on Twitter, Allison of The Allure of Books answered with Gene Stratton-Porter. I adore hidden classics (though I admit there are quite a few not-so-hidden ones I really need to get to), and so I commenced to re ...more
Gloria
Aug 10, 2008 Gloria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teenage females, Adult females who like clean fiction
Recommended to Gloria by: Mom
Shelves: young-adult
This nostalgic story was written in 1906, but has rather surprising relevance to today's culture. Well crafted and unique, the issues covered include: bullying, parental neglect, extramarital affair, unhealthy grief, peer pressure, alcoholism, window peeping, depression, and class culture clashes. Elnora is a teenage girl with many factors making life difficult. In true American spirit, she rises above the odds and educates herself and teaches others how to treat her. She achieves not only an ed ...more
Kathryn Bundy
Feb 22, 2012 Kathryn Bundy rated it really liked it
Since I was able to download this childhood classic for free, I reread it for the first time since I was a girl. I have long held that it was one of my favorites from about the age of ten. It seemed mysterious and magical to me then. As I read it with the eyes of an adult five decades later, it reminded me of how many books from my grandparents' shelves were the morality tales that shaped my reading life and my worldview. It is a book of its time, in some ways more advanced than one would expect ...more
Nina
Nov 09, 2008 Nina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
There is a line in this book that I carry on a card in my purse. "If you are Lazy and accept your lot, you may live in it. If you are willing to work you can write your name anywhere" Gene Stratton-Porter is a giften writer that writes of her beloved Limberlost swamp and the people that around it. As with her other books, there are characters that have extreme hardship and rise above them to become better individuals. Elnora Comstock is an impoverished young girl that feels unloved, and earns mu ...more
Lily
May 15, 2007 Lily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who have worked hard for what they believe in
Shelves: favorite
This is one of the books that I have read probably 100 times. It is the story of Elnora Comstock, a poor farm girl that loved the outdoors, mainly the Liberlost swamp beside her home. All Elnora wants is to go to high school, but her mother disagrees and makes life incredibly difficult for Elnora. Through the story you see Elnora go from a socially sheltered girl to a confident and beautiful lady. Everytime I read this book, I want to visit Indiana to see if anything is left of the Limberlost sw ...more
Kirk
First and foremost, you ask, what is a Limberlost? My wife will tell you it's a fairly accurate description of my posture at my decrepit age, but however true that may be, it's irrelevant to Gene Stratton-Porter's most famous novel. The Limberlost is actually a famous forest area in eastern Indiana where the author and her husband made their initial wealth. Today a portion of it operates as a state historical site, with tourists able to tour the cabin, which looks like this:

description

Of course, by the tim
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Mandy Leins
Jun 09, 2008 Mandy Leins rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well worth reading for an honest look at what life was like for a naturalist in the late 19th and early 20th century. While it is fiction, I would highly recommend reading this for what it tells you about all the things that are peripheral to the story. Also, do a little background reading on Gene Stratten-Porter. She's an amazing individual, and what she accomplished in her life is beyond belief (when you consider that, by law, her husband had to sign any legal documents in her name for them to ...more
Jeana
May 28, 2008 Jeana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Charlotte
What a joy it is to read Gene Stratton-Porter! I picked this book up at my daughter's orchestra concert - which I arrived at 45 min. early - and finding myself bookless, I asked her if she had anything in her locker I could read. She produced this book, which I hadn't read in quite a while; I got totally lost in it well before the concert started, and I couldn't put it down! I love the moral fiber of the characters, and how adversity shaped Elnora into the beautiful woman she became. Now I'm rea ...more
Elaine
Dec 17, 2007 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: High school or older
My mother always wanted me to read this book, it was a favorite of hers. She probably read it in the 30s. Well, I've finally done it! Written in 1909, it is definitely an example of the writing style of that time. There are many things to interest modern readers, though, from young teen through mature adult.

The protagonist, Elnora, is a student of nature, and she specializes in moths. The descriptions of the moths, the birds, the flowers of the beautiful Indiana woodlands are glowing. We learn
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April
Nov 02, 2008 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls between 11-100, great living book
This was a sweet book. I disagree with the other comments and do not think it was anything like Anne of Green Gables. It was a really good story about love, loss, letting go, and learning to love agian. I loved the amount of resilence the main character had-she over came so much in this coming of age tale. I enjoyed the nature talk throughout the book. I hope there are still parts of the Limberlost preserved today. You could do a really nice literature unit on this book and incorporate all the s ...more
Piebakersue
This was a popular book back in the very early 20th century, when it was written. It's dated but nevertheless quite interesting. The limberlost is a sort of swamp of 13,000 acres in Indiana (thank you wikipedia) and the girl, whose name I have forgotten. No, I remember, it was Elnora, lives on the edge with her crazy mother, where Elnora collects moths and excells in school. The mother is still pining the loss of her husband in the limberlost, and she resents Elnora, but truth be learned, her hu ...more
Judith
Nov 14, 2014 Judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I love A Girl of the Limberlost, and consider one of GSP's best books. Some reviews say it's her best,but I disagree. Her best is Freckles. There are similarities in both books and you will enjoy both, but I suggest that you read Freckles first.

I first read this book as a pre teen and fell in love with it, and after re reading it many times I've never changed my mind.

Gene Stratton Porter wrote this book when she was at the peak of her writing skills and it shows. It's a story about a you
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Kristin
Oct 03, 2010 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is now one of my top favorite books of all time. It sucked me deep into another time and place, which was lovely, comforting, beautiful, and fantastic. It's ahead of its time in its treatment of women, in that the protagonist is an intelligent, independent woman who both warrants respect and gives it to all people and all living things--a scientist, a scholar, a musician, and a teacher all in one. The characters are richly painted, and the story is full of suspense and surprise, as well as ...more
Mariel
Sep 05, 2010 Mariel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sting like a moth
Recommended to Mariel by: pnin me like a moth
I got this as a random find on ten cent day for my local library's book sale in 2009. It was okay at first, if outdated in all sensibilities. The naturist parts were interesting. It was funny how the girl treasured the wild that was increasingly (back then even?) encroached on by society, yet she collected those rare moths to be stuck with pins (!) for profit so that she could join the society she was kept away from by her uncaring mother. Guess she wasn't too sad about it, after all. Her mother ...more
Sara
What a delightful book! Beautiful on its own it is a a superior sequel to Freckles. It reminded me of Anne of Green Gables and An Old Fashioned Girl with scenes of Pride and Prejudice (think of Darcy's aunt visiting Lizzie). Unlike Laddie, this was gripping from the very start and like Laddie was rich with beautiful descriptions. An extremely well done story that will be revisited by me many times in the future.
Elizabeth
My heart overflows for this book. It was a favorite book of my girlhood and I have just re-read it. What a treasure.
Sarah Briel
May 14, 2016 Sarah Briel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sarah by: Kellyn Roth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Annette
Free eBook from Project Gutenberg.
I found this book in the comments section of a list of top 100 books for youth, and quickly added it to my Nook queue. I'm quite glad to have found it, and certainly plan to add it to my list of kids books. Appropriate for early to late teens, I'd place it in roughly the same genera as "Little Women," with strong overtones of "Little House on the Prairie." Set (and written) in first decade of the 20th century, the story follows Elnora Comstock, who lives on a h
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Heidi
A Girl of the Limberlost is one of those true treasures of the book world, one I personally never would have uncovered if it weren’t for my notion to do Booking It Across the US. I was at a loss for an Indiana book, there weren’t an abundance of titles that I recognized, but when I called on Twitter, Allison of The Allure of Books answered with Gene Stratton-Porter. I adore hidden classics (though I admit there are quite a few not-so-hidden ones I really need to get to), and so I commenced to re ...more
Bridgette Redman
Feb 01, 2012 Bridgette Redman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Girl of the Limberlost is not a book to be read when one is feeling cynical, critical, or simply jaded. For starters, it is a children’s book and children aren’t supposed to be jaded or cynical yet. Secondly, it’s a book that emphasizes sweetness and light—not dreary realism or angry conflicts.

Girl of the Limberlost portrays a time long since lost. It relates the story of Elnora Comstock and her life in the swamp of the Limberlost. She is a plucky girl, but not of the type of pluck that we assoc
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Amy Anderson
Jun 30, 2013 Amy Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joseph's grandma gave this book to Diana because it was one of her favorites. I had to read it to be closer to her! The book reminded me of Anne of Green Gables type story. In this book a girl whose mother resents her, learns to thrive in the world. And at a crossroads her mother learns what she mourns is something that betrayed her and she reconciles with her daughter. The girl also finds love and I love how she stands up for what is right. She doesn't fall all over herself over a young man wit ...more
Emily
Jan 22, 2008 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you, Carrie for recommending this book to me last winter. I haven't stopped thinking about it since. I hope my girls will have half of the curiosity for natural science as the heroine of this book.

I must admit that I felt pangs of loss and mourning at the descriptions of the Limberlost forest and its wonders--knowing that so much of the nature around us has turned to parking lots. Good thing I'll be able to read this story with my girls someday in case they never experience such a world f
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Brenda
Sep 28, 2015 Brenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brenda by: The Midnight Garden Classic YA read-along
This is my first time reading A Girl of the Limberlost, a historical fiction set in Indiana near the edge of the Limberlost swamp and the fictional town of Onabasha. A Girl of the Limberlost was written in 1909 and is a coming of age story with a main character that really tugs at your heart. Sixteen year-old Elnora has decided to go to school in the neighboring city of Onabasha. Her mother is hesitant to the idea, but she allows her to go. So, Elnora set out in a calico dress, high heavy shoes, ...more
Duane
It was a joy to read this book, what a good story, what great characters. This style of writing, I would even call it a genre of it's own, you just don't see anymore. It is probably lost and gone forever, gone with the likes of Louisa May Alcott, Lucy Maud Montgomery, and with this writer, Gene Stratton-Porter. This novel was her finest work and I count it as one of the hidden gems.
Polly
Jan 15, 2009 Polly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely book. It's charming and warm. I highly recommend it.
Nikki
This was an enjoyable read, but some of the conflicts in the book were very dated- I mean, how much of a tragedy would it be today to attend High School Graduation without a brand new dress? And how could the villainous mother refuse to drill oil on her land or sell off the timber in order to dress her daughter in the latest fashions and enjoy all the comforts of modern life? The protagonist, Elnora, is not nearly as lovable and sympathetic a character as, say Anne Shirley or Jo March because sh ...more
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She was an American author, amateur naturalist, wildlife photographer, and one of the earliest women to form a movie studio and production company. She wrote some of the best selling novels and well-received columns in magazines of the day.

Born Geneva Grace Stratton in Wabash County, Indiana, she married Charles D. Porter in 1886, and they had one daughter, Jeannette.

She became a wildlife photogra
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More about Gene Stratton-Porter...

Other Books in the Series

Limberlost (2 books)
  • Freckles (Limberlost #1)

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“If you are lazy, and accept your lot, you may live in it. If you are willing to work, you can write your name anywhere you choose.” 1224 likes
“I know men and women. An honourable man is an honourable man, and a liar is a liar; both are born and not made. One cannot change to the other any more than that same old leopard can change its spots.
After a man tells a woman the first untruth of that sort, the others come piling thick, fast, and mountain high.”
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