Kristin's Reviews > A Girl of the Limberlost

A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter
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Oct 03, 10

bookshelves: top-all-time-favorites
Read from September 17 to October 03, 2010

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 portraying timeless dilemmas and situations. Although the writing is thoroughly rustic and old-fashioned such that it's hard sometimes to know exactly what certain things mean, this only adds to the feel of it. Being so historical, it contains concepts that every reader today will be envious of--that at one time, collecting moths in a forest could, up until some point in history, be a lucrative vocation; and that $20 per year for school tuition was once an outrageous an almost unattainable sum. I like that the story is also based on the principles of Christianity that are concerned solely with love, respect, and honesty between all people indiscriminately. That, too, is cause for nostalgia (the sheer absoluteness of those ideas in this book, in any case).
This may have once been a juvenile book, which is how it's still classified, but now due to the historical language used, really only adults would be able to read it. And, while the protagonist starts out as a 16 year old, she ends the story as a 20 or 21 year old. There are undercurrents of sexuality, implications of sexual infidelity, and all sorts of other mature concepts, so I don't know how it can be considered a kids' book.
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