Becky's Reviews > A Lantern in Her Hand

A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich
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's review
May 30, 2012

liked it

I might give this 3.5 stars. It took me a while to finish. I just wasn't drawn to keep picking it up. A very interesting story... But I really do not care for the author's writing style. The characters were not wholly developed- so it was hard for me to understand them. I don't know... I'll have to finish this review later after I've had time to mull things over.
Ok so I think I'm ready to finish my review. Don't read this if you don't want to spoil the book for yourself...
I couldn't figure out what it was about this book that bothered me... Sometimes life just sucks. Sometimes life gives you lemons and you have to eat them plain- without making lemonade. That's just the way it goes. Abbie's (the main character) life was hard. I'm not trying to underplay that, but it seems she was always focusing on the "what ifs" in life.
For example, she had the opportunity to marry a doctor who would later become wealthy. Early in the book the author alluded to the fact that this was not a morale man. Had Abbie chosen to marry him he probably would have cheated on her, maybe even been abusive, but she would never have wanted for physical comforts. Instead she chose to marry a poor farmer who loved her. She was dirt poor for a long time, but had a loving husband and children. I ask you, which would you rather have?
Abbie sacrificed most of her dreams for her family. But I feel that towards the latter part of the book that was her choice. She could have sold her house, had less to take care of and maybe traveled or something else she enjoyed. Also, in the last 3/4 of the book Abbie's children are reminiscing over funny and every-day childhood memories that were never brought up in the first parts of the book which leads me to believe that Abby was never satisfied with her life. It's not that she was a "the glass is half-empty" kind of person - it was more like " the glass is there and it has water in it". Anyway, if you're constantly dwelling on the "what-ifs" you are never going to be satisfied with your life. That's the way I felt about this book. You always have a choice. Even if it's just your attitude.

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