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A Girl of the Limberlost

(Limberlost #2)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  18,380 ratings  ·  1,478 reviews
Set amid Indiana's vast Limberlost Swamp, this treasured children's classic mixes astute observations on nature with the struggles of growing up in the early 20th century. Harassed by her mother and scorned by her peers, Elnora Comstock finds solace in natural beauty along with friendship, independence, and romance.


Synopsis from Huffington Post: Cornfields, soy fields, a
Paperback, 222 pages
Published January 30th 2004 by Quiet Vision Pub (first published 1909)
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Popular Answered Questions
Mary I took this as boiling the fabric used as a pattern (like muslin?). This would have been prior to the paper dress patterns that I grew up with :)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
CynthyB Yes. Read "Freckles," also by Gene Stratton Porter. It would be considered the prequel, although, for the most part, "A Girl of the Limberlost" can st…moreYes. Read "Freckles," also by Gene Stratton Porter. It would be considered the prequel, although, for the most part, "A Girl of the Limberlost" can stand alone. (less)

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
A weak 3 stars. 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 okay, Elnora was losing ground already with that name, but outdated names kind of come with the territory here, so I was still optimistic.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 1
It was a joy to read this book; such a good story, and 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, L.M. Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and with this writer, Gene Stratton-Porter. In my opinion, this novel was her finest work and I count it as one of the hidden gems of literature. ...more
Meredith Holley
Jun 26, 2009 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
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
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:


Of course, by the ti
Kellyn Roth
This is literally my favorite book ever! I love it sooo much!

Why do I love it? The characters, the setting, the plot, the message ... take your pick! :)

It features a heroine you can't help but love. Elnora smart and has a great sense of right and wrong. However, I wouldn't call her a Mary Sue. She has her faults ... they're just not talked about a lot. ;)

Then there's the hero. I admit one can get a little frustrated at him ((view spoiler)), but o
Aug 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Elnora Comstock leaves deep in the Limberlost swamp of Indiana with her mother, who hates her, and a kindly childless couple next door. The year is (approximately) 1909, and fifteen-year-old Elnora is going to high school if she has to die trying. Her mother rails abuse at her, while Wesley and Margaret Sinton have to sneak behind her mom’s back to help her.

At first Elnora sticks out terribly. The town kids bully her for her threadbare, hopelessly out-of-fashion old clothes and naïve manners. No
Jan 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
So Much Has Been Lost

“Elnora caught the large yellow empress moth in her hands and exclaimed, ‘What a beautiful moth! Please, Philip, get me some cyanide so after it has dies, I can stick apin in this lovely specimen.’” ~~Paraphrased

When I was young girl, I stuck pins in insects and displayed them on a large piece of cardboard for a required school project. Back then, I thought nothing of it. Now I think that it a horrible, cruel thing to do, and I believe that my trip to a a natural History Mus
Nicola O.
Jul 19, 2007 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
May 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 09, 2008 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
Kathryn Bundy
Feb 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Donald Powell
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
A seminal middle American story. This pleasant voice tells the story of hard work, diligence, right thinking and right living winning the day. The travails of life, and death, can be overcome by the basic principles to live and strive by. Love conquers all, despite the frailties of the human condition. This is a popular classic tale because of all of these streams.
Victoria Lynn
This book. The feels. One of my favorites ever. The sensitivity and beauty of the human emotion as well as the stunning descriptions of God's beautiful Creation makes me want to cry tears of joy. I have read it more than seven times and it will remain a treasure on my shelf.
Mandy Leins
Jun 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
I might have liked this book better if I’d read it as a child. It’s a bit old-fashioned and didn’t have the humor and charm of other classic girls’ stories. Plus, I’m not sure I liked Elnora all that much. Perhaps she was as kind and loving and honest and upright as the narrative kept telling me, but it was sometimes difficult to see it in her actions. Instead, she was often remarkably self-centered and unappreciative of what she was given. It became hard for me to admire her or to care about he ...more
May 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
May 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: classics
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yes, I had a bazillion better things to do, and a bazillion better books to read, and what did I do? Reread. With a thousand (!!) or so books I need to get through, I reread. Boo me.

Anyway, I adore this book just as much as ever.
Dec 17, 2007 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
As a novel, this book has a lot of what I guess I'd consider more oddities and rough edges than flaws. It introduces conflicts over and over but either abandons them (as with the most serious danger) or simply resolves them abruptly and at odd moments. It's very much of its time, not just about its time, which means its moral worldview is prominent and emphatic. It's the sort of book that constantly affirms that characters who are good on the inside will be recognized and rewarded by a benevolen ...more
Nov 14, 2014 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
Apr 19, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Andrea Cox
by Andrea Renee Cox

This was an interesting book, but it wasn't really my thing. There were positives and things I didn't much care for. I can see how it would be a fun read for others, though. I liked the idea of making one's way in the world and standing strong for what one believes in. While I found Elnora's mother annoying for the vast majority of the book, she grew on me in the latter chapters and I quite enjoyed her for a while toward the end.

However, I did not care for the expletive that w
Jul 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Cathy aka The Attached Mama
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Darlene Nichols
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
This was a sweet story where all the characters, through different circumstances and lessons, learned to do the right thing and care about the right things. I loved how Elnora flourished as she cultivated the things in her life that made her Elnora. The swampy forest scenes with beautiful moths (who knew?!) made this story magical. One more book with honorable characters I’d love my girls to learn from.
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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

Other books in the series

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

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