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The Rim of the Prairie

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  197 ratings  ·  29 reviews
As part of its program of books for Nebraska’s centennial year, the UNP reprints this best-selling novel by a beloved Nebraska author.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 1st 1966 by University of Nebraska Press (first published June 1925)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  197 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Mar 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I want to write something about this book just after my first reading. I have a feeling when I reread it in the future I'll have noticed something more, so for now, I will write... the characters, Nancy, Warner, Uncle Judd, Walt, Aunt Biny, and so on, are alluring and real; the kind of characters you ponder long after the story is over. It is a love story that glimmers at many angles, a love for the prairie, for people, and for these particular people. The loose threads of the novel come ...more
Tanya Carper
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A tender, well-written story about a girl growing up on a farm in Nebraska where there is a bit of mystery concerning her birth. Tornadoes, grasshoppers and well-rooted pioneers of the land come alive under Aldrich's competent pen. A worthwhile and gentle read.
Aug 11, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable, especially if you are a Bess Streeter Aldrich fan (which I am:)but not on the same plane as "Song of Years". Of course I loved Uncle Jud and Aunt Biny; solid, stable, good, deep, pioneer stock! And, as is usual, the hero is of course charming and kind, but the heroine can be annoyingly "perky", even though she is supposed to enter the story rather shallow and light-hearted in juxtaposition to everyone around her seeming a bit more quietly "tortured". Even so, her "transformation" is ...more
What I like best about this book are some of the characters, especially Old Jud Moore and Aunt Biny, who take on an infant girl left on their door step and raise her as their own. Jud Moore and Aunt Biny are first time settlers in the Nebraska prairie and their connection to the land runs as deep as the roots of the trees they've planted and they instill this love in their "adopted" child Nancy Moore. Nancy is the infant girl now grown and the main character. Her easy and uncomplicated ways when ...more
Tashina Knight
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not one of her best, but still worth reading once if you really like her books. In a way, it's almost an ode to herself, in a kind of gloating way. It is trying to show that people from simple midwestern towns are as good as anyone and that there is no higher ideal than living in a rural house or writing about the glory of the prairie. If you can get beyond that, it's not bad. The story is much more about the town people and about setting a mood than it is about either of the main characters. It ...more
Nat B
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bess Streeter Aldrich never disappoints... and things never go quite like you thought they would. I have fallen in love with each and every one of her books that I have read, and always find myself longing to read more, to know more, and yet, satisfied. She is a master of her craft, and I love every second spent in one of her beautiful stories.
Beautifully written book set in the 1920s in Nebraska. Sweet romance, with a Little Mystery woven throughout. Careful and insightful character development. Best of all, a wonderful story, a page-turner, with characters who are so real I thought about them as old friends. Read it!
This is the fourth novel, written by Bess Streeter Aldrich, that I have read and it was a delightful read. The characters are realistic and interesting, and the story is well told. It is a pleasant departure from most current day fiction and for that alone I loved it! ...more
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another brilliant story by Bess Streeter Aldrich. Her writing is superb as always. The characters are fully formed and real. The story is simple, entertaining, and filled with nuggets of wisdom and the surprises truly surprised me.
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another beautiful gem from Bess Streeter Aldrich. She allows the reader to enter into her characters' lives and emotions -- all the hopes, regrets, joys, mistakes, selfishness, sacrifice. So glad I picked this up. A keeper!
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Middelmarch for the prairie. Too bad that Aldrich is not still more widely read.
This book is just like a quilt. Full of patterns, old-fashioned warmth, sprinkled with every possible emotion and a just a touch of romance. I loved it. Perhaps it is the closest thing to Song of Years that Aldrich has done.
Nov 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Those who love the midwest, pioneers
Shelves: fiction
The edition I own was published in 1966, not 1986. It is a high-quality printing, for the spine is strong and the pages are not discolored. Surprisingly, I did some underlining and wrote notes in the margins.

I enjoyed this book more the first time I read it during high school or college.

I know the country can be quiet, but cars were loud back in the twenties. I'm surprised Warner could hear Alice's piano playing as he drove by her house. It is set on an hill.

"For a long time Warner Field sat on
Bethany Oetken
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What an endearing story, filled with quirky characters and beautiful descriptions of a part of the country that some may have a hard time finding beauty in. I have friends who don't like Nebraska, but I've been spending quite a bit of time there lately, and easily relate to the setting, and some of the small town life, even though this book was written many years ago. It was a very enjoyable read!
Jun 09, 2009 rated it liked it
I loved the mystery and romance in this novel. What a beautiful
description of life back then and I love how real she makes it all
seem as if you are really there! I was also curious about the mystery
surrounding Nancy. I really liked how the author moved from one
character's perspective to another, thus keeping it more interesting.

I enjoyed the book even though it was a little slow; however the book
did pick up a bit towards the end and I loved how she wrapped it up.
For a while I thought she was
Carolyn Lind
Sep 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I plucked this old story from my shelf to read as we passed through Nebraska on our recent trip. While Nebraska's landscape enters the story, The Rim of the Prairie is primarily a story of the entertwining of peoples' lives in a small 1920s Nebraska town called Maple City. " spider-fine are the threads that change the courses of our lives..."

But the setting still holds importance:

"...Maple City lay almost concealed in its mass of trees. Only a few roofs and the church spires showed above
Oct 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
I liked this book quite a bit better than A Lantern in Her Hand, which is by the same author. I did get annoyed with the attitude of the main character at times; her personality is quite a bit different than mine. Still, I did enjoy reading this book. It had many different plots which wove together in an interesting way.

Synopsis: Nancy Moore and Warner Field meet each other in a strange series of events, fall in love and must untangle the webs they've created before they can live happily ever
Sep 21, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this book at my grandmother's urging, and being of prairie stock, I thought it appropriate.

I know many of my granny's generation who are enamored with this author, so perhaps it's just a generational thing, but at any rate, the book simply couldn't and didn't keep my interest. To those interested in literature of the prairie and the midwest I say: stick with Willa Cather and O.E. Rolvaag; there's a reason why they're classics and Streeter Aldrich is borderline. Just not my favorite
Jul 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book was set in the midwest and is based around a young woman who finds out when she is 18 that she was a foundling. When she finds out she runs away only to come back 4 years later. That is where the story begins. I liked the flow of the book. It floated around to the different characters almost like a movie would...never overextending its stay in one spot. I became attached to the little town and its characters. I thought there was kind of a cool surprise at the end.
May 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OK, this is an oldie, but living in Nebraska now I wanted to read some Nebraska authors. Some may label this as a slow read, but I curled up one weekend and enjoyed a romance from a different era. I was pleasantly rewarded with rich characters, plot twists, refreshing prose and some Nebraska history as well.
Another of Ms Aldrich's I would recommend is Spring Came on Forever.
Aug 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was given to me as a going away present as we were moving. I think I liked it as much as I did for sentimental reasons in leaving Nebraska (the setting is early 20th century Nebraska). Bess Streeter Aldrich is an eloquent writer who has written character driven novels. The pace is fairly slow, but you can count on her for a clean, well written book.
Merna Malmberg
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was in high school I read some books by Bess Streeter Aldrich and loved them. I had bought this book at a used book store years ago and enjoyed it very much. You have to like older times and taking place in the Midwest.
Jun 27, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books
I really like reading books by this author, but this is not one of my favorites.
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
When I first read this book, I remember thinking that it was nonfiction, so it must have felt very realistic to me.
Rose Ann
I 1st read this book about 30 years ago but had forgotten most of it. Not one of my favorites, but since it is a BSA of course it is a good book.
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is a great book.
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up by accident. It smelled good and I had no plans on reading it. Glad I did. What a beautiful writer. Looking forward to reading another book by Bess
With (above)
Nov 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorites of hers. Again, one I've read several times.
rated it liked it
May 09, 2010
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Bess Streeter Aldrich was one of Nebraska's most widely read and enjoyed authors. Her writing career spanned forty-some years, during which she published over 100 short stories and articles, nine novels, one novella, two books of short stories, and one omnibus. In her work, she emphasized family values and recorded accurately Midwest pioneering history.

One of her books, Miss Bishop, was made into