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A Lantern in Her Hand
     

A Lantern in Her Hand

4.4 22
by Bess Streeter Aldrich
 

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First published in 1928, A Lantern in Her Hand has outlasted literary fashions to touch generations of readers. In this classic story of a pioneer woman, Bess Streeter Aldrich modeled protagonist Abbie Deal on her own mother, who in 1854 had traveled by covered wagon to the Midwest.
 
In A Lantern in Her Hand, Abbie accompanies her

Overview

First published in 1928, A Lantern in Her Hand has outlasted literary fashions to touch generations of readers. In this classic story of a pioneer woman, Bess Streeter Aldrich modeled protagonist Abbie Deal on her own mother, who in 1854 had traveled by covered wagon to the Midwest.
 
In A Lantern in Her Hand, Abbie accompanies her family to the soon-to-be-state of Nebraska. There, in 1865, she marries and settles into her own sod house. The novel describes Abbie's years of child-raising, of making a frontier home able to withstand every adversity. A Disciplined writer knowledgeable about true stories of pioneer days in Nebraska, Bess Streeter Aldrich conveys the strength of everyday things, the surprise of familiar faces, and the look of the unspoiled landscape during different seasons. Refusing to be broken by hard experience, Abbie sets a joyful example for her family—and for her readers.

Editorial Reviews

Belles Lettres
“Piercingly beautiful. . . . Aldrich’s pioneer woman was based on her mother, and the integrity of her depiction of life in a sod house in the late nineteeth-century Nebraska speaks to her readers. . . . In her own introduction Aldrich writes of wanting to tell her mother’s story after her mother’s death: ‘Other writers had depicted the Midwest’s early days, but so often they had pictured their women as gaunt, browbeaten creatures, despairing women whom life seemed to defeat. That was not my mother. Not with her courage, her humor, her nature that would cause her to say at the end of her life: ‘We had the best time in the world.’”—Allyson F. McGill, Belles Lettres
Milwaukee Journal
“The language is good and sturdy and dotted with imaginative metaphors and similes (‘Silence, so deep, that it roared in its vast vacuum’). If the book tries to crowd too much life into 300 pages, well, there was a lot of life: ‘We old pioneers,’ Abbie says at the end, ‘we dreamed dreams into the country.’”—Roger Miller, Milwaukee Journal
From the Publisher
“Piercingly beautiful. . . . Aldrich’s pioneer woman was based on her mother, and the integrity of her depiction of life in a sod house in the late nineteeth-century Nebraska speaks to her readers. . . . In her own introduction Aldrich writes of wanting to tell her mother’s story after her mother’s death: ‘Other writers had depicted the Midwest’s early days, but so often they had pictured their women as gaunt, browbeaten creatures, despairing women whom life seemed to defeat. That was not my mother. Not with her courage, her humor, her nature that would cause her to say at the end of her life: ‘We had the best time in the world.’”—Belles Lettres

“The language is good and sturdy and dotted with imaginative metaphors and similes (‘Silence, so deep, that it roared in its vast vacuum’). If the book tries to crowd too much life into 300 pages, well, there was a lot of life: ‘We old pioneers,’ Abbie says at the end, ‘we dreamed dreams into the country.’”—Milwaukee Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803259225
Publisher:
UNP - Nebraska Paperback
Publication date:
01/28/1994
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
307
Sales rank:
1,340,457
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

This Bison Books edition includes Bess Streeter Aldrich's own story of how she came to write A Lantern in Her Hand. Among the other Aldrich books reprinted by the University of Nebraska Press is A White Bird Flying (first published in 1931), the sequel to A Lantern in Her Hand.

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A Lantern in Her Hand 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When Abbie Mckenzie was young she dreamed of becoming a lovely lady like her grandmother. She wanted to paint beautiful pictures and become a world famous singer. She even gets a chance to fulfill those dreams when the dashing young doctor hears her singing, falls in love, and offers to take her East and away from Iowa with him. But people's ideals change sometimes. Abbie finds love with poor but steady Will Deal. She gives up everything to move to Nebraska with him. Many obsticals awaited them there but together they made it. Abbie and Will were barely getting by, but their children were as happy as kings. Maybe that's because their lovely mother braught them up "with a song upon her lips and a lantern in her hand". As Abbie Deal grows old, she realizes that none of her old dreams will ever come true for her but they will through her children. And as an old woman, she can look back on her life with a smile. This book is beautiful and touching and will bring tears to your eyes. I recomend this book because I absolutely loved it every time I read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book as a girl, and it was always a favorite, one of the ones I would read over and over.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was very touching! I loved the book alot and there were sad parts in the book as well as happy ones. It was great!
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I was reading the book, it felt like I was there with them out in the praire. I would really like to read it again if I found a copy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of my favorites of all time. Not only does it accurately portray pioneer life but causes you to identify with Abbie. I am deffinitely going get my class to read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an AMAZING book!!!!!!! I loved it! It has great lesson in how you should treat your life... It has good lessons about family also. I recomend this book to all of the girls that love biographies or realistic fiction biographies.
tennnesseecolleen More than 1 year ago
All of this series should be read. Wonderful history, romance, adventure---all written before I was born, and I'm 73!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adored this novel!!! The writer portrays Abbie's life so realisticely and makes you see the finer points in life! Very touching! I think all people sould read this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a child in school I read the book over 30 times. Have been looking yrs for this book for my daughter, but i must read it first!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book to read! I tells a great story about life in the west. It is a must read for children 10-13. I would recomend this to anyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great. I read it in middle school and it blew my mind away. I remember that I could not put this book down. The main character was a very strong woman. Every young girl should read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book that I had to get it for a school project. However, I bought it on the nook app and some of the words got cut off which was really bothersome since I need to quote the book in my paper. I was not too happy about that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found this book sadly anticlimactic and boring. It was qritten in sutch a way that it never really grasped my attention. I guess it does give you a look back at life in that time, but as far as stories go, I give it only one star.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This has been a family favorite for many years. My mother, sister and I have never gotten tired of this novel. It is a timeless story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked the first half of the story, because it was really sweet and touching that this girl could have become a great singer but gave it up to marry her love. I think it's sad that she never got to do anything with her voice and had to work so hard on the prarie. this book shows how life really was on the prarie then, instead od sugaring it up like the lit;e house on the prarie books. It's sad that her grandchildren at the end of the book, don't appercate how much she's been through for them, but i guess that's the way it is. The end of the book, is kinda drawn out, because the author spends to much time telling about her senior years. But over all a great book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I gave this book 4 stars because it showed the 1800's in great depth. It's a must read for any ages!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was boring and Didn't go anywhere It was like running around in circles for no reason and never getting anywhere.