A Lantern in her Hand

A Lantern in her Hand

by Bess Streeter Aldrich

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A Lantern in her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich

Cedartown sits beside a great highway which was once a buffalo
trail. If you start in one direction on the highway--and travel
far enough--you will come to the effete east. If you start in the
opposite direction--and travel a few hundred miles farther--you
will come to the distinctive west. Cedartown is neither effete nor
distinctive, nor is it even particularly pleasing to the passing
tourist. It is beautiful only in the eyes of those who live here
and in the memories of the Nebraska-born whose dwelling in far
places has given them moments of homesickness for the low rolling
hills, the swell and dip of the ripening wheat, the fields of
sinuously waving corn and the elusively fragrant odor of alfalfa.

There are weeks when drifting snow and sullen sleet hold the
Cedartown community in their bitter grasp. There are times when
hot winds come out of the southwest and parch it with their
feverish breath. There are periods of monotonous drouth and
periods of dreary rain; but between these onslaughts there are days
so perfect, so filled with clover odors and the rich, pungent smell
of newly turned loam, so sumac-laden and apple-burdened, that to
the prairie-born there are no others as lovely by mountain or lake
or sea.

The paved streets of Cedartown lie primly parallel over the
obliterated tracks of the buffalo. The substantial buildings of
Cedartown stand smartly over the dead ashes of Indian campfires.
There are very few people left now in the community who have seen
the transition,--who have witnessed the westward trek of the last
buffalo, the flicker of the last burnt-out ember.

Old Abbie Deal was one of these.

Just outside the corporate limits of Cedartown stands the old Deal
home. It was once a farm-house, but the acreage around it has been
sold, and Cedartown has grown out to meet it, so that a newcomer
could not know where the town ceased and the country began.

The house stands well back from the road in a big yard with a long
double row of cedars connecting the formal parlor entrance and the
small front gate. However, in the days when the Deals lived there,
scarcely any one used the little gate, or walked up the grassy path
between the cedars. All comers chose to enter by the wide carriage-
gate standing hospitably open and beckoning a welcome to the lane
road which runs past a row of Lombardy poplars to the sitting-room

The house itself is without distinction. There were no architects
in the community when the first of its rooms were built. "We'll
have the living-room there and the kitchen here," one told old Asy
Drumm. And old Asy, with few comments and much tobacco-chewing,
placed the living-room there and the kitchen here. The result was
weatherproof, sturdy and artless. When the country was new, homes,
like dresses, were constructed more for wearing qualities than

Product Details

BN ID: 2940013762602
Publisher: WDS Publishing
Publication date: 01/15/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 159,198
File size: 239 KB

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A Lantern in Her Hand 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 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.
Owan on LibraryThing 6 days ago
Aldrich is, truly, a very good author. Her books are well written, but her plots aren't exactly the best. This one follows the life story of Abbie Deal, a early pioneer with long tapering fingers. She's prone to jealousy and depression, but all the same, this book is fairly mild on the emotions between young men and women.
Anonymous 16 days ago
This book was written in 1926. A wonderful friend loaned it to me. I could not put in down. I would rate this one of my all time top ten favorites.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definately one of my favorite books of all time. Abby (main character) is very relatable and makes excellent protagonist. A fantastic read for historic-fiction-loving girls ages 10 and up!
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!