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A Girl of the Limberlost (Library of Indiana Classics) Paperback – September 22, 1984


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Series: Library of Indiana Classics
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press (September 22, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0253203317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253203311
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,303,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gene (born Geneva) Stratton-Porter is one of Indiana's most famous authors. She was an independent woman, an accomplished naturalist, and a born storyteller. Born near Wabash, Indiana, she died in a streetcar accident in Los Angeles at the height of her movie production career. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

The story is a wonderful and timeless story.
Chopin lover
I really want all my children to have this book and encourage them to read it at least once in their lifetime!
Valerie Martini
This is a book that I have loved reading and re-reading for the past 20 years, since I was about 13 years old.
JF

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

186 of 190 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
Think of it as a Midwestern Cinderella story, but with no glass slipper and plenty of moths. Gene Stratton Porter was at the peak of her skills when she wrote "A Girl of the Limberlost," which starts off as a young girl's struggle against her mother's virulent hatred -- and soon evolves into an enchanting little romance.

Elnora Comstock has barely signed up for college when she discovers that she can't afford it -- tuition and textbooks cost too much, and her shabby clothes are mocked by her classmates. Even worse, her half-crazy, malicious mother refuses to cough up any money.

But she soon finds that she can pay another way -- a strange lady called the Bird Woman is willing to pay money for moths, butterflies, caterpillars and chrysalids, which Elnora can easily find in a vast dangerous swamp called the Limberlost. And her friends Margaret and Wesley are happy to help her in any way they can -- clothes, a violin -- until the day when Mrs. Comstock comes to a shocking realization about her daughter.

Then Elnora encounters a wealthy young man named Philip Ammon, who has the same love of nature that she has -- as well as a wealthy socialite fiancee named Edith. But when a party in honor of Edith and Philip's engagement is wrecked by a butterfly and a fit of jealousy, he begins to realize what his true feelings for Elnora are...

"A Girl of the Limberlost" can be divided into two sections -- the first is a Cinderellaesque story about a strong, intelligent young girl who is pursing her music and education, despite her nasty old mother's loathing of her. But once that storyline is wrapped up, the second half of the book becomes a haunting, passionate love story.
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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By JF on October 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
A lovely early 20th century book about a girl who lives in a rural area, catching rare moths to put herself through high school. This book is perfect for a girl in her young teens- an innocently romantic tale that focuses a on girl's growing understanding of her own role in the world. While the book's language and setting might seem outdated to some, the theme and plot are timeless classics.

This is a book that I have loved reading and re-reading for the past 20 years, since I was about 13 years old.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've read this book every few years or so since I was 10(I'm now 60) the first copy being my grandmother's. One is transported into a different world, one where goals were clearer . Elnora's struggles can be related to by any girl today, and her triumph is purely her own. A lovely theme in the book allows each character to come to life as a caterpillar, spend a time in a cocoon, them emerge finally as a beautiful moth. Elnora's mother's transformation is particularly splendid. The ecological concerns of the novel convince the reader that our "modern" problems are mere variations on a theme. The reverence for hard work, creativity, and strict moral standards are refreshing.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By D. Summerfield on March 31, 2009
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Elnora Comstock, the plucky, resourceful heroine of this classic novel, first published in 1909, is a character who is still relevant and fascinating for today's readers. "A Girl of the Limberlost" was one of my favorite books as a girl, and it was one of my mother's and my grandmother's favorites. Like other timeless literary heroines who overcome great odds to achieve happiness (such as Anne of "Anne of Green Gables" and Jo of "Little Women"), Elnora is eternally fiesty, admirable and loveable.

When the novel opens, Elnora is determined to attend the high school in a nearby township. Her neglectful, sometimes abusive mother, Katharine, is equally determined to discourage her and ruin her dreams. Elnora and Katharine live in a cabin on the edge of the great Limberlost swamp, a place of wonder and danger, located three miles from the township where Elnora wants to go to school. The hard, cold Katharine is haunted by the death of her husband on the very day Elnora was born. She blames her only child for the death of her beloved husband because her birth kept Katharine from having the strength to aid her husband when he was drowning in the swamp.

On the first day of high school, Elnora's tacky clothes and inability to fit in with the snooty mean girls, along with the fact that she learns she will needs an unexpected amount of money for books and tuition leads her to brief despair. But her own ingenuity, along with the help of a loving neighbor couple, Margaret and Wesley Sinton, solve some of Elnora's problems.

I love the many intricate details in this book about Elnora's life in a rural early twentieth century world. For instance, the Sintons purchase clothing and accessories so that Elnora can fit in with her classmates.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
Elnora Comstock , despite country schooling, lack of money, and a mother who despises her, uses her wits and character to get an education. Her absolute understanding of right and wrong may seem quaint to a reader today, but it earns her education, money, and the love of all who meet her. The moral values exemplified by Elnora are refreshing to read about. She blames no one for her hardships, but works with all possible verve to overcome them. The ecological issues, which were emphasized in the very inferior made for tv movie, seem to presage our present day concerns. The Bird Woman is even then trying to preserve nature for the city folk who cannot enjoy it. I first read by grandmother's falling apart copy about 55 years ago. Once a decade I would locate the book somehow. Once I got it from a high school student who had inherited it from her great grandmother. Recently it showed up in the public library, but ABRIDGED.I was delighted when I discovered it had been reprinted in its original form. This book casts a strange spell over me. Edith Carr's final act of graciousness is a masterpiece of imagery.
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