- Series: Great Stories
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Focus on the Family (February 26, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1561797960
- ISBN-13: 978-1561797967
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 344 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,560,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Freckles (Great Stories) Paperback – February 26, 2000
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So once I got older and bought my own Kindle subscription, I was tired of the several modern valueless stories I've been reading lately and looked for The Girl of the Limberlost. I was pleased to find Freckles was a recommended book!! Now I finally understand why the Limberlost characters loved him so much! And now I love him too!
A very wholesome read although I still think The Girl of the Limberlost is a bit better, if only because it has more character development and story. Still, Freckles is great and I highly recommend it!
Where in the wide world to begin? Freckles' character is very near "other-worldly" as most of this author's characters appear to be written. Fine by me, since I was sick and tired of reading about dissipated rakes of the first order. He is literally fascinating in that he was raised as an orphan after being found with his hand cut off along with a very bruised body as though someone had attempted to kill him from his infancy. Since he had no strong memories of his past, he always considered that he was unwanted and unloved but had the courage to simply moved forward with a positive attitude of always trying to do his best in all his endeavors.
When we are introduced to Freckles, he is a teen-ager, grown too old for the orphanage, then placed into the hands of a cruel taskmaster who was disappointed the orphanage had sent him a young man with only one hand. By the time we meet him, he has managed to escape and somehow winds up in what is known as the Limberlost - a wetlands region located in Indiana where he seeks employment with the Grand Rapids Lumber Company owned by Mr. McLean. Mr. McLean was indeed looking to hire a guard to protect a portion of the swamp while his men worked other areas downing trees and making lumber. He wanted a "hardy big fellow with a stout heart and a strong body." Obviously Freckles, in his weakened physical condition, hardly fits the bill.
But Freckles talks Mr. McLean into giving him a chance - an opportunity that will forever change his life for the better. Freckles is then on his way to a new life that will ultimately bring him joy, contentment and a relationship with all the wonderful inhabitants of the swamp. More importantly, he will eventually meet up with the Angel of the Swamp and the Bird Lady. These two ladies, along with Freckles' continuing relationship with Mr. McLean, will one day bring him full circle into the life he was born to live.
The amazing descriptions of the marshlands of the Limberlost and the creatures who lived there will serve to remind all of us what we have lost by allowing huge companies to come into these areas and do nothing but "take." I would probably never be described as a radical environmentalist but I do believe we must protect our lands to the best of our ability. After reading this book, I checked to see if Limberlost was a real place and was greatly relieved to learn that parts of these marshlands have been restored beginning in 1977.
A truly magical tale with characters that seem too good to be true. So what if they are! I know for a fact that real people have many of the characteristics displayed by the individuals in this book. Refreshing! Uplifting! Just what I have needed!
Recently I came across a mention of Girl of the Limberlost, one I never read by Gene Stratton Porter. Maybe it was nostalgia, but I decided I wanted to read it and grabbed a copy of Freckles to reread first to reacquaint myself with that world.
The author was a conservationist and her writing reflects her love of the woods and swamp. The Limberlost is a real place in Indiana, mostly gone now. She evokes the feel of that world so well, the flowers, trees, animals, and especially the birds. Her descriptions are just lovely, though she's clever at showing the grimmer aspects of the swamp. Mrs. Duncan's misadventure contrasts well as a reminder with Freckle's daily walks with his 'chickens'.
This was also probably one of the first romances I read. The growing relationship between Freckles and Angel is sweet and pure. The book certainly harks back to a different time, in some ways simpler though there is evil in the story also. My young heart fell in love with the poor Irish orphan with one hand, and I'm not ashamed to admit some of those twinges still existed as I reread his story.