Dear Book Lovers,

A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter is a beautiful, uplifting story. Though published in 1909, the values it portrays—perseverance, self-reliance, compassion, honor, inner beauty–never lose their shelf life. Add to these elements a reverence for God and for His creation and this novel is reading time well-spent.

Elnora, the main character, is a likable teen and readers will root for her. Though neglected practically since birth by her bitter, grieving mother, Elnora has not grown bitter. Instead the adversity has made her self-reliant and given her sympathy for the suffering of others.

When the story begins, Elnora is 16 and determined to attend high school in town though it is a three-mile walk from her country home. There are numerous obstacles to her furthering her education and God answers her prayer in unexpected ways. The first half of the book covers the struggles and triumphs of her high school years. The second half tells of her friendship and then romance with a young lawyer. Elnora’s integrity is severely tested in this last section, but she demonstrates that even in love, a person can have grace and honor.

The book has multiple points of views and a number of characters in the story grow and make positive changes in their lives. Reading a story with multiple points of view can be helpful to teens. They will see Elnora’s situations through more than just her eyes. In their own lives they can forget (though don’t we all) that there is more than one way to see an issue and more than one person involved in a difficulty.

Some readers may initially be put off by the author’s style which is more narrative than present day novels. It might take some getting used to. The description of moth collecting in the wilds of the Michigan woods will intrigue nature lovers.

Depending on the girl, the book because of its style leans to the high school age reader.