A Lantern in Her Hand
by Bess Streeter Aldrich [Aldrich]
Abbie Deal through the course of the book matures from an eight-year-old whose family has recently migrated to Iowa into an "old lady who dies while the meat burned and the children played 'Run, Sheep, Run'." With that opening, who could resist turning the page? For the first few chapters, Aldrich recounts Midwest adventures akin to those in the Little House books. While this is interesting enough, I most enjoyed reading about Abbie's creative pursuits. I also related to how she used every opportunity to dream of being a singer, painter, or writer. At the age of eighteen, Abbie faces a decision not uncommon at that time about who to marry. Here's where Abbie's story really begins, for true to pioneer life the family meets very few people and face year after year of crop failure. Aldrich has written a beautiful fictional tribute to the memories of her mother and all the other settlers whom she interviewed about the forging of this state. -- review submitted by Allison H.-F. - a customer of the Bennett Martin Public Library
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