Book Review: ‘A Girl of the Limberlost’ Brings Lost Wilderness to Life

Gene Stratton-Porter’s writing captures the beauty of a lost Indiana wilderness.




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t’s fascinating to observe how yesterday’s best sellers become the next day’s bargain-bin denizens. With some stories, this is a literary tragedy. Many books that delighted readers a century ago are mostly unknown today. Gene Stratton-Porter’s A Girl of the Limberlost is just such a book, and despite its seemingly outdated language and sensibilities, it is a lovely work that deserves wider recognition.

First published in 1909, A Girl of the Limberlost tells the story of Elnora Comstock, a plucky, generous, clever heroine whose widowed mother treats her harshly. Despite the obstacles set up by her mother, Elnora puts herself through high

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