The story of a girl of the Michigan woods; a buoyant, loveable type of the self-reliant American. Her philosophy is one of love and kindness towards all things; her hope is never dimmed. And by the sheer beauty of her soul, and the purity of her vision, she wins from barren and unpromising surroundings those rewards of high courage.
upils do good work. You may enter first year, and if it is too difficult, we will find it out speedily. Your teachers will tell you the list of books you must have, and if you will come with me I will show you the way to the auditorium. It is now time for opening exercises. Take any seat you find vacant."
Elnora stood before the entrance and stared into the largest room she ever had seen. The floor sloped to a yawning stage on which a band of musicians, grouped around a grand piano, were tuning their instruments. She had two fleeting impressions. That it was all a mistake; this was no school, but a grand display of enormous ribbon bows; and the second, that she was sinking, and had forgotten how to walk. Then a burst from the orchestra nerved her while a bevy of daintily clad, sweet- smelling things that might have been birds, or flowers, or possibly gaily dressed, happy young girls, pushed her forward. She found herself plodding across the back of the auditorium, praying for guidance, to an empty seat
I grew up reading my grandmother's Gene Stratton-Porter books, and some I love, some I dislike. This book is one I have read and re-read. If you saw the film of this story, don't be put off by that (the film stunk). A lovely story.
"The Girl of the Limberlost" was introduced to me decades ago by my mother who had loved the book in her turn as a young girl. My memories consisted of the butterflies eating carrion, the mother rejuvenating herself, and the mother redeeming her daughter's love by capturing a moth to replace one she had destroyed. I had to re-read this book to recapture these memories and found the book even more satisfying than when I was a child.
The story and romance of Elnora growing up in the wetlands of northern Indiana is also a cautionary tale for ecology-lovers. Gene Stratton-Porter paints a picture of coming industry destroying nature and those who try to save what can be saved for future generations.
Because of Stratton-Porter's writings, the area she loved and wrote about is being preserved and turned back into the wetlands it once was. The tall trees, hundreds of years old, will never return, but the grasses, the birds, the animals, and the insects are being another chance because of the author's heart-driven writing.