This was one of the most heartwarming, touching, most precious stories Ive ever read. What I loved most about it(apart from the lovely and poetical way of writing), was how Aldrich wrote the story of Abbys whole life, and not just the romance era like most authors do.
I never would have considered that old people are never really old, its just that they have outgrown what the rest of us are still waiting to grow into; that they once had lives with romance and accomplishments and thing of their own, had I not read this book.
Well, anyways, the story goes like this:
Abby Mackenzie is eight years old when she moves to a little community with her family, and meets Will Deal. Well, all her young life, Abby has been told the story of her aristocratic father married her peasant mother, putting the rest of the family into peasantry. Her dream is to be like her aristocratic grandmother, Isabel Anders-Mackenzie, who has a portrait which Abby has only seen in her imagination.
Well, when Abby grows older, she is courted by the dashing young doctor, Ed Mathews, who proposes while her friend Will is off at war. She thinks that if she marries him, she will have the chance to pursue all the dreams of being a fine lady, especially enriching her lovely singing voice.
But, then Will comes home, and Abby marries him, realizing that he was the one she really loved. So, the newly weds pioneer-on-over to Nebraska Territory, where they raise a family.
The rest of the story tells of their life on the prairie, and how Abby is able to live her dreams through her children instead of herself. The book goes on until she dies in her eighties. I loved it with all of my heart, and absolutely COULD NOT have imagined a sweeter ending than the one Aldrich gave. Read this book!
When Abbie Mckenzie was young she dreamed of becoming a lovely lady like her grandmother. She wanted to paint beautiful pictures and become a world famous singer. She even gets a chance to fulfill those dreams when the dashing young doctor hears her singing, falls in love, and offers to take her East and away from Iowa with him. But peoples ideals change sometimes.
Abbie finds love with poor but steady Will Deal. She gives up everything to move to Nebraska with him. Many obsticals awaited them there but together they made it. Abbie and Will were barely getting by, but their children were as happy as kings. Maybe thats because their lovely mother braught them up “with a song upon her lips and a lantern in her hand”.
As Abbie Deal grows old, she realizes that none of her old dreams will ever come true for her but they will through her children. And as an old woman, she can look back on her life with a smile. This book is beautiful and touching and will bring tears to your eyes. I recomend this book because I absolutely loved it every time I read it.
Bess Aldrichs “Lantern in Her Hand” is about 75 years old now. It tells the story of one woman named Abby Deal, and her life from a young girl to an elderly grandmother. It seems stuck in its time, as Abby acts like an “old fashioned” woman, but I suppose I cant expect differently.
The story moves slowly, and it tells of how Nebraska became settled. Typical grandmother-granddaughter subplot where they leave in two different worlds, and typical subplot about another granddaughter who is just like Abby.
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