Many of the best books grew up with you: you can read them as a child, as a young woman, as a mother, in middle age and old age, and you’ll never tire of the story. Some of this book speaks to you at every stage of your life.
Some of these books are classics you may have heard and read, such as little woman and anne of green gables.
But to me, the books that best embody the genre are the lesser-known gems. The name usually elicits blank stares when I ask if anyone has read it.
have you ever heard lantern in her hand?
It tells the story of a pioneering woman, Abbie Deal, who often struggled to build a home and life in Nebraska with her husband and children. It’s a rare and perfect combination of “can’t put it down” stories that are also moving and profound (surprisingly, for a short story by a little-known author!). This is a book you won’t forget.
I first read it at sleep camp when I was 10 years old and have read it many times since, each time with a new and different perspective. I found this book when a cabin buddy brought it to camp as it was her summer reading assignment (Looking back, I have to say, a lot of admiration for that teacher!).
I loved this exciting, adventurous story the first time I read it. When I read it as a teenager, I got excited about romantic love stories.
But now, as a mother, my perspective has changed again. simply put, lantern in her hand It is the best literary description of motherhood I have ever seen. If you are a mother, I think you will like it very much.
to her best mother
I have a lot of admiration for the heroine, Abby Dill, and one of my favorite things about her is how she raised her children so thoughtfully with extremely limited resources.
She wants her kids to love literature, music, and art, so she finds ways to get them in touch with those beautiful things on the filthy, humble cottage:
Severe snowstorms kept disrupting the children’s school time, so again Abby did most of the teaching herself. She is constantly scouring her mind for new ideas, trying to think about what else she can do for the children. Time is slipping away, and conditions are not much better. Even though she has to face the harsh truth that she can’t do anything for herself anymore, kids have to have some of the best things in life. [Her husband] Working around the clock to make himself an old man before his time. She has to do more for the kids somehow. She couldn’t let them grow up without a taste for good things. They should know more about music and have more reading, because they don’t get them, so she has to somehow instill in them a desire to have them…if that desire is deep enough, they’ll find a A way to find them with age.She started listening to Shakespeare plays every night for a while and asked [her children] Learn a paragraph or two…
This is one of many examples in the book. I won’t cite all the long articles I want to cite, but will only add that in “there’s not much to eat in the cupboard… [and] Little or no money” brings me to tears every time.
Decades later, her efforts paid off: Her children have all become highly successful leaders in their communities, every bit as mature as she would like them to be.
Then, as an older woman, Abby heard someone say, “To have children, you should have enough time and money to develop them.”
The idea seemed almost ridiculous to her. She herself raised her children well in self-made poverty.she remembers
…a turf house, a small painted blackboard against the mud…a bookshelf, a slate and some ironed brown wrapping paper. Mothers there listen to reading lessons while kneading bread, teach songs while cleaning clothes, and tinker with spelling, instilling in their children the ideals of honesty and a clean life in every menial task.
I think this work of hers is very beautiful, both to support her family and to educate her children very well. As a housewife and homeschool educator, I look to her (though she is fictional!) as a role model and inspiration.
A mother who gave everything for her
However, Abby’s sacrifice for the children did not come without a price. She was forced to give up many of her dreams of herself, including her desire to travel and her talents in painting, singing and writing.
These dreams come true in a very moving and complete way for her children, and Abby finally accepts her fate, but it’s a little sad to read the story of her giving up on her dreams. In fact, this part of the plot caused a lot of debate in my book club discussions.Many of us felt that such a sacrifice was too demanding of her.
At the same time, what mother does not sacrifice a lot for her child? All of us give up so much for our children – our time, our bodies, our space, our sleep. These sacrifices, while worthwhile, are real.
In the modern world, we are fortunate that we can often find creative ways to achieve our dreams and raise our children well, so Abby’s story is in many ways a product of her time. However, I think any mother can sympathize with her sacrifice and feel a little bit of it herself. So the book also portrays motherhood very well in this way.
The story follows Abby into old age, and I really like how it helps readers understand the point of view of an older woman. This especially influenced me when I was 10 years old and got me very interested in talking to my grandmother about their memories and life stories. As I read the book as an older woman, I was curious to know how I felt about this part of the book.
lantern in her hand It is worth listing with other classics, and it is very suitable for book clubs. If you are a mother, I hope you have the opportunity to read it. Please let me know what you think!