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Bess Streeter Aldrich (1881–1954)

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28+ verk 2,323 medlemmar 57 recensioner 6 favoritmärkta

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Verk av Bess Streeter Aldrich

Associerade verk

Roundup: A Nebraska Reader (1957) — Bidragsgivare — 21 exemplar
25 Short Short Stories — Bidragsgivare — 1 exemplar


Allmänna fakta

Vedertaget namn
Aldrich, Bess Streeter
Andra namn
Streeter, Bess Genevra (birth)
Stephens, Margaret Dean (pen name)
Elmwood Cemetery, Elmwood, Nebraska, USA
Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
Lincoln, Nebraska, USA
Elmwood, Nebraska, USA
University of Northern Iowa (Iowa State Normal School, 1901)
short story writer
magazine writer
Kort biografi
Bess Streeter Aldrich was a popular and prolific Nebraska writer who also went to Hollywood to work for Paramount.



YA/ historical fiction about the frontier i Name that Book (oktober 2009)


This book is the sequel to A Lantern in Her Hand, part of the Bison Books by this author. The story takes place in Nebraska during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is the story of life with its loves and disappointments. The title is taken from advice from Grandma Deal to Laura, her granddaughter, that life is where "spirit" takes one, whether it's the farm or the big city. The words in the book were beautiful and descriptive. Will definitely read the others if I can find them at a reasonable price. 352 pages… (mer)
Tess_W | 8 andra recensioner | Aug 8, 2023 |
On my second reread of this book, I enjoyed it immensely, and am just as pleased by the pairing of the two main characters. Also, now I know what Ak-sar-ben means, which I did not know when I first read it. :) Not that it comes up a lot. But it's mentioned.

I did feel a smidge more frustration on this reread with Laura and her inability to know herself.

Laura, a third-generation resident of Cedartown, Nebraska, begins the novel at about age 12. She is mourning the loss of her recently deceased grandmother, the person she felt closest to. Laura makes a promise to herself that she will do all the things her grandmother had to skip. That is, rather than settling down to a humdrum domestic life, she will see the world. She will write books. She will be somebody.
Fast-forward a few years, and Laura is at university in Lincoln. She is still single-minded about her career, but she is also drawn into friendship with Allen Rinemiller, a university student from her hometown. After her grandmother, he has been the only person she feels she can really be herself with. The rest of the novel is concerned with Laura's struggle between the life she thinks she wants, and the more subtle value of a loving relationship and a home.

This book is a real love letter to Nebraska and its settlers. It was published in 1931, and it is a sequel to "A Lantern in Her Hand," which details the entry of several pioneer families to the Midwest. By the time "A White Bird Flying" picks up, we are well into the third generation of those families, and it is interesting to see how priorities change from generation to generation.
The families in the preceding novel were primarily concerned with matters of actual survival, and then, as stability was reached, with beginning a community. By the time their grandchildren reach maturity, their opportunities look very much more like what we have today...questions of career, education, culture, social status, and money.
Bess Streeter Aldrich uses this book to stand up for the value of hard work and family.

It has some amusing lines, too, and some great bits of descriptive writing. I'll include a sample of each:

To top one of eastern Nebraska's low rolling hills in October and see the entire hollow bowl of the world fitting in the entire hollow bowl of the skies is to glimpse a bit of Infinity.

"Look at your own Aunt Isabelle Rhodes in Chicago. Hasn't she been a professional singer and music teacher ever since she and Harrison Rhodes were married?"
"Yes, but they're different. They work together. He composes and she sings."
"Well, so could we. You'd write, and I'd sharpen your pencils."

I've read the preceding book in this set once or twice, and it is certainly helpful for getting to know the background of the families, but I like A White Bird Flying as a standalone. I think people get more interesting as you move past the struggle-for-survival bits of history and start to have time and energy for the problems of the heart and mind.
… (mer)
Alishadt | 8 andra recensioner | Feb 25, 2023 |
This is the second novel that I've read by Aldrich. The first was A Lantern in her Hand, the novel for which Aldrich is best known. I won The Lieutenant's Lady from a blog give-away in 2010 and read it shortly after visiting Aldrich's house for the first time in March 2011 (I wrote a blog post about the visit that you can read here:

The Lieutenant's Lady is about a young woman, Linnie, from the East who's visiting relatives in Omaha, Nebraska in the late 1860s shortly after Nebraska gains statehood. Omaha is booming, the Civil War is over, and the US Army has turned its attention to making the western lands safe for white settlement. On her way home to the East, Linnie ends up traveling up the Missouri River to tell her cousin's fiance, a lieutenant in the Army stationed at a remote fort, that he's lost his betrothed to another man. Our heroine is already smitten with the young lieutenant. He's understandably upset when Linnie shows up rather than his bride-to-be, but he marries Linnie the day she arrives for the sake of her safety and saving face. They eventually fall in love while dealing with the hardships and dangers of Army life on the plains.

The story is based on the diary of an Army wife that someone sent to Aldrich--she was known for collecting pioneer stories to authenticate her fiction. I'd love to read the original diary to see what Aldrich made up and what she may have left out. The novel was published in 1942 and I wonder if Aldrich chose this story as her subject due to the pro-army feeling she was be able to create.

I enjoyed The Lieutenant's Lady and recommend it to readers who are interested in the historical time period and/or western literature. It's the kind of book I loved to read and deconstruct as an undergraduate. Racial attitudes, service vs greed, and gender issues abound in this novel.
… (mer)
Chris.Wolak | 4 andra recensioner | Oct 13, 2022 |
Based on a true story of a woman who marries an army man during the post-Civil War battles with the Indians in the Western Territories. She travels with him from fort to fort, quickly adapting to the harsh conditions, but never really accepting her situation as permanent. All the while she struggles with the belief that her husband still pines for his first love, her cousin, until the very end, when he finally declares his devotion to his wife. An enjoyable, quick read, and--because it was written in 1942--wonderfully free from modern commentary.… (mer)
JanaKrause | 4 andra recensioner | Nov 23, 2021 |



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