Reading Challenge: A Lantern in Her Hand

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This weeks book from the reading challenge is the book: Lantern in Her Hand. This meets the requirement for a book about an interesting woman.

I know this book is marketed to middle school children, but as a woman in my 40s this book is so rich with meaning and life lessons, I am so thrilled I decided to read it.

So much of this book was about things that still plague homemakers today, even though it was based on the life of Abbie Deal, an early American pioneer.

On the surface, it’s about life on the prairies. But in reality is a story about dreams, longings, love, loss, parenting, expectations and hope. It’s about carrying dreams from one generation, and transferring that dream to the next.

It’s also about aging- the way time slips through our grasp. The main character describes in great detail what aging feels like- what it is to watch your children go from babies to parents, and then grandparents themselves. It’s about respect for the aging, and respect for the new generations.

I love the observations Abbie, the primary character makes about life, and the people who filed hers:

“One gets out of life largely what one puts in. Christine has put all her time and thought on the land and for reward she had…land.” That sentence alone gave me quite a bit of pause. As a wife, mother, family member and friend, I sure hope I keep this thought ever before me. The time and energy I devote to loving and supporting others will also reap a harvest.

I’m telling you, with two aging parents, this book hit me in the gut the way few books have. I absolutely recommend it- for middle school on up. I would recommend it as heartily to my mother as I would my son.

Have you read this book? It’s often included in different reading lists. Do you think a child could possibly love it as much as I did?

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