September 16, 2016
Looking Back - A White Bird Flying
Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.
A White Bird Flying by Bess Streeter Aldrich
Deal Family #2
1988 University of Nebraska Press (first published in 1931)
Finished on October 30, 1996
Rating: 4/5 (Very Good!)
"Miss Aldrich has recreated the spirit of the descendants of the early Scotch and German settlers of the great Nebraskan plains, the spirit of healthy morality and calm contentment that is characteristic of these people" ~ New York Times
Abbie Deal, the matriarch of a pioneer Nebraska family, has died at the beginning of A White Bird Flying, leaving her china and heavy furniture to others and to her granddaughter Laura the secret of her dream of finer things. Grandma Deal's literary aspirations had been thwarted by the hard circumstances of her life, but Laura vows that nothing, no one, will deter her from a successful writing career. Childhood passes, and the more she repeats her vow the more life intervenes. Laura is at the center of a new generation of Deals in Bess Streeter Aldrich's worthy sequel to A Lantern in Her Hand.
My Original Notes (1996):
What a marvelous author! I loved this book just as much as A Lantern in Her Hand. I love to read about historical Nebraska; the area and points of interest are so familiar. The countryside descriptions, especially those of the grasses and trees (cottonwoods!) are so accurate. And what a good sequel. Having gotten to know Abbie Deal's family in A Lantern in Her Hand, it was wonderful to find out what happened next. I'm ready to buy all of Aldrich's remaining books! She reminds me a bit of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
My Current Thoughts:
A Lantern in Her Hand was my first exposure to Nebraska literature. I hadn't discovered Willa Cather at this point and I fell in love with Bess Streeter Aldrich's depiction of the area I had recently moved to after living in San Diego for 20 years. Aldrich could have easily been writing about the acreage my husband and I had purchased, her details were all so recognizable. I really need to go back and re-read these two novels, although I wonder if they'll still have the same impact on me now that I've been in Nebraska for almost 25 years!