Times Literary Supplement (review date 13 December 1928)
SOURCE: Review of A Lantern in Her Hand, by Bess Streeter Aldrich. Times Literary Supplement (13 December 1928): 992.
[In the following brief review of A Lantern in Her Hand, the critic notes the novel's “absorbing interest.”]
There is imaginative power in this story [A Lantern in Her Hand] of pioneering days in Iowa and Nebraska, and even the most homely and trivial happenings in the eighty years of Abbie Deal's life are so dramatically treated as to give the chronicle of her struggle against an adverse destiny an absorbing interest. Abbie herself is a memorable figure, with her sturdy loyalty and romantic longings, the heritage of her aristocratic Scotch and peasant Irish ancestors. Jolting in the covered wagon as it made its slow advance westward over the prairies from the little village of Chicago, the child Abbie listened avidly to her sister's oft-told tale of the lovely lady, Isabelle Anders-Mackenzie. All through her maidenhood the legend of Isabelle, made concrete in the shape of a string of pearls, a family heirloom, acted as a beacon to Abbie's thoughts of fame as singer, writer, or painter. When she was nineteen, just after the Civil War, Abbie refused a chance of going to New York and married Will Deal. The Deals took the trail westward from Cedar Falls to the young State of Nebraska, where Abbie reared her six children with indomitable courage through all the hard years of famine and drought, grasshopper plagues and snow, until the determination of the early settlers bore its fruit in rolling miles of rich cornland and wealthy cities.