Have you ever taken a picture that makes you think of a book?
I took this picture while standing on the Cayucos, California pier.
While taking the picture I thought of a great book that I had read. A White Bird Flying by Bess Streeter Aldrich.
A White Bird Flying is the sequel to A Lantern in Her Hand. I really enjoyed reading both of these novels as they were about pioneer life in Iowa and Nebraska. I could visualize the hardships that my ancestors went through as they settled in the same part of the country.
A Lantern in Her Hand tells the story of Abbie Mackenzie Deal as she moves to Iowa and then Nebraska in the mid 1800’s. The struggles of building a new life on the frontier and the challenges of bringing up a family are beautifully woven together.
However, my favorite is the sequel, A White Bird Flying. In this great novel we follow the story of Abbie’s granddaughter Laura as she struggles not with pioneer life and adversity, but rather with a decision between a career in writing, or marriage and family. We also find out that her grandmother had aspirations as a writer that were unfulfilled. We see Laura trying to fill those aspirations.
One of my favorite parts of the story is when Laura and her friend Allen visit the Arbor Lodge in Nebraska City. It brought back memories of times that I visited there when I was young.
So, does Laura choose a career in writing, or marriage and family? I encourage you to read the two books and find out for yourself. I would recommend both of them to anyone who loves Historical Fiction or reading about pioneer days.
Bess Streeter Aldrich along with Willa Cather are two excellent authors who wrote about pioneer life in Nebraska. I have yet to decide which of them is my favorite Nebraska author as they both were great story tellers. If you enjoyed reading O Pioneers! or My Antonio by Cather, you will also enjoy these two great novels by Aldrich.
So, grab one of these books, pour a nice cup of hot tea and settle in for a good read.