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A Daughter of the Land  (1918)

Book

by Gene Stratton-Porter

A Daughter of the Land is set in Gene Stratton Porter's Limberlost series. Kate Bates lives in a man's world. It her dream to own and run her own farm. To fulfill her dreams she must give up everything and start anew.

A Girl of the Limberlost  (1909)

Book

by Gene Stratton-Porter

The novel is set in Indiana. Most of the action takes place either in or around the Limberlost, or in the nearby, fictional town of Onabasha. The novel's heroine, Elnora Comstock, is an impoverished young woman who lives with her widowed mother, Katharine Comstock, on the edge of the Limberlost. Elnora faces cold neglect by her mother, a woman who feels ruined by the death of her husband, Robert Comstock, who drowned in quicksand in the swamp. Katharine blames Elnora for his death, because her husband died while she gave birth to their daughter and could not come to his rescue. The Comstocks make money by selling eggs and other farm products, but Mrs. Comstock refuses to cut down a single tree in the forest, or to delve for oil, as the neighbors around them are doing, even though the added income would make their lives easier.

Babbitt  (1922)

Book

by Sinclair Lewis

Babbitt, first published in 1922, is a novel by Sinclair Lewis. Largely a satire of American culture, society, and behavior, it critiques the vacuity of middle-class American life and its pressure toward conformity. An immediate and controversial bestseller, Babbitt is one of Lewis’s best-known novels and was influential in the decision to award him the Nobel Prize in literature in 1930.

Ethan Frome  (1911)

Book

by Edith Wharton

This story takes place against the cold, gray, bleakness of a New England winter. Ethan Frome is an isolated farmer trying to scrape out a meager living while also tending to his frigid, demanding and ungrateful wife Zeena. A ray of hope enters Ethan's life of despair when his wife's cousin Mattie arrives to help.

Freckles  (1904)

Book

by Gene Stratton-Porter

he hero is an adult orphan, just under twenty years of age, with bright red hair and a freckled complexion. His right hand is missing at the wrist, and has been since before he can remember. Raised since infancy in a Chicago orphanage, he speaks with a slight Irish accent, "scarcely definite enough to be called a brogue." Exhausted after days of walking, he applies for a job with the Grand Rapids lumber company, guarding timber in the Limberlost Swamp. The lumber company field manager, McLean, is impressed by the boy's polite assertiveness and hires him despite his youth and disability. He gives his name only as "Freckles", insisting that he has no name of his own. He claims the name given him in the orphanage (which we never learn) "is no more my name than it is yours". So that he has a name to put down on the books, McLean gives Freckles the name of his own father, James Ross McLean. Freckles' duty is to twice a day walk the perimeter of the lumber company's land, a seven-mile trek through lonely swampland, and to be on the watch for those who aim to steal the expensive timber. McLean's chief worry is Black Jack Carter, who has sworn to smuggle several priceless trees out of the swamp. Freckles' weapons are limited to a revolver and a stout stick, which he carries at all times and uses to test to wire that marks the company's boundaries. At night Freckles boards with Duncan, head teamster for the lumber company, and Duncan's wife, who becomes a mother figure to Freckles.

Free Air  (1919)

Book

by Sinclair Lewis

This road trip novel is set in the early twentieth century and follows the experiences of an aristocratic New Englander and her father as they travel by automobile from Minneapolis to Seattle. She is wooed and won by a noble but simple commoner she meets along the way. Lewis is at his usual wryly humorous self, poking fun at the upper class and treating the common people only slightly better.

Heart of the Hills  (1913)

Book

by John Fox Jr.

First published in 1913, The Heart of the Hills is the last novel completed by John Fox Jr. and the final piece in his mountain trilogy. This companion to The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come and The Trail of the Lonesome Pine is crucial to an understanding of Fox's views.

Her Father's Daughter  (1921)

Book

by Gene Stratton-Porter

HER FATHER'S DAUGHTER (1921) by Gene Stratton Porter is the story of Linda Strong, the titular heroine, a determined and opinionated young woman growing up in California in the 1920s. What could have been a typically charming and heartfelt story of personal discovery, loves and relationships by the beloved naturalist author is unfortunately marred by the strongly pronounced racist and anti-immigrant mindset of the heroine and several other characters. It must be pointed out that the racial prejudice portrayed here is typical of its time and must be viewed in a socio-historical context.

Howard's End  (1910)

Book

by E.M. Forster

The book is about three families in England at the beginning of the 20th century: the Wilcoxes, rich capitalists with a fortune made in the Colonies; the half-German Schlegel siblings (Margaret, Tibby, and Helen), who have much in common with the real-life Bloomsbury Group; and the Basts, a struggling couple in the lower-middle class. The Schlegel sisters try to help the poor Basts and try to make the Wilcoxes less prejudiced.

Jacob's Room  (1922)

Book

by Virginia Woolf

Set in pre-war England, the novel begins in Jacob's childhood and follows him through college at Cambridge, and then into adulthood. The story is told mainly through the perspectives of the women in Jacob's life, including the repressed upper-middle-class Clara Durrant and the uninhibited young art student Florinda, with whom he has an affair

Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come  (1903)

Book

by John Fox Jr.

This is a story of Kentucky, in a settlement known as Kingdom Come. It is a life rude, semi-barbarous; but natural and honest, from which often springs the flower of civilization.Chad, the little shepherd did not know who he was nor whence he came—he had just wandered from door to door since early childhood, seeking shelter with kindly mountaineers who gladly fathered and mothered this waif about whom there was such a mystery—a charming waif, by the way, who could play the banjo better that anyone else in the mountains.

Magnificent Ambersons  (1918)

Book

by Booth Tarkington

The novel and trilogy trace the growth of the United States through the declining fortunes of three generations of the aristocratic Amberson family in an upper-scale Indianapolis neighborhood, between the end of the Civil War and the early part of the 20th century, a period of rapid industrialization and socio-economic change in America.

Poor White  (1920)

Book

by Sherwood Anderson

It is the story of an inventor, Hugh McVey, who rises from poverty on the bank of the Mississippi River. The novel shows the influence of industrialism on the rural heartland of America.

Sister Carrie  (1900)

Book

by Theodore Dreiser

Sister Carrie is a novel by Theodore Dreiser about a young country girl who moves to the big city where she starts realizing her own American Dream, first as a mistress to men that she perceives as superior, and later becoming a famous actress. It has been called the greatest of all American urban novels.

The Glimpses of the Moon  (1922)

Book

by Edith Wharton

When the novel opens, Nick and Susy are newlyweds enjoying a glimpse of the moon from the country home that they've borrowed from a friend for their honeymoon. Nick and Susy aren't typical newlyweds though. They have a deal and figure they'll be married to each other for about a year. At the end of that time (roughly determined as the amount of time in which they, the vastly entertaining but poor couple, can live off of their incredibly wealthy friends), they assume they will divorce and each remarry someone more suitable, by which they mean rich.

The Job  (1917)

Book

by Sinclair Lewis

The Job is an early work by American novelist Sinclair Lewis. It is considered an early declaration of the rights of working women. The focus is on the main character, Una Golden, desire to establish herself in a legitimate occupation while balancing the eventual need for marriage. The story takes place in the early 1900-1920s and takes Una from a small Pennsylvania town to New York. Forced to work due to family illness, Una shows a talent for the traditional male bastion of commercial real estate and, while valued by her company, she struggles to achieve the same status of her male coworkers.

The Jungle  (1906)

Book

by Upton Sinclair

The Jungle is a 1906 novel written by journalist, socialist, and politician Upton Sinclair.Sinclair wrote the novel with the intent to portray the lives of immigrants in the United States. However, readers were more concerned with the large portion of the book pertaining to the bad practices and corruption of the American meatpacking industry during the early 20th century, and the book is now often interpreted and taught as a journalist's account of the poor working conditions in the industry.

The Market-Place  (1899)

Book

by Harold Frederic

The hero of the story, Joel Thorpe, is one of those men, huge of body, keen of brain, with cast iron nerves, as sound a heart as most men, and a magnificent capacity for bluff. He has lived and risked and lost in a dozen countries, been almost within reach of fortune a dozen times, and always missed her until, finally, in London, by promoting a great rubber syndicate he becomes a multi-millionaire

The Secret Garden  (1911)

Book

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden is a novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It was initially published in serial format starting in the autumn of 1910, and was first published in its entirety in 1911. It is now one of Burnett's most popular novels, and is considered to be a classic of English children's literature. Mary Lennox is a sour-faced 10-year-old girl, who is born in India to selfish wealthy British parents who had not wanted her and were too wrapped up in their own lives. She was taken care of primarily by servants, who pacify her as much as possible to keep her out of the way. Spoiled and with a temper, she is unaffectionate, angry, rude and obstinate. Later, there is a cholera epidemic which hits India and kills her mother, father and all the servants. She is discovered alone but alive after the house is empty. She is sent to Yorkshire, England to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven at his home called Misselthwaite Manor.

Trail of the Lonesome Pine  (1908)

Book

by John Fox Jr.

Set in the Appalachian Mountains at the turn of the twentieth century, a feud has been boiling for over thirty years between two influential mountain families: the Tollivers and the Falins. The character Devil Judd Tolliver, in the novel was based on the real life of Devil John Wesley Wright, a United States Marshal for the region in and around Wise County, Virginia, and Letcher County, Kentucky. The outside world and industrialization, however, are beginning to enter the area. Coal mining begins to exert its influence on the area, despite the two families feuds

Winesburg, Ohio  (1919)

Book

by Sherwood Anderson

Winesburg, Ohio begins with a sort of prologue, in which an old writer imagines all the people he has known as grotesques, warped in their pursuits of various truths. A series of stories ensues, each concerned with a single resident of Winesburg.

Wonderful Wizard of Oz  (1900)

Book

by L. Frank Baum

Dorothy is a young orphaned girl raised by her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em in the bleak landscape of a Kansas farm. She has a little black dog Toto, who is her sole source of happiness on the dry, gray prairies. One day the farmhouse, with Dorothy and Toto inside, is caught up in a cyclone and deposited in a field in Munchkin Country, the eastern quadrant of the Land of Oz. The falling house kills the evil ruler of the Munchkins, the Wicked Witch of the East.