When A Lantern in Her Hand came out in 1928, critics took little notice, but people in every single place soon discovered it. By the end of 1919, whilst the Great Depression set in, Bess Streeter Aldrich’s novel used to be in its twenty-first printing. Now translated into over twenty languages, A Lantern in Her Hand has outlasted literary fashions to touch generations of readers. It’s the classic story of a pioneer woman. Bess Streeter Aldrich knew what she used to be writing about. Her protagonist, a strong-minded pioneer woman named Abbie Deal, used to be modeled on her own mother, who in 1854 had traveled by covered wagon to the Midwest. In A Lantern in Her Hand, Abbie accompanies her family to the soon-to-be state of Nebraska. There, in 1865, she marries and settles into a sod house of her own. The novel describes Abbie’s years of child-raising, of making a frontier home ready to resist each adversity. A disciplined author knowledgeable about true stories of pioneer days in Nebraska, Bess Streeter Aldrich conveys the strength of on a regular basis things, the surprise of familiar faces, and the look of the unspoiled landscape throughout different seasons. Refusing to be broken by hard experience, Abbie sets a joyful example for her family – and for her readers. This Bison Book edition includes Bess Streeter Aldrich’s own story of how she came to write A Lantern in Her Hand.