EDITH HERSELF by Ellen Howard


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In a story based on experiences of the author's ""granny"" as a small girl in the 1890's, orphaned Edith's adjustment to living with her sister's family is complicated by epileptic seizures. After Mother's death, the older children run the family farm but decide to accept Alena's offer to take Edith, youngest and the same age as her own Vernon. Alena is loving but obedient to her stern, dogmatically Christian husband, John. Edith feels rejected by the family at home; Vernon, jealous of the new arrival, refuses to share even the affections of his puppy. But few situations or people are all bad. Alena contrives, in spite of John's proscription, to tell the children the stories her mother loved, "". . .clear and true, and funny sometimes."" When Edith is sent to bed without supper, Vernon is among those who bring her food. And when Alena, protective of the little sister whose ""fits"" have become more frequent, wishes to keep her out of school, it is schoolmaster John who defends her intelligence and right to learn, watching over without interfering as she earns a respected place, in spite of the prevailing prejudice against epileptics. Edith is a loving child who has more than her share of tough problems and solves them with spunk and wit. When, in her direct, graceful prose, Howard recounts Edith's realization that "". . .even God loves pretty things. . ."" like the pansy her mother left pressed in the Bible, we're glad to know she has joy to come.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1987
ISBN: 1416964541
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Atheneum