Fiction Lynn Cullen Nelly in the Wilderness

ISBN 13: 9780060291334

Nelly in the Wilderness

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9780060291334: Nelly in the Wilderness

Beans, beans, beans! Nelly Vandorn knows that trouble always comes in threes. And now that her ma is dead, and her pa has disappeared, Nelly is just waiting for the third trouble to come along.

When Pa finally returns home with a young city woman as his new bride, Nelly realizes she's just met trouble number three. Margery knows as much about the wilderness as Nelly knows about reading, writing, and schooling -- nothing. In Nelly's opinion, just about the only thing Margery is good for is looking mighty silly trying to be a pioneer woman.

But nothing seems to discourage her from trying to be a pioneer wife. Nelly can't decide if Margery is brave, or just plain crazy for sticking it out. Nelly has never expected much from life, but the longer she's around Margery, the more she begins to see that there is a world beyond her little cabin in the wilderness.

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About the Author:

When Lynn Cullen wrote Nelly in the Wilderness, she imagined the Vandorn cabin to be near the site of her own childhood home in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She grew up just down the street from the St. Joseph River, two miles upstream from the historic fort, and only a mile from Johnny Appleseed's grave. Like Nelly, she loved to explore the riverbank, looking for wild animals (mostly muskrats and squirrels) and swinging from the willow trees. But her favorite game was pretending that she was a pioneer girl, just like Nelly. Lynn now lives in Atlanta with her husband. Their three daughters are attending college.

From Publishers Weekly:

Set in 1821 Indiana, Cullen's (The Mightiest Heart) well-worn tale of a pioneer girl's hardships begins on a grim note and becomes increasingly dismal as characters wallow in their separate woes. Nelly, along with her older brother, is still grieving for their dead mother when their long-absent father, a trapper, returns home with a city bride named Margery. Appalled by her delicate manners and young age, the children make their stepmother's life miserable. The heavy aura of discontent overshadows potentially tender moments. When Pa comes in one day bearing gifts, a catamount pelt for his wife and a catamount kitten for his daughter, more trouble brews. Margery will not accept the fur ("How could I ever find happiness in something that deprived a creature of its life?" she says primly but illogically, considering her husband's work). Nelly, in turn, continues to give Margery the cold shoulder even when she helps save the kitten's life. Characters never do manage to connect with one another. It takes a tragedy to make Nelly realize her stepmother's virtues, and by then, it is too late for her to beg forgiveness. Readers may have trouble feeling compassion for any of the players in this colorless melodrama; while the author succeeds in expressing frontier stoicism and describing settlers' exploitation of animals, her writing here lacks subtlety and depth. Ages 8-12.

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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