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I grew up in the very dry, middle-of-nowhere, southeastern Idaho.  Various shades of brown and grey were the dominant colours for most of the year, but May and June usually brought some green hues with them and I was always so thankful.  I absolutely love green-ness, rain and humidity, and as silly as it sounds, I can get easily depressed by dry brown-ness.  And so when the hills and lower mountains grew mossy-coloured in late spring, I reveled in it.  And to celebrate, I usually read some Gene Stratton Porter.  Her descriptions of the verdant swamps and woods of the Midwest always added to the general fresh and green feeling of those few months of spring.

My aunt was the one who introduced me to Gene Stratton Porter, and we first became well-acquainted through Porter’s most famous book, Freckles.  It was so long ago that I honestly don’t remember my first impressions of that book, but they must have been favourable since I continued to read her other books.  I somehow came to own a two-in-one copy of A Girl of the Limberlost and Laddie and read those treasures often.

I eventually found my own copy of Freckles in the book room of a little antique shop just outside of Christchurch, New Zealand.  And a recent re-reading of it moves it right up there with my other Gene Stratton Porter favourites — it might even top the list now!  Porter’s beautiful descriptions of the woodlands of Indiana are of a similar quality to L. M. Montgomery’s…and that’s very high praise coming from someone who has read many of Montgomery’s books numerous times!  The storyline is a perfect mix of the lovely everyday and some page-turning tense plots.   And Freckles himself is such the epitome of noble manhood that he is a joy to read about.

In so many ways, Freckles is a delightful read.  If it’s your first introduction to Gene Stratton Porter, it will leave you wanting to read more.  And if you’ve already read some of Porter’s books, but somehow missed this one…find a copy posthaste, and enjoy!

(Many of Porter’s books are available for free download for Amazon Kindle as well as via Google Books and Project Gutenberg.)

Have you ever read any of Gene Stratton Porter’s books? What is your favourite season and why?

(originally published in 2012; edited from the archives)

42 Comments

  1. Mary Cay Martin says:

    My Mom introduced me to Gene Stratton Porter when I was a girl . She loved Freckles and Girl of the Limberlost. My favorite is The Harvester, which gave me a lifelong interest in herbs and their healing properties. As for seasons, spring, no doubt about it!

  2. You convinced me to finally try out Gene Stratton Porter! I read “The Girl of the Limberlost” for the first time and quite enjoyed it. What an enchanting book! I wish I had read “Freckles” first, though.

  3. I love the autumn. Perhaps because my love and I were both born and met in that month. Perhaps because the leaves turn the same color as my hair. Perhaps because of the way the wind blows through the trees and my hair.

    I also adore Gene Stratton Porter’s books in general, Freckles in particular. (Perhaps because of the shared kinship of the red hair and freckles? ;))

  4. Spring. The new life, the joy of watching the grass grow greener and the trees bud again. There is something so invigorating about seeing things spring to life again!

  5. Carmen Marie says:

    Ah, I think Spring is my favorite time of year! Birds chirping, flowering trees, tulips, bright blue skies & sunny days after a long winter…A So excited that springtime is almost here!!

  6. Jennifer Gay says:

    It would be a toss up between spring and autumn with spring very slightly edging out autumn. Spring is such a testament to hope, rebirth and the joy of surviving winter.

  7. My favorite season is spring, because everything is new again.

  8. My favorite season is Summer. I love the green, the heat, and the smell of a warm summer day.

  9. Hard question! I love them all. Winter is a little too long though. πŸ™‚ Since we are coming out of winter and into the warm spring weather I am a total spring fan right now! πŸ™‚ If I had to pick one I would probably say summer.

  10. Lydia Borengasser says:

    My favorite season is most definitely fall…then spring, then winter, then summer!

  11. Melissa M. says:

    My favorite season is autumn/fall (at least in a more northern state than TX) because it’s so beautiful and invigorating outdoors/cozy indoors.

  12. Growing up in IN my favorite season was always Summer, but here in TX it would have to be Spring when all the gorgeous wildflowers make their appearance. They are just starting to come out!

  13. My favorite season is fall, but right now I can’t wait for spring and the warm sun that comes with it!

  14. I love Fall, because of all the beautiful colored trees, and the chilly mornings!

  15. My favorite season is summer! I love the hot weather, when you can swim in a cool lake on a hot day, go on long road trips stopping for ice cream, camping under the stars, and not wearing any shoes when running outside! Summer time is definitely when I make my best, most memorable memories!

  16. I cannot believe I have never read “Freckles”. Especially since my mom managed a bookstore in the green Midwest and I am befreckled!
    My favorite season is winter because I live in FL now and winter is like spring & fall back home.

  17. Thats a hard one! πŸ™‚ But I think my favorite season is probably spring! Because of all the flowers, trees getting new green leafs, ect.!

  18. My favorite season is winter. I love snow because of this passage in Isaiah 55: β€œFor as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth,
    making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

  19. Oh, I’m reading this right now–I love Gene Stratton Porter! I would absolutely love to own my own copy, especially an antique! πŸ™‚

    My favorite season is typically whatever season we’re in; they’re all wonderful. If I have to pick one, it would probably be fall. I love the weather–the mix of chilly days and days where you can still go barefoot; I love the colors and the crunch of leaves; I love trips to the orchard and making homemade applesauce. I love our annual fall campout with dear friends. I love the bittersweet end of summer yet the beginning of our fall activities.

  20. I think I love each season but if forced I might have to say my favorite season is Summer. πŸ™‚ Swimming, warm nights, gardens… love it!

    1. Congratulations, Carrie–you’re our winner, commenter #20!

  21. Ohhhh I love Spring! After a cold, harsh season of bare trees, brown grass and dry cracked hands from doing farm chores in freezing temperatures, Spring is a welcome relief and I sometimes find myself wishing I could frolic and romp as freely and gleefully as the goat kids without arousing concern or receiving a raised eyebrow and baffled glance from well-meaning neighbors. The flowers bloom, the grass turns green, and my hometown celebrates the beautiful display of apple blossoms. Animals give birth to their young, cute sundresses in bright, cheery colors make their way out of the back of the closet or attic, and I revel in the sunshine and warm breeze accompanying the wonderful season. Ah, Spring!

  22. Gabrielle says:

    I love spring! It is starting to warm up after a cold winter, birds are chirping and making the air cheery with their notes, baby animals arrive to make you ooh and ah, and beautiful flowers pop their delightful heads out to peep at you. πŸ™‚

  23. I am always ready for each season when it comes!:) But If I had to chose…. It would probably be Spring:) New life!

  24. My favorite season is Spring, hands down! I think it’s because of how green and beautiful everything is. And as a photographer who loves to photograph nature, it’s another reason to love Spring!

  25. My favorite season is fall. Where I live in northern Michigan, fall is so beautiful with the trees turning color! I love the smell of the fallen leaves, and how they crunch under your feet when you walk! Oh, and raking big piles of leaves and falling back into them :)! Yes, it’s all about the leaves for me :).

  26. I have never read any of Gene Porter, but now I must.
    My favorite season by far is winter. I love going out in the early morning – sun just rising. (usually to get the paper or potty pooch). The crisp, quiet cold always humbles me. I am reminded of my thankfulness: God, shelter, love, and that hot cup of coffee waiting for me inside.

  27. My favorite season is early summer! Not too hot and not too cold. It’s the start of the relaxing season! Everything is just fresh and beautiful.

  28. Amber Anderson says:

    My favorite is Late Spring early summer when every thing is fresh and green the flower are starting their blooms and it seems like the earth has come back to life!! not to mention the warmer temps are just amazingly enjoyable!! πŸ™‚

  29. My favorite is fall. I love storms and the presence of the sun combined with the chill in the air and the colors and the general atmosphere.

  30. *Gasp! Gene Stratton Porter! I adore Gene Stratton Porter! Well, A Girl of the Limberlost anyway. ((This one would go so fabulously with my 1909 copy of A Girl of the Limberlost. :-})) That wasn’t a hint-hint that I really want to win this copy, just the fact that I totally believe these books are GOOD, and they’re even BETTER when read as they’re meant to be read: using really old, vintage copies!

    My favorite season. Honestly? Whichever one we’re currently in. Every single season has something, or several things, that I completely adore and give me much joy. Winter: the refreshing, cleansing cold; Spring: new life; Summer: heat and going barefoot, flower gardens, fresh vegetables; Fall: leaves, honking Canada geese flying south, smell of smoke from brush fires. Etc. etc. Living out in the country, on the Canadian prairies, provides many rich experiences year-round.

  31. Well, this isn’t an entry for the giveaway, because we already have the book. =) I just wanted to say that Freckles is one of my very favorites as well! I’m sure whoever wins will really enjoy it. What fun! πŸ™‚

  32. My favorite season is definitely spring. After a long winter (a good 7 months here in Canada) the warmth and sunshine of spring suddenly makes me feel alive alive, as if I too have been hibernating along with the bears! I tend to struggle with depression during winter’s grey months, so the sunshine of spring is sooooo welcome!

  33. Julie Waldvogel says:

    Spring: because of the blooming flowers, the light breeze, and the sunshine filling up my room with a warm glow. This season makes me think of new beginings as new flowers pop out of the thawing ground, to lift their heads toward the sun. The light breeze keeps me cool, but doen’t stop the sun from shining. My room walls are a pale yellowish color (it actually isn’t that bad) and the sun shining in makes them glow a brighter yellow, which always makes me feel light-hearted and happy. The birds come back and start singing their beautiful songs, which now fills the empty hollow sound of winter. Misquitos aren’t at full power yet, so no bug bites yet either. It makes me thankful for God’s creation!
    I would love to read this book, it sounds wonderful.

  34. My favorite season is definitely summer! Because it is when it is nice and warm and I am able to go on walks and do gardening. πŸ™‚

  35. Okay, I’m just curious: where do you live? Christchurch is just 2 hours away from us!

    1. I actually live in the States now, in California. I only lived in NZ for about five months…but I’d love to go back someday, I loved it there!

      1. Alright, that makes sense. I’m glad you want to come back sometime. It’s a beautiful country.

  36. I love Springtime in the midatlantic with warm sunshine, cool breezes, and flowering trees.

  37. My favorite season is probably early fall. I love that the days are less humid and stifling hot that summer, but it’s still warm enough to be comfortable outside most of the time. It’s a time for open windows, spontaneous trips to the swimming hole, grilled meals, and running through fields with stiff breezes! Yet at the same time we get hot chocolate, cozy blankets, and movies. I love it. πŸ™‚

  38. My favorite season is definitely fall. The relief from summer’s heat, perhaps? It certainly not anticipation of winter!

  39. I’ve never read Freckles. But Laddie is in my top 5 favorite books. I can’t wait to read it!

    My favorite season would definitely be spring. I love the stirring of life, the sun, sky, and tiny plants. There is something in spring air that makes you want to dance and sing and revel in the beauty of life. πŸ™‚

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