Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Harvester// Book Review

The Harvester
Gene Stratton Porter
* * * {Three of five} This is the story of a Thoreau-esque idealist and naturalist and his search for the love of his dreams, the Dream Girl. 

David Langston, the Harvester, lives in the woods and harvests medicinal herbs which he sells for a living. Suddenly he encounters Ruth Jameson, the real flesh-and-blood girl that had appeared to him only in his imagination. The Harvester woos her with all the impossible idealistic extremes of his heart, against all odds and with a selfless intensity. 

I have a few books that I read at least two or three times per year, because they're so good, sweet and my "feel good" books, for days/weeks/months when I am depressed and lonely. The Harvester is one of my favorite books, and this week I read it, staying up much to late ever night in the process. My copy is on it's last leg, falling apart with pages slipping out, but it was published in 1911 and I just love it. (for the record, I got it in the condition it is in... ;) 
     Honestly, it is a strange book. David, (the main character,) has a vision of his Dream Girl coming to from across the Lake, falls head over heels in love with the dream, and immediately begins building a beautiful house for her, creating gardens and re-landscaping his property and preparing for her. As soon as everything is ready, he commences searching for her, and one day he catches a glimpse of The Dream Girl at the train station. Fast forward a few months, and he finds her in a horrible situation, and convinces her to leave with him immediately and marry him that afternoon so that he can protect her. She agrees, and they are married, and David informs her that she is his honored guest, and he is going to spend the next year wooing and courting her as he would have done normally if time had permitted. The Dream Girl gets very sick shortly after their marriage, and David is forced to use his talent as a Naturalist Medicine Man when the doctors pronounce her case hopeless.

It sounds strange, I'll admit it, but it is actually incredibly sweet and adorable. If you don't enjoy Gene Stratton Portor's writing style, or her very naturalistic approach to stories, (i.e. tons of information about the land, plants, animals, etc.) then you should skip this. ;) If you don't mind wading through a bit of description to get to a lovely story-line, then i highly suggest this book!

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