Book/page totals

Top 10 Lists

Saturday, July 03, 2010

cover of 'The Girl from Montana'

A young girl in a lonely part of Montana buries her younger brother, who had been the last living member of her family, says the prayer her mother said over the other family graves, and then sets out on horseback by herself fleeing from the rough young men her brother had been hanging out with-- in particular their leader, the man she suspects killed her brother, and who wants to claim her for himself. On her second day of travel, she sees another man on horseback pursuing her, and she flees him as well because her mother had told her all men are the same, dangerous drunks. While she sleeps, the man catches up to her-- but he is in fact a city boy who had come out West with some friends to get away from his troubles (the society girl he was in love with wouldn't have him), and he had gotten separated from his party and lost in the wilderness. She has some food and the survival skills to get them through to civilization, and when he hears her story of the man she is running from, he naturally wants to help and protect her. They travel together for a while, once even drawn to a Christian Endeavor meeting by the music, which keeps them hidden from the ruffians who go by while they are inside, and the girl is encouraged by words from scripture of the religion she had scarcely known anything of. They make it safely to a city big enough to have a train station and the young man, George, learns via telegram that his mother is seriously ill, so he sells his horse and returns-- he encourages his young friend, who he has come to admire, to come with him, but she refuses because she believes he is promised to another, and a kind woman at a farm where they stayed overnight had told her it wasn't proper to travel alone with a man. They go their separate ways, and he only knows her first name-- Elizabeth.

Elizabeth continues traveling East by herself-- she has family in Philadelphia, which is also where George is from. When she gets to Chicago, she thinks perhaps she has arrived at her destination-- she rides up to a school for young ladies and asks if she can attend, but all they see is a tanned, roughly dressed girl and they turn her away; a Madam sees her and invites her in to her own "school" but she quickly figures out what kind of place it is, so she breaks her way out-- after all, what place like that could hold a girl who survived on her own in the wilds of the West?

Eventually she makes her way to Philadelphia, and finds her maternal grandmother by the return address of an old letter that had been kept by her mother; it takes some convincing before they believe she's related to them, and even then she doesn't fit in-- they are selfish, working-class people who are obsessed with fashion, and spend what little money they have on looking as grand as they can. Elizabeth works for a while at the story with her cousin, but when the manager tries to make advances on her, she runs away and her grandmother decides that Elizabeth's paternal grandmother should share some of the burden of supporting this strange girl. This grandmother also takes some convincing, but eventually decides to take her on as a kind of project, and agrees to send Elizabeth to school, as she had wished when she first set out from home-- and Elizabeth brings purpose, love, and faith back into the life of this woman who had nothing and no one left to live for. While there, Elizabeth also attends the nearby church which, in spite of being a society church, is run by a wonderful man of faith who teaches Elizabeth more about the God she has been longing to know.

After a few more years, eventually Elizabeth and George cross paths again, and they have that instant recognition and warmth towards each other-- but Elizabeth finds herself trying to run away from a man again, because she thinks he is engaged to another. This being a Grace Livingston Hill book, that is, of course, a misunderstanding, and finally, finally they are reunited and happily married. The book ends with them taking a trip out West to use their shared wealth to do some good-- creating a mission church on a hill near where Elizabeth grew up, and taking care of some of the good, kind people who helped them so many years ago.

Read the Kindle edition - currently free from

Title:The Girl from Montana
Author:Grace Livingston Hill
Date published:1922
Genre:Adventure / Romance
Number of pages:186
Notes:read electronic/Kindle edition


Google Search