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The Lamplighter

Maria S. Cummins

Book Overview: 

Gertrude began life as an abused child in the care of Nan Grant, a cold and cruel woman. The only human character who was kind to her was the lamplighter, Truman Flint. When Nan, in one of her tantrums, threw Gertrude away from her house, he took her into his care. A few unforgettable people taught Gertrude everything that a young lady has to know. Almost everybody loves and admires Gertrude. But the one she loved best is Willie Sullivan. Will this love stay strong even after 6 years of separation? And will Gertrude, so admired and loved as she is, be happy - once in her life - for herself and not for others?

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .g along so slow, with the sun shining in her face, and he leaning on her arm, and shaking so that he can hardly keep on his feet! Catch me doing it."

"Why, Belle!" exclaimed Kitty, "how can you talk so? I'm sure I pity that old man dreadfully."

"Lor!" said Belle, "what's the use of pitying? If you are going to begin to pity, you'll have to do it all the time. Look,"—Belle touched her companion's elbow—"there's Willie Sullivan, father's clerk: an't he a beauty? I want to speak to him."

But before she could address a word to him, Willie, who was walking very fast, passed her with a bow, and a pleasant "Good morning, Miss Isabel;" and ere she had recovered from the surprise and disappointment, was some rods down the street.

"Polite!" muttered the pretty Isabel.

"Why, Belle! do see," said Kitty, who was looking back over her shoulder, "he's overtaken the old man and my interesting little girl. Look—look! He's pu. . . Read More

Community Reviews

When the story opens, Gertrude or Gerty is an eight-year-old orphaned girl in Boston, MA, who is being raised by a mean widow named Nan Grant, whose late husband Ben was a sailor and whose son Stephen is a scoundrel. Gerty finds a kitten to be her pet, but Nan kills it and then throws the sick li...more

Truly enjoyed. The Lamplighter is about an orphan and her life. It tells of events bad and good that lead to different outcomes in her life and how she overcomes. I listened by audio and found myself ready for the next traveling time to be able to listen again. For me personally the first chapter...more

This is a wonderful book! I read the Lamplighter edition first, then found the original unedited version later. It was like reading an entirely different book to read the full version...about a third of the book was taken out in the edited version. There were a few plot gaps in the edited version...more

Usually I have already decided how many stars I'm going to give a novel by the time I'm halfway through it. This earned a solid 3 stars in my head, because even though it was kind of going nowhere, I liked the characters and especially loved the old English.

But then I reached the last 10 chapter...more

The Lamplighter, one of the more popular books in the country when it was released in the mid-19th century, is an engaging story of a undisciplined and unloved girl who has her life transformed, by Providence, through the love of strangers, whose ties to her are greater than anyone initially susp...more

This is really the 19th century American sentimental novel at its best. It's not deep, it's not profound, and it's not even all that believable, but I would definitely put it into the "snuggly" category, and those are my favorites.

Prime example of sentimental fiction, following the story of a young woman from orphanhood to adulthood. One of my favorite things about this book is the emphasis it places on love; our main character, Gerty, has her life completely changed when she is shown the love she needs as a child. And wat...more

Another one of my favorite period pieces. I have read it numerous times and listened to it read aloud. This story is one I will treasure always and hope to pass on to my children someday.

O poveste interesantă despre credință, despre oamenii cu sufletul mare, despre viața unei orfane. Despre cum este abandonată, umilită de unii și iubită necondiționat de alții. Despre iertare, regăsire, reuniune, împlinire și fericire, până la urmă.

A nice, Dickens-esque read. I particularly enjoyed the first half and the relationship between the old lamplighter and the poor girl, Gerty, who he takes under his care. The second half settled into a rather slow romance.

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