Right now on UK eBay this book is up for auction at a reasonable price (they will ship to the States).
Long out of print, the only copy you can get on US Amazon at the moment is $37 - but thee knows how it is with out-of-print books, the pricing is very erratic, it'll be around at much less than that some other time. And on UK Amazon, prices start at £2.99.
The same problem applies to being a writer as to being a preacher - one's critical faculty goes into over-drive when presented with other people's work. Very rarely can I find a book that I can simply enjoy. Many of the well-written ones are full of stuff I would rather not be reading. A book, a film, a song - it has to edify my soul, or I lose interest in it. Many of the ones that fulfil my criteria of edifying the soul are badly written.
But I do enjoy a good read, to lose myself in a story I can really enjoy.
Recently I have been groping back through my memory to books I read long since, and would like to find again. I tracked down a few, and they have started arriving in the post. As I read them, I'll let thee know which I thought were the really good ones.
Yesterday this book, Torrie by Annabel & Edgar Johnson arrived in the post. I read it when I was fourteen (the same age as the girl in the book), and absolutely loved it. I was intrigued to find out if forty years on it seemed as good. I sat down and read it straight through. I think it's brilliant. It's well crafted - really well written - it celebrates goodness and it identifies and explores some of the less glamorous noble traits of character like steadiness, humility, dependability, modesty, honesty, fairness and kindness, and well as the more exciting ones like courage, self-sacrifice and adventurous spirit.
It also examines the theme of romantic love with a concern for that being love that will last forever, love that a person can trust.
Annabel & Edgar Johnson had this book published in 1960. They married in 1949 and lived in New York for a while, then took to the open road, travelling the western states, hunting and fishing, camping and writing.
Torrie, set in 1846, is about a pioneer family who left St Louis for California, and tells the story of their wagon-train journey to get there. You can always tell people who really spend a lot of time out of doors, because they write about the weather so much and in such vivid detail!
Reading this book made me feel happy, and it did my soul good, and it reminded me of things I want to be reminded of - like not following the opinion of the crowd, the value of a provident life, and holding firm to my purpose.
I very much recommend it.
I see that Annabel and Edgar Johnson have written other books too, all in the 1960s I think. I'm going to try Wilderness Bride, The Black Symbol and The Golden Touch. All of them are available second-hand on Amazon, and it's wise to check between US and UK Amazon for the best price - or just google the titles.