Pollyanna’s Western Adventure

//by Harriet Lummis Smith//published 1929//


The next Glad book opens a few years after the close of Pollyanna’s Debt of Honor.  Leaving behind the security and modern conveniences of their Boston suburb, the Pendelton family heads to the wild west, where Jimmy has taken on the supervision of the building of a dam.  Many adventures ensue as the family meets their new neighbors and work through the romantic drama of their new governess, Dorothy.  Through it all, of course, lessons in contentment and thankfulness are learned, and everyone ends up better people than they were in the beginning.  (Guys, I actually love the simplicity of these books.)

The first thing that really struck me about Pollyanna’s Western Adventure is that it is set less than a hundred years ago, yet they move into a house without running water.  One of the huge events of the story is when they get a radio.  It’s just mind boggling to me how much has changed in the last hundred years.  We take so many of our everyday conveniences for granted!

One of the big parts of this story is that Pollyanna starts a lending library.  I love the way that everyday drudgery of the lives of these poor mountain people is lifted when their worlds are able to be expanded through reading.  It’s amazing to me how learning about the world beyond our own changes our perspective on our everyday life.  Smith really catches this throughout her story.

Dorothy’s tale is a bit melodramatic, as she is caught in a love triangle of her own making, and there is a completely bizarre scene in which she is kidnapped by a crazy old mountain woman, but overall this story is similar to the others – just wholesome, happy entertainment.

This is the last Pollyanna book by Smith.  I’ve just started reading Pollyanna in Hollywood, which is Elizabeth Borton’s first installment, so we’ll see how the transition goes.  I’m having a lot of trouble finding the last couple of books, so we may be reaching the end of this little series soon.  The Western Adventure is an easy 4/5, and another delightful addition to the series.