The novel is set in Indiana. Most of the action takes place either in or around the Limberlost Swamp, or in the nearby town of Onabasha. The novel's heroine Elnora Comstock is a poor girl who lives with her widowed mother Katharine Comstock on the edge of the Limberlost Swamp. At the beginning of the novel, Elnora is just beginning high school, where her unfashionable dress adds to her difficulty blending in with the other students.
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