In the frigid days of
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One of the first books I read when I had learned how to read well enough to read a chapter book was Little House in the Big Woods. All these years later, I can still remember that I got the book for free at school (R.I.F. day!). I carried it all the way home after school just staring at the cover with the picture of a happy family in a log cabin on it. That book started a life-long love of anything Laura Ingalls Wilder…..the thought of being a pioneer girl, living on the prairie, watching Pa b
I never once thought about what it might be like for Ma and Pa Ingalls. As a girl, I just focused on the lovely children’s stories told from Laura’s perspective.
Sarah Miller revists the Ingalls family, telling the story from Caroline Ingalls’ perspective. The life of a pioneer family from an adult’s view is still magical…..but also harsh, frightening and unforgiving.
Caroline recounts the story of the Ingalls’ move from Wisconsin to the Indian Territory in Kanasas by covered wagon. It mirrors the tale from Little House on the Prairie, but this time the story is told by Ma, not Laura. Caroline is pregnant and afraid there won’t be a woman to help her when it comes time for the baby to be born. She has to bear the stress of the lurching wagon, life on the trail, managing the food supplies and cooking in a moving wagon, keeping the girls occupied, helping Charles with the wagon & horses, helping build their first cabin……I never considered what a hard life it would have been for a mother making a long trek by wagon after leaving her entire family behind. Especially pregnant and not knowing if there would be help for her at the end of the journey.
I really enjoyed this book! Christmas with Mr. Edwards. Losing & finding Jack, the dog. Building the log cabin. The family being sick with ague. All the events from Little House on the Prairie….just another side. The tale is sometimes joyous….other times sad. But, that’s life,right? The story presents the married/husband side of Pa, too. Caroline supports her husband and is strong for him, even when he makes mistakes. Just a lovely story. Miller did take a few liberties with historical fact, but outlines the few changes she made in the back of the book. It was nothing that made me cringe….little things to keep the continuity.
I highly recommend this to anyone who grew up loving the Little House books! Be prepared to get a bit teary eyed a couple of times…..and I even had a few eyerolls when the prose got just a bit too sappy….but all in all, a wonderful read. There are a couple sexual situations — nothing graphic or inappropriate. Married couples have sex — even Ma and Pa Ingalls. It’s tastefully done, and not in any way traumatizing. But, I would recommend parental guidance before allowing children to read the book. Adults might want to read the book first….and make an informed decision before allowing those under 13 to read it.
I was sad momentarily when I read the last page — I didn’t want it to be over! I have the Little House books on my shelf….I need to re-read them! I also have a couple seasons of the 1970’s tv show on DVD. I feel a binge watch coming on!
I’m running a giveaway for this book at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine.
As someone who grew up watching Little House on the Prairie and reading the much-celebrated books series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, I was very excited to hear about this book at Book Expo 2017. When I was offered the opportunity to participate in the blog tour, I jumped on it!
Caroline’s character, in both the book and television series, was never featured as prominently as perhaps it should have been. She maintained a steady, consistent, a
it was amazing
A fabulous five star read! From the very first line you are drawn into the story with Sarah Miller’s beautiful prose. Her comparison of the crochet hook to the fiddle’s bow and the music it produces sets the tone and spirit for a novel filled with hopes and dreams. Her words are so descriptive and readily convey Caroline’s thoughts and feelings.
For those who’ve read Little House on the Prairie (LHOTP), it’s a familiar storyline and thus there may not be that compulsion to keep reading just a bit