Monday, February 20, 2012
Book Review of #8 These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Publisher: Harper Trophy Book
Part of a Series: Little House Series
Type of book: Settled, courting, prairie, pioneer, working, schooling, growing up, marrying, 1883-1885
Year it was published: 1943
Laura, not yet sixteen, takes a job teaching school in a drafty shanty twelve miles from home. It's a terrifying job. Most of her pupils are taller than she is- and she has to board with a hateful, crazed lady. Laura is miserable, but she must help to keep her blind sister Mary in school. And every Friday, when the school week is over, Almanzo arrives in his sleigh-come all twelve miles across the desolate icy slough to take her home to her family for the weekend. Could it be love?
Just like Laura is growing up, so we are growing up with her and we see her start caring for the trends, getting jobs and staying busy, all to help the family. The family no longer seems to be isolated, and Laura turns into a serious grave young lady. I have a hard time picturing her liking Almanzo. (My thought is that she likes him for his horses.) I also feel kind of sorry for Nellie. Also a number of family members come over and we get updates on how they are doing.
Basically its a memoir, but if lessons can be learned from there, I think one of them would be is to stay strong and not forget your own family and do what you can for them.
I think there is necessity in reading other books to understand what's going on, at least starting with On The Banks of Plum Creek or By the Shores of silver lake. The book is in third person narrative and is told from Laura's point of view.
Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder (February 7, 1867 – February 10, 1957) was an American author who wrote the Little House series of books based on her childhood in a pioneer family. Laura's daughter, Rose, inspired Laura to write her books. (from wikipedia)
What is most shocking to me is the different values we have today than in Laura's time. I'm not saying that things back then were better or wish to go back in the past. But its peculiar that in these books Laura never tackles the subjects of what its like becoming a woman with no pads or whatnot, or she never talks or fantasizes about guys or ever wonders about what her first kiss would be like. Also, can someone imagine courting a person and having their first kiss few years after the courting started?! Its sad that the stories are finished, and I liked how its supposed to end with Laura's marriage to Almanzo and their settling down and continuing on the next generation. (The First Four Years should not have been published in my view.)
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)