Saturday, December 31, 2011
Book Review of #6 The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Publisher: Harper Collins
Part of a Series: Little House Series
Type of book: 1880-1881, prairie, blizzards, living in town, young adult
Year it was published: 1940
Gray clouds to the northwest mean only one thing-A blizzard is moments away...The first terrible storm comes to the barren prairie in October. THen it snows almost without stopping until April. Snow has reached the rooftops, and no trains can get through with food or coal. The people of De Smet are starving, including the Ingalls family, who wonder how long they're going to make it through this terrible winter. It is young Almanzo Wilder who finally understands what needs to be done. He must save the town, even if it means risking his own life.
In this book we start seeing Carrie becoming Laura's responsibility and a friend as well. Pa and Ma are described as creative and we get to see that when Ma creates a button lamp and Pa creates a way for the family to have fuel when they run out of coal. The whole family helps one another through thick and thin in this book. We also get to see and learn of Almanzo and learn briefly what happens to him after Farmer Boy. More characters enter but at the moment they are not important in The Long Winter.
Be grateful for what you have. (Once you'll start reading it, you'll see what I mean.)
Unlike the previous Little House books, this book employs multiple point of view, that of Laura and her future husband to be Almanzo Wilder. It is written in third person narrative. I do think it might be necessary to read previous novels, in particular By the Shores of Silver Lake to gain understanding and enjoyment of how they arrived at such a place and why they are moving to town.
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)
I do think its a good read and it might be good to remember all the things that we can be grateful for. I do admit that I found it a little boring in some parts and this is not for young children because in someways its a scary novel. (Laura and her family along with others in De Smet faced starvation during the winter.) I remember reading that the author wanted to originally name the book 'Hard Winter' but was persuaded not to do it. So instead, she named it The Long Winter. Normally a Little House Book describes a few years or at least a year, but this one focuses on describing a specific season at a specific year.
3 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.)