Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Book Review of #7 Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Author: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Publisher: Harper Trophy Book
Part of a Series: Little House Series
Type of book: pioneer, town life, 1881-1882, young adult, fashion, school life
Year it was published: 1941
The long hard winter was over. The people of De Smet, South Dakota, came outdoors and began to live again. They held church socials, dances, and "literaries." In the summer, Laura took a grueling job-making shits, through long hard hours. She wanted the money to help send Mary to the college for the blind in Vinton, Iowa. Suddenly, Laura was a young lady. And who but the dashing Almanzo Wilder escorted her home in the evenings!
In this book Laura doesn't appear to be as good as possible but instead the reader will witness her anger towards Ms. Wilder, her struggles and resignation to do what she can for her sister Mary, her procrastination, her family's preoccupation to keeping up with the latest and modern fashions. (Laura gets name cards and autograph album because they are popular.) In many ways she is becoming a repressed and cold character in my view. (I think she really is beginning to remind me of Ma.) Other characters barely get touched upon or expanded in this case.
Since this focused more on memory than anything else, I am not sure what I'm supposed to learn from this book.
This is written in third person narrative from Laura's point of view. There are plenty of references to other books and to Laura's childhood and adulthood, so to get more enjoyment, I think it is necessary to read previous novels. While reading the books, especially the part about churches and whatnot, I became curious about how non-christians could survive living in a town like that where being atheist is a crime and all people are WASPS. I am disappointed about the whole dark face thing, especially with the fact that civil war was fought almost twenty years ago, people didn't think much about it.
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)
In this book, I am beginning to watch Laura turn into her mother, although she tries to retain her independent spirit by wanting to be a child instead of a grown woman. She also is starting to become less selfish and more desirable in the fact that she wants to send Mary to college for the blind and works and even desires to be a teacher. This book also shows more of Ma's and Pa's ingenuity against the black birds and showcases Pa's talents. Almanzo may have escourted Laura a few times but not all the time. Considering that he and Laura will eventually marry, I would like to know why he finds her attractive. This also shows somewhat of a daily life in the town, the civilization has almost completely took over and Laura focuses more on school and town life. Very little is focused on nature. Nellie Olson, Laura's rival, returns as well. In my opinion too, it seems that the attraction towards Almanzo seems rather selfish. (She likes him because she simply sees him as a status symbol and wants to upstage Nellie.)
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.)