Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Wilder Life

Knowing how much I love the Little House series (I have read all nine books no less than 20 times throughout my life), my friend April told me about a book called The Wilder Life. It's written by Wendy McClure, another Laura Ingalls Wilder-obsessed fan who decides to visit all of the Laura Ingalls Wilder historical sites.
Coincidentally, a couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to win this book in a giveaway sponsored by Ponderings blog. Hooray and thank you!

I finished the book realizing that I'm not really much of a fan at all, compared to some people who have spent serious portions of their own lives researching Laura's life.

The first few chapters of the book were the funniest--my two favorite parts:

"There were a host of other things from the books that [as a child] I remember I wanted to do, too, such as:
  • Make candy by pouring syrup in the snow.
  • Make bullets by pouring lead.
  • Sew a seam with tiny and perfectly straight stitches.
  • Have a man's hands span my corseted waist, which at the time didn't seem creepy at all."
My family totally didn't get why this was so funny and never will. Their loss.

The other part that made me snort with laughter was when Wendy met other Little House fans but then discovered that they were actually fans of the TV show, not the books.

"More than once, a friend or acquaintance has gushed, 'you mean you're a Little House fan too?' only to discover that we have two very different sets of memories. One of us is thinking of the time Laura taught a calf to drink from a bucket. The other is thinking about the Very Special Episode when some kid named Albert got hooked on morphine."

The rest of the book was interesting and amusing, but really, you have to know a lot about this series to appreciate most of the references to specific people and incidents that the author mentions. Which I do, and which I did. If you're a fan, I recommend it. If not, skip it.


  1. Sounds funny. I'll put it on my list. Right after I finish rereading The Shining. And the 7th Harry Potter.

  2. nice review. i've heard of this book and have been wanting to check it out.

    and yeah, who wants to wear a corset anyway.

  3. I understand completely! I grew up with Laura Ingalls. I loved that show. Albert...wasn't he the later adopted brother?

    Funny because I was having a slug in my jammies day Sunday and I actually came across reruns of Little House on the Prairie.

  4. Great review! Why it is that my to-read list is growing faster than I can keep up with???