Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure

Here's my review from Goodreads.com:

Here I thought I was the only person on the planet who felt this way about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her books.  I so wanted to be Laura--she seemed to try and be so good, but there was a bit of an imp that came out sometimes.

I agree with Wendy's feelings about being an adult and have that illusion of Laura World ripped away.  It is not fair to grow up and find out some things aren't quite true, especially Laura's World.  And that most of it is gone, too.  How sad.  It's another reminder of how our childhood memories aren't exactly what we thought they were.  Along with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, Laura's actual  life was not quite what was in the books.  I don't know much about Rose, except that I thought she was pretty amazing.  But to understand now, from an adult point of view, that she had a difficult childhood, and had a rocky relationship with her Mother; well, it's kind of  a shock that someone out there--especially her own daughter-- didn't think the sun shone out of Laura's sunbonnet.  It makes me wonder  what I would have thought of the middle aged Laura.  Would I have liked her?

I guess I still  think of Laura Ingalls Wilder the same way I did as a child--a precocious young girl who loved her Ma and Pa, yearned to travel out West,  and tried her very best to be good.  Wendy's journey around the Mid-West to visit the various sites of Laura's life kept me glued to the pages. I've always wanted to go to Mansfield, Mo, but now I am torn.  I think I prefer to keep the image of Laura I've kept in my mind since first reading Little House in the Big Woods intact and close to my heart.  That book remains my favorite out of the series.

I still want to try and make candy out of maple syrup and snow.

Thanks, Wendy for your journey into Laura's World.  It was bittersweet, funny, and a bit tearful.  And I still think Melissa Gilbert was one kick-ass Laura.


  1. Ack- I refuse to be disillusioned about LIW so I shall give this book a miss!

  2. It's hard to still think of it with a child's sense of awe. It sucks to grow up! It did make me want to rush over to the bookcase and start reading them again--kinda like a blanket of comfort.