This is part of a readalong of the Little House series I am organizing on an internet forum I moderate.
One of the reasons I organized the readalong was to see if they were as good as I remembered, but also to look critically for things. Rose Wilder wrote a lot of these books with her mother, and her political views are sprinkled throughout. Secondly, reading between the lines, a lot of other readers wondered if Pa Ingalls as that good of a family man after all.
The Little House in the Big Woods
This book was more boring than I remembered. Actually, maybe this book is so idyllic, it edges onto tedium.
I did enjoy some aspects, particularly the food parts: butchering, cheese-making, butter churning, maple sugaring, and more. I like the hunting moments, Christmas family moments, and Ma making hats. The ending is sweet too.
Some of the stuff I wasn’t loving was the punishments, spankings for birthdays, and the rivalry between Mary and Laura in general was a bit discomforting. I didn’t like how they wrote about how Laura was not noticed because of her brown hair and curls: “They were ugly and brown.” Poor Laura.
Why did they move? I don’t know how the woods were so crowded when Laura and Mary had never even seen two houses together let alone a town or a store.
All in all, this was a lackluster start. It had its moments. I may consider it for children’s reading.
Reread August 18, 2014 on Kindle.
Yeah I recall liking these books as a kid but I’m sure they’d be different reading them today. Did you know Wilder’s real memoir is to be published soon? Check out this link:
Yes! It’s one of the reasons we’ve been scrutinizing the books. There are disparities between the novels and her memoirs, but we’re not sure how drastic really. Thanks, Susan!