What a great weekend for reading. Why is that? Well, I had a lot of work to do and I always seem to be able use reading as a good excuse to escape. Let me be clear. It's not work that I HAD to finish by Monday, so it's really not that big of a deal, but I have been procrastinating a bit. That's okay though. Life is good and I had a great, relaxing weekend.
In the midst of all my reading, I purchased my tickets to head out to Michigan to see my bestie. I'm so excited to go visit with her and to see her place! In all honesty, I've really missed her and can't wait to just hang out together. We see eye to eye on so many things and are like sisters. Not having her close by over the past year has been tough, and I'm secretly hoping and praying that she tries to move back here when her residency is finished. *crossing fingers*
All right, since I've finished a couple of books this weekend, I figured I'd better get myself back in gear and get some reviews posted!
Wendy McClure is on a quest to find the world of beloved Little House on the Prairie
author Laura Ingalls Wilder-a fantastic realm of fiction, history, and
places she's never been to, yet somehow knows by heart. She retraces the
pioneer journey of the Ingalls family- looking for the Big Woods among
the medium trees in Wisconsin, wading in Plum Creek, and enduring a
prairie hailstorm in South Dakota. She immerses herself in all things Little House,
and explores the story from fact to fiction, and from the TV shows to
the annual summer pageants in Laura's hometowns. Whether she's churning
butter in her apartment or sitting in a replica log cabin, McClure is
always in pursuit of "the Laura experience." Along the way she comes to
understand how Wilder's life and work have shaped our ideas about
girlhood and the American West.
The Wilder Life is a
loving, irreverent, spirited tribute to a series of books that have
inspired generations of American women. It is also an incredibly funny
first-person account of obsessive reading, and a story about what
happens when we reconnect with our childhood touchstones-and find that
our old love has only deepened."
Review: How much do I love the Little House of the Prairie series? Enough so that I wrote a paper on my fascination with them and how they influenced my life for a grad school class. When I first heard about this book, I ran to check it out and definitely was not disappointed. Author, Wendy McClure, goes on a road trip and personal journey to see home sites featured in the series, as well as to recreate some of the foods they made. Honestly, as a fan of the series who has read these books at least twelve times (if not more), I could totally understand the compulsion to dive into that world. There is something magical about those books, especially if they first captured you as a child.
The journey that McClure takes us on as readers is really enjoyable. Rather than a laundry list of sites and facts about the real people and places behind the novels, she weaves it into her own tale. This makes it all more enjoyable and made me want to do the same! McClure definitely seemed like a person I could sit down and have a chat with about these books and feel like we were on the same page. The only discrepancy would be her feelings about the 3rd book in the series on Almonzo's childhood. She admits to not connecting with his story, which felt shocking and a bit flabbergasting to me! Who wouldn't love Almonzo's life, with the big fair, the gigantic breakfasts, and his parents big trip out of town?
What can I say? If you are a fan of these beloved children's novels, then you really have to get McClure's piece. I loved the journey back into my favorite books so much that I started reading them all over again and then went and checked out Season 6 of the television series! Yes, I am a fan. And if you're not a fan and don't know what I'm talking about, then I shed a tear for you and urge you to read them--they're really sweet and fun. (Besides, I'd be interested to see what a "grown-up" thinks of the books? Maybe the magic came from a childhood journey to the West?)
When did you read this series and do you think that being a child when you first read them is an important factor to loving this series?
*FTC Disclosure: This review was based on a library copy of the novel.