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jbalch

Jeffrey Reads

My name is Jeffrey. I used to read all lot, but the past few years I've slacked off. As my 2018 New Year Resolution, I decided to make it a point to read more this year. This blog is to motivate me and keep track of all the books I read.

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder

— feeling smile
Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder - Caroline Fraser

Over the past couple of years, I've been getting more and more into non-fiction. However, I'm still not one to usually just pick up a biography and read it in its entirety. I usually stick more to memoirs as far as non-fiction goes.

 

So I don't have much experience with biographies. The only other one I've read all the way through was Neal Gabler's Walt Disney bio. So this was basically new territory for me.

 

I have to say that at first, Prairie Fires was a little slow for me. It's been years since I've read the Little House books... I think I read them in 3rd grade, so a long time. (But I was very into them at the time. My family even went to Rocky Ridge during a vacation because I was so obsessed.) So that meant that I didn't completely remember the stories all the way through and reading this was a little challenging to remember the books and compare them to the actual events. But I really enjoyed it once I got into it, and it made me remember the series and why I loved it back when I was a kid. (Speaking of that, I should re-read it now... We'll see how this year goes.)

 

This book was obviously very well researched and written with passion by the author. I could tell by her writing that she was genuinely interested in bringing forth the truths of Laura Ingalls Wilder's life to the reader. 

 

As for the contents of the book, well.. Some things were devastating to say the least. Reading about when Wilder and her husband left her family in South Dakota to move to Missouri nearly brought me to tears, and then again when both of her parents passed away and Wilder's responses to those events. A lot of it made me despise Wilder's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane (though at one point I found myself identifying with her. Does that make me terrible? Probably.)

 

Overall, I really really enjoyed this biography. Though it's not typically something I would read, I loved learning more about Wilder's life and remembering what I loved about her stories when I was younger.