“Little House in the Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Genre: Children’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, Classic
Summary from Goodreads:
Laura Ingalls’s story begins in 1871 in a little log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Four-year-old Laura lives in the little house with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their trusty dog, Jack.
Pioneer life is sometimes hard, since the family must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But it is also exciting as Laura and her folks celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do the spring planting, bring in the harvest, and make their first trip into town. And every night they are safe and warm in their little house, with the happy sound of Pa’s fiddle sending Laura and her sisters off to sleep.
And so begins Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America’s frontier past and a heartwarming, unforgettable story.
I read the Little House books as a kid. For whatever reason I never liked them. I decided to give it another shot as an adult. I’m so glad I did. I can definitely see how the books could be considered ‘boring’. The story isn’t a big one. It’s just a year of the Ingalls’ life. Despite the lack of a larger story line, there is something that’s undeniably charming about the books.
For me, I think the fact that this was an honest look into Laura and her family’s life was what made me like it. If the book had just been a work of pure historical fiction, I would have liked it okay. I would know that people lived like that but never would have been truly connected to the story. Since this was a mostly (all?) autobiographical story, I enjoyed the story so much more. Laura, Mary, Ma, Pa, and baby Carrie were real people. What I’m reading about happened in some shape or form. That really brings the story home. I do wonder why Wilder chose to write the story in 3rd person though. I would have loved to hear the story in first person.
The little stories in each chapter worked pretty well for me. They’re pretty quick but enjoyable. Even though each chapter was a stand alone story (to a certain extent) they all built on each other. You definitely became closer to the family as the story went on.
The bottom line? Pretty enjoyable. I’ll definitely continue with the books.