Saturday, January 1, 2011

Book Review: These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Is this my favorite Little House book? Perhaps. So hard to decide! It's certainly the most romantic.

Teaching is rough for Laura, but she's got to do it for Mary's sake. Although the rough part is the house where she's boarding. Thankfully Almanzo rides out in his sleigh every Friday to pick her up and take her home, as she'd otherwise have had a very hard time of it. She tells herself she's only going with him for the ride and even tells him that at one point. Luckily Almanzo ignores her protestations. Courtship really begins! I also found it interesting that Pa is the parent who encourages the courtship. Historically it's supposed to be fathers who are overprotective of their little girls, but not in this case.
Finally the long 8 weeks at that school is over and she can come back home. Over the next two year Laura teaches three more times, twice at a school so close by she can walk, and once at a school near a friend's claim who she stays with. Meanwhile, Almanzo more or less becomes a fixture around the Ingalls' house. Nellie finally gets to ride in Almanzo's buggy (although not with Prince and Lady) and Laura outsmarts her as we knew she would. Mary is excelling in school although they all miss her so. And Almanzo asks Laura to go to singing school with him. And takes her on buggy rides. And eventually, proposes (I must admit, I find his proposal incredibly sweet.) The book ends, as so many do, with a wedding.

A funny note: Laura always tries to see the best in everyone and everything but she really,really hates Reverend Brown, even at one point calling his sermon stupid! I think that's the only time that word is used in a derogatory way in the whole book! Of course we're not subjected to his sermons so I can't render judgment on them, but I hate the way he and his wife treat their daughter, Ida. She must always work extra hard and be super-grateful, because she's adopted. Truly kind people would never drill that into their daughter's head, and yet they obviously did.

This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend. And although this review (and the one above) are posted on 1/1/2011, I read them in 2010.

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