Thursday, November 17, 2011

Little Town on the Prairie

I spent much of this past weekend gorging on Laura Ingalls Wilder books, specifically Little Town on the Prairie and These Happy Golden Years.
Blouse - Uniquities, Cream cami underneath - very old, Gold leaf necklace - Arden B., Belt - Primark, Gray maxi skirt - Express, Shoes - Vince Camuto
And as much as I wanted to wear a hoop skirt or a brown poplin on Monday, this is what I had to make do with.
Good enough, right?
The blouse to represent the prairie roses, the milk braids because Laura has a similar hairstyle in the first chapter of Little Town on the Prairie, and a skirt reaching my shoes, as Laura is often mentioned as wearing one.
Gotta keep things chaste, ladies.
But what of the books? They both got 4/5 stars from me.

I flew through LTOTP, maybe because I was so happy not to be stuck in a blizzard anymore, freezing and starving. Things are really looking up for the Ingalls family--they get a kitten, Mary finally goes off to college, there are parties in town, and by the end of the book, Laura gets her teaching certificate. The most extravagant thing is when Pa allows Laura to buy name cards (they're the latest thing and cost 25 cents!). I actually squealed, "Oh, Pa! Letting Laura buy name cards!", eliciting an eyeroll from Husband. Laura always works so hard and tries to be so good, so it's nice to see the little rewards.

There are a couple of moments that make you stop and think as an adult. One, Pa and some buddies in town put on a show wearing blackface, which is pretty cringeworthy. Two, as much as we all love Laura, you start to wonder about how Laura writes about herself--is she this good? That whole thing with Nellie and Miss Wilder kind of makes you wonder who really is the petty person.

Another thing, I love Almanzo as he begins to court Laura (maybe I squealed more). But as Ma exclaims, Laura's only 15! And Almanzo's 10 years older. I know at the time that was fine, but you could say the same for blackface. Of course, Laura doesn't marry him until she's 18, so I guess that makes it less creepy? Also making it less creepy, Laura's maturity--she even helps Ma and Pa get the money to send Mary to college. Making it creepy again--Laura's innocence. She can't figure out why Almanzo wants to walk her home after the church revival. We see more of their slow courtship in These Happy Golden Years (more squeal-worthy moments).

Oh, Almanzo. And Laura, you lucky girl.

THGY and the first Little House book are probably tied for being my favorites.

I loved seeing Laura grown-up--taking a few teaching jobs, working various jobs in between, giving her earnings to her parents for Mary's college tuition (sometimes I felt like, Laura, we get it, you're a good daughter, the best daughter). But what I really loved was seeing Almanzo courting Laura--being ever the gentleman as he drove her home every weekend from her teaching job (in 40 below type of weather!), secretly getting her a Christmas present (a brush and comb set), taking her for springtime carriage rides (letting her take the reins sometimes), and finally proposing (with a beautiful ring), then building a house (with the perfect pantry). I was giggling and sighing throughout the book.


  1. I need to reread this whole series, esp the squealy last one. You look so cute in your prairie inspired outfit!

  2. Yes, they're worth a reread. Especially the last ones that I don't remember reading obsessively like I did the first few.

  3. Love the top and your hair looks lovely this way!


  4. Thanks, Jessica! Milk braids are one of my favorites hairstyles.