I absolutely loved this retelling of the Little House on the Prairie book, from Caroline "Ma" Ingalls' perspective. When I read and re-read the books as a child, Ma didn't particularly stand out. She was just solid and steadfast, always the voice of reason and sure of what needed to be done (except maybe in the face of Indians, where her weaknesses and prejudices came out). This book moves through familiar scenes while highlighting the challenges and uncertainties of being a young, pregnant mother, alone on the prairie with only her wanderlust-filled husband and three- and five-year-old daughters. Only now, as a mother of daughters of similar ages, do I realize what a terrifying feat this was (and just how young Laura and Mary really were!). Miller's prose is lovely and provides a wonderful grown-up dose of nostalgia. Highly recommended for fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
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From the publisher’s description:
In this novel authorized by the Little House estate, Sarah Miller vividly recreates the beauty, hardship, and joys of the frontier in a dazzling work of historical fiction, a captivating story that illuminates one courageous, resilient, and loving pioneer woman as never before—Caroline Ingalls, “Ma” in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved Little House books.
In the frigid days of February, 1870, Caroline Ingalls and her family leave the familiar comforts of the Big Woods of Wisconsin and the warm bosom of her family, for a new life in Kansas Indian Territory. Packing what they can carry in their wagon, Caroline, her husband Charles, and their little girls, Mary and Laura, head west to settle in a beautiful, unpredictable land full of promise and peril.
The pioneer life is a hard one, especially for a pregnant woman with no friends or kin to turn to for comfort or help. The burden of work must be shouldered alone, sickness tended without the aid of doctors, and babies birthed without the accustomed hands of mothers or sisters. But Caroline’s new world is also full of tender joys. In adapting to this strange new place and transforming a rough log house built by Charles’ hands into a home, Caroline must draw on untapped wells of strength she does not know she possesses.
For more than eighty years, generations of readers have been enchanted by the adventures of the American frontier’s most famous child, Laura Ingalls Wilder, in the Little House books. Now, that familiar story is retold in this captivating tale of family, fidelity, hardship, love, and survival that vividly reimagines our past.