Pages - 192
Challenges - Flashback Challenge.
First published in 195
A long time ago, when all the grandfathers and grandmothers of today were little boys and little girls or very small babies, or perhaps not even born, Pa and Ma and Mary and Laura and Baby Carried left their little house in the Big Woods of Winsconsin. They drove away and left it lonely and empty in the clearing among the big trees, and they never saw that little house again.
This is the second book in the series detailing the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. This book details the family's move from the Big Woods, where all their family live to the prairies where the Indians dwell. Pa takes his family on a long and dangerous journey in order to stake a claim on a piece of land and build a new home for his family. The book follows their journey through a whole year of their life.
Now reading this as an adult, I found that I didn't enjoy it as much as the first book in the series, The Little House in the Big Woods. This book seemed a very lonely book. The family are completely on their own and to me it seemed such a lonely existence. They were at risk from the perils of nature; the bad weather, a passing panther and the howling pack of wolves. They are also in danger of the growing number of angry Indians who are no longer happy that white people are taking their land.
Each chapter deals with an episodic event during their life on the Prairie. They are detailed accounts but they seem to lack warmth to me. Perhaps I am being too picky. I just wanted more from this book than I got. I think sometimes I forget that the story is written from the viewpoint of a child, which often makes the story come across as a 'What I Did on the Weekend' exercise.
If you haven't read this book and are planning to, please ignore the next paragraph,as it does have a spoiler alert concerning the end of the book.
This book is a lot darker and a lot more real than the first. It shows how difficult life really was, especially when they end up having to leave their house at the end of the book. All that hard work, to build a house, a stable and furniture, all to be left behind as the government threaten to arrest Pa for taking land away from the Indians. They have to leave again to start all over anew. It seemed like such a waste of a year to me.
The main reason I didn't like this book as much as the first, was because of the amount of chapters which dealt with the building of the property. I felt like I had picked up a DIY manual. It went into great detail about how to build the house and the stable, which was of little interest to me and did not have me yearning for a hammer and a set of nails. I didn't feel with this book that we got the full effect of really living on the prairie.
There was very little dialogue within the book as the family really didn't have anyone to talk to or anything to actually talk about as not a lot happened. They were always on the brink of things happening, which ended up always just passing them by.
I hope to read the rest of this series as this is as far as I have ever got with it. I am hoping that the third book 'On The Banks of Plum Creek' is a lot more interesting. Has anyone read the third book and can they recommend it?