Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “West from Home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915” as Want to Read:
West from Home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

West from Home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915 (Little House #11)

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,148 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
alternate cover edition for ISBN 0064400816

In 1915, Laura Ingalls Wilder traveled by train from her home in Missouri to San Francisco. Laura's westward journey to visit her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, coincided with a spectacular event taking place in that city-the Panama Pacific International Exposition.
This was a great world's fair celebrating the completion of the Pan
Paperback, 172 pages
Published 1995 (first published November 1974)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about West from Home, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about West from Home

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
I love the "Little House" books. And I'm fascinated with 1910s San Francisco and its Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 (world's fair). What a happy discovery, indeed, when I realized that Laura herself visited the PPIE when she visited her daughter in SF *and* wrote about her experience to her husband, Manly, who stayed home in Mansfield to oversee the farm. This is the collection of those letters and it proves a quick, delightful read for fans of Laura, San Francisco, worlds fairs ...more
Sep 18, 2011 sabisteb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
San Francisco 1915, Die Panama-Pacific International Exhibition feiert die Fertigstellung des Panama Kanals im neu aufgebauten San Francisco. Laura Ingalls Wilder, die spätere Autorin des „Little house Books“ besucht zu dieser Zeit ihre Tochter Rose und deren Ehemann in San Francisco. Da Lauras Ehemann Almanzo auf dem Bauernhof bleiben musste, schreibt ihm seine treue Gattin fast täglich Briefe über das was sie gesehen und erlebt hat. Wie sie als Kind für ihre blinde Schwester Mary die Augen ers ...more
Mar 31, 2009 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first impression of Laura's letters to Almanzo was that they were more practical than romantic. I forgot that they were written during a time when letters were often read a loud to anyone who would listen. Eek! I wouldn’t get too lovey-dovey either. But, the affection and at time loneliness Laura felt for her husband, pet and home still manage to roost among her vivid descriptions of San Francisco. Although she never says it plainly, I got the feeling Laura wasn’t pleased with her underachiev ...more
Liz Simmons
A somewhat interesting collection of letters written by Laura ingalls wilder to her husband ( stuck back on the farm ) when she visited her daughter rose in San Francisco in 1915. Some good descriptions of what San Francisco looked like and felt at the time. Lots of description of the worlds fair that was happening at the time in celebration of the opening of the Panama Canal.
Elizabeth K.
Oct 24, 2009 Elizabeth K. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Elaine
Shelves: 2007-new-reads
I liked this a lot more than I was anticipating. These letters were written by Laura to her husband, well before she wrote the Little House books, during a visit she made to their daughter in San Francisco. In addition to seeing her daughter, the other point of the trip was to see the Panama-Pacific Exposition, kind of like a World's Fair thing. It's a great look at San Francisco at this time, she does a lot of sight-seeing (at the Expo and elsewhere) and describes everything with a lot of charm ...more
Jul 21, 2010 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought of this book as more of a historical document, rather than a Laura Ingalls Wilder story.

"West From Home" is a series of letters that Laura wrote to her husband Almanzo in 1915 during her trip to the World's Fair in San Francisco. Her attention to detail, and descriptions of the fair and the city have now made it an important historical account.

Many of the places that Laura visited are still in San Francisco to this day. From Telegraph Hill to Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown to Presidio Pa

So here we have it, the first book I read this year towards my New Year's Resolution of reading as many books by women authors as possible in 2012. I'm a latecomer to the world of Little House on the Prairie et al. but have fallen under their charming spell as if I were a kid again.

This book, a collection of letters that the real-life Laura wrote to her husband in 1915 whilst the former was away touring the World's Fair in San Francisco. They're charming and full of the excellent attention to
lovely book.

Laura sees and goes wading in the pacific ocean for the first time, something her daughter had never done. i wanted to scream at the kids on the beach w/her "don't you know who that is?!" but she wasn't Laura Ingalls Wilder yet, she was a mom visiting her famous writer daughter and seeing the world's fair, the little fame she had was as a small town newspaper columnist.
rose wilder lane writes henry ford's autobiography during the period these letters are from, ten years before the m
This is collection of letters that Wilder sent home to her husband while she was visiting her daughter, Rose, in San Francisco, sightseeing around the area and enjoying the 1915 World's Fair Panama-Pacific Exposition. The letters are heavy with details of the trip and are interesting as an historical account of this particular time and place. What I thought was even more interesting, though, was Wilder's perception of the city, her naivete, and her love for her husband and the Ozarks hills she c ...more
Dec 31, 2015 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A much greater insight into Laura (Bess/Bessie) and Rose's relationship as mother and daughter. Also the kind of man Gillette, Rose's husband, was. Interesting to read about the writing projects of both mother and daughter.
Jun 06, 2014 Lauri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After the brief comments we receive in On The Way Home, West from Home is full of description. Laura is developing as a storyteller in these letters to Almanzo. You will need to get over them being "Manly" and "Bessie", this made me put the book down for a couple years in elementary school. But now, I want to see the Tower of Jewels for myself and eat a scone with Laura. Or at least tour SF with this book as a guide.
It's also interesting that the girl in Little House on the Prairie might go 10-2
Rosa Cline
These were a great read! Actual letters Laura wrote 'home' to Almanzo while she visited Rose and her then husband Gillette in San Fransico. Laura had been so used to describing things for Mary when she went blind that she had a gift for explaining things even in her letters back home. What made it even more interesting to me was #1 I've never been to San Francisco and even now YEARS later I can imagine how great and grand the place is. and #2 after talking with other Laura researchers and people ...more
Aug 06, 2009 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It is like a fairyland." So Laura Ingalls Wilder described her 1915 voyage to San Francisco to visit her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane. Laura's husband, Almanzo, was unable to leave their Missouri farm and it is her faithful letters home, vividly describing every detail of her journey, that have been gathered here. Includes 24 pages of exciting photographs.

I've read just a few pages but found it interesting that Laura was called "Bessie" within her family to avoid confusion with her SIL, also name
Amy Kitchell-Leighty
This book is a collection of letters that Laura Ingalls Wilder writes to her husband Almonzo Wilder while Laura is visiting their daughter Rose in San Francisco. The letters span from the spring of 1915 to October 1915. Rose, who was a successful journalist, helps her mother with her own writing career, encouraging her mother to write her own stories and showing her how to write for a newspaper. Laura is extremely descriptive in her letters to her husband which she writers several times a week. ...more
Emily Hunholz
Though not particularly exciting, I liked “West from Home” because it feels very personal. It’s the letters that Laura actually wrote to Almanzo while she was in San Francisco during the 1915 World’s Fair. Laura was so excited to visit Rose (which was a bit of a relief to me). In “On the Way Home,” I thought that Laura and Rose’s relationship seemed a bit strained (though Rose was obviously little, and it was a stressful time), but they seemed to get along quite well in these letters. I was surp ...more
Alisha Bennett
Sweet and endearing, this collection of letters home to "Manley Dear" are a peek into the life of the famous author as she visits her daughter in San Francisco in 1915. (Although her pure authorship of the LH series is sometimes disputed, many believe her daughter Rose had a larger part in publishing and editing the work than she is commonly given credit for).

Regardless, the same sincerity and wonder that colors the LH series, appears in Laura's letters. She doesn't delve into sentimental prose
Kiirsi Hellewell
Aug 25, 2015 Kiirsi Hellewell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had to read this short book in small chunks, because while I LOVED getting a glimpse into Laura's letters and her relationship with Almanzo, it wasn't riveting. Still, it was very fun to read about San Francisco in 1915 and Laura's reactions to everything. I'm so glad this was published!
Jan 11, 2015 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are a Laura Ingalls Wilder devotee this book is a must! The letters provide a glimpse of the writer's style while visiting her daughter in San Francisco in 1915 and writing about her visit to Almanzo! I would love to read more about her daughter Rose who was a gifted writer herself. Enjoy!!
Aug 02, 2015 Cece rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Laura Ingalls Wilder describes her trip from her home in Mansfield, Missouri, to San Francisco, California to visit her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, and letters to her husband Almanzo. I thought these letters were a bit boring; however, I read this book a few years ago and may have a different view if I read them again, keeping in mind that letters were meant to be more practical accounts to be read aloud to others rather than love letters.
Feb 16, 2013 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Instead of this being an epistolary novel, this is an actual collection of epistles—letters written by Laura to her husband while visiting their daughter. I’ve recently read about the relationship between mother and daughter and had it called “complicated” and “strained” at times. I was kind of sniffing for a whiff of that in these letters and did not find it. Laura’s descriptive ability, honed while being “eyes” for her blind sister Mary, serves her well here. Almanzo has often been described a ...more
West From House atau Surat dari Jauh. Buku ini menuliskan surat-surat Laura Inggals Wilder kepada suaminya Almanzo Wilder ketika ia dalam perjalanan menuju San Fransisco di tahun 1915 untuk mengunjungi anaknya yang sudah menikah, Rose Wilder Lane. Buku ini sangat keren karena seperti gabungan antara Buku Travelling dan Sejarah.

Buku ini sebagai penutup Seri"Little House" Laura Inggals Wilder.
Christina Zable
A pleasant side-piece to the Little House books, especially for someone who knows and loves San Francisco, as it is made up of letters Laura wrote to Almanzo when visiting the Pan Pacific International Exhibition, for which the Palace of Fine Arts was built.
Nov 02, 2009 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wendy-books
Not bad! After the turgid 'On The Way Home,' this collection of letters (mostly from Laura to Almanzo/Manly, though her daughter writes a few missives home as well) reclaims some of the good humor and wide-eyed fascination of the last few Little House books. Laura travels to San Francisco to spend a few months with her daughter Rose, to work on some book ideas, and also to see the Panama Exhibition, which is taking place all that summer. If you've ever wondered what Laura/Mama Bess thinks about ...more
Nov 03, 2014 Sonja rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is so different than all the other books including On the Way Home. I wanted to like the book, but I just don't care for the overall voice of the letters. It is so different than the voice used in her other books that it is jarring.
Interesting to read Laura's letters home to Almanzo about her time in (and getting to) San Francisco. It's kind of strange too to read about such a big and bustling CITY through her eyes, when everything else by her is so small town (or less), and it's all within her own lifetime... if that makes sense... from such big open spaces in the 1870s and 1880s to suddenly San Fran, 1915, all in the same country... it's just fascinating.
I enjoyed this book only because it was by an author of excellent childrens books; and because it is satisfying to read things written at the time, versus having authors of historical fiction trying to reconstruct how it was.
Jul 11, 2014 Jana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-stars
The best parts of the book are the earliest, when she's describing her journey from Missouri to San Francisco. Her descriptions are so apt and lovely that it's almost like looking at photographs rather than written words. As Laura Ingalls Wilder traveled through the city of San Francisco with her daughter, Rose, the style wobbled between conventional epistle (I found out about a new method for condensing milk, the chickens need to be fed X parts grain and X parts bone in order to encourage them ...more
A wonderful collection of letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder to her husband when she went to visit their daughter, Rose, in San Francisco in 1915. It was the time of the the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, and thus provides a view of both the ordinary and the spectacular in that city where so many of us have left our hearts. As a history lover, I really liked the glimpses of the time. As a reader, I liked seeing one of my favorite childhood authors in a different light. As someone interest ...more
Sep 17, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when I was in high school. I had read all the other Little House books. This one sat on my mother shelf completely ignored mostly because the cover looked so much different than the others. When I finally read it, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. In truth, it was good that I waited. As I don't think this book could have been appreciated by a child. What is most interesting to me are the little bits and pieces you catch that make you wonder how much Laura really ...more
Mar 03, 2014 Joy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this quite a while back. It is a sort of "companion" book to On the Way Home. It contains letters that Laura wrote while visiting San Francisco. It is quite short.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Bachelor Girl (Little House: The Rose Years, #8)
  • On Tide Mill Lane (Little House: The Charlotte Years, #2)
  • Laura's Album: A Remembrance Scrapbook of Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • I Remember Laura: Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • On Top of Concord Hill (Little House: The Caroline Years, #4)
  • Rose Wilder Lane: Her story
  • Becoming Laura Ingalls Wilder: The Woman behind the Legend
  • Laura: The Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Old Town in the Green Groves: Laura Ingalls Wilder's Lost Little House Years
Ingalls wrote a series of historical fiction books for children based on her childhood growing up in a pioneer family. She also wrote a regular newspaper column and kept a diary as an adult moving from South Dakota to Missouri, the latter of which has been published as a book.
More about Laura Ingalls Wilder...

Other Books in the Series

Little House (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Little House in the Big Woods (Little House, #1)
  • Little House on the Prairie (Little House, #2)
  • Farmer Boy (Little House, #3)
  • On the Banks of Plum Creek  (Little House, #4)
  • By the Shores of Silver Lake  (Little House, #5)
  • The Long Winter (Little House, #6)
  • Little Town on the Prairie  (Little House, #7)
  • These Happy Golden Years (Little House, #8)
  • The First Four Years  (Little House, #9)
  • On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894  (Little House #10)

Share This Book