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These Happy Golden Years (Little House, #8)
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These Happy Golden Years (Little House #8)

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  39,277 ratings  ·  714 reviews
Fifteen-year-old Laura lives apart from her family for the first time, teaching school in a claim shanty twelve miles from home. She is very homesick, but keeps at it so that she can help pay for her sister Mary's tuition at the college for the blind. During school vacations Laura has fun with her singing lessons, going on sleigh rides, and best of all, helping Almanzo Wil ...more
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published October 14th 1953 by Harper & Row, Publishers (first published 1943)
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This is the book I read the night before I got married ten years ago. The reason for this? I think that "These Happy Golden Years" is the first book that I ever read in which a courtship and marriage was described in any detail - I was probably 8 or 9 on first reading of it. It seemed eminently suitable to read before my own marriage.

The book makes me happy inside, the gentle way that Laura and Almanzo become a couple and go out on rides together. Almanzo's persistence in courting Laura, and the
Ok so how could I not put my favorite LHOTP book on my bookshelf? I can't. There just ain't better readin' than a little LHOTP. Especially with a little fiddle music in the background while wearing a bonnet.
*Some possible spoilers... of course, if you looked at the cover of the book, you're probably already aware of where this is going.

Eleanor: I know what my favorite part is already: WHEN LAURA GOT MARRIED!!!

I want to give it FIVE STARS!!! You know why it's amazing? Because how can a piece of wedding cake taste like sawdust in your mouth?

Dad: Why do you think Laura thought it tasted like sawdust?

El: Because she's leaving home forever.

Dad: But why would that make it taste like sawdust?

El: Well, in
I love the Little House series. Saying this book wasn't my favorite is like ranking the Harry Potter books. Even a four star here is more beloved than most other novels. That said, this book had a bit too much Mrs Brewster (sad and scary!) and too many buggy rides (redundant) for me to really relish it like I did the others. That said I think Laura does a masterful job conveying the joys and pangs of growing up and moving on from the nest. And I love what Almanzo had to say about not wanting a w ...more
By far my favorite of the series! Laura embarks in her profession of teacher (at the ripe old age of 16). She experiences life away from home (and is fairly miserable but keeps a stiff upper lip) and learns how to deal with unruly students. She relishes in her weekends home and begins to appreciate Almanzo Wilder (who drives her home every weekend, even in terrible weather conditions). Throughout the book (and after Laura has moved back home for closer teaching positions), their romance blooms. ...more
Mar 20, 2008 Siobhan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Particularly for girls and women
This book was the first of the Little House books that I read. The last shall be first. I liked it, and all the Little House books (my favorites are Little Town on the Prairie and The Long Winter). While I have to say that I enjoyed them as a child, that's nothing to what I thought of them when I reread them as an adult.

As a child, I loved the innocence of Laura's existence and her rebellious nature. Now, what comes through much more strongly is the constant danger that the Ingalls Family lived
And finally in the course of my rereading the entire series, I come to my very favorite! *bounces about and giggles* Yes, I'm damn near 30 years old and These Happy Golden Years still makes me bounce and giggle and grin and flail like the wee lass I once was, it just makes me happy inside and I can't help smiling. The story where Laura really grows up and eventually leaves the nest, the story of Almanzo and Laura's courtship that forever ruined me when it comes to real life romantic relationship ...more
I finished this book with a lump in my throat, feeling sad for the end of Laura's childhood as well as the end of my own. I find it impossible to critique these books objectively because they are part of my childhood; I'm too close to them. So, I give them all 5 stars (except Farmer Boy, because I don't have the nostalgia factor with that one and can be a bit more objective).

These Happy Golden Years starts immediately where Little Town on the Prairie ends. Fifteen-year-old Laura has a job as a s
These Happy Golden Years is the last "real" book in the Little House series. There is another, much shorter, book afterward (The First Four Years) that was published from Laura Ingalls Wilder's notes and outlines, but this is the last she wrote. It ranks a very close second in my most favorite books ever.

It's interesting that my favorite two books are the first and the last in the series. In the first, Laura is a child. 6 or 7 years old. In the last, she's a "grown up," around 18 years old. Ther
A lovely warm fuzzy end to the series. (Yeah, I know there are more now, but this feels like the ride-off-into-the-sunset book- The First Four Years (Little House, #9) has always struck me as coda.)

Deliciously scary buggy rides. Buttoned-up romance. The huge cultural divide from them to me is easier and more interesting to explore in this book because there is little overtly obnoxious (no minstrel shows, no harsh comments from Ma) and much that has changed completely. There's a lot of preaching,
A nice, solid ending (essentially...'The First Four Years' has a lot of mystery in its origins, and whether it's valid as a completion of the Little House series) to a lovely series. At this point, a lot of people's enthusiasm starts to wane as relentless westward migration gives way to sleigh rides in town and Literaries. It's a natural part of the story, but certainly not as exciting as amok cows or Indian war dances or amok horses. The Literaries, however, offer a lot of head-scratching momen ...more
Jessica (priceiswong)
One of my favorite series as a kid! For a year I was even signed up with scholastic where I received the whole series in paperback and got to do little fun crafts and things. :) I've watched COUNTLESS episodes with my mother and had fun comparing the books to the show. This series will always hold a special place in my heart.
The title of this book is fitting. This one is richly filled with romance and excitement. I'm glad my girls got to hear what a good courting experience is while they're young. I don't want to lecture them about proper dating when they're older so I love reading wholesome examples of what love really should be.
Feb 04, 2009 Jess rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who read it as a kid...
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura's now almost an adult, 18 years old when the book concludes. She's got her teaching certificate and teaches 3 terms of school throughout this book, attending school herself on breaks between teaching terms. On weekends, Almanzo Wilder takes her for rides in his buggy, and she soon becomes engaged to him.

The developing friendship between Laura and Almanzo was sweet, even though they didn't share a lot of conversation. They were both quieter, and he seemed to be okay even when she spoke her
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is the book wherein we read of Laura and Almanzo and their growing romance. Almanzo drives Laura back and forth (12 miles each way) to a 2-month school in a small settlement, and Laura is miserable in the position of teacher and boarder at the home of a seriously mentally-unstable woman. Second only to the discomfort of that situation is the fact that she's uncomfortable with the idea that perhaps the whispers of her students are true and that Almanzo really IS trying to be Laura's "beau." ...more
Richard Ward
The final Little House book published in Laura Ingalls Wilder's lifetime, it serves as a great ending to the series, even though more material has been published since her death. Like any good book, this one leaves you wanting more. I am an adult man and I enjoyed this book immensely, even though it felt to me like it was written specifically for girls. None of the earlier books gave me that kind of impression. This is not a flaw in the book, just part of its personality. It is both a wonderful ...more
De Smet, South Dakota 1882 (- 1885). Weihnachten ist vorbei und Laura tritt mit ihrer frisch erworbenen Lehrerlaubnis ihre erste Stelle als Lehrerin in einer 12 Meilen entfernten kleinen Siedlung an. Gestern noch ein Schulmädchen, jetzt Lehrerin für zwei Monate. Laura kann es selber kaum glauben, dass sie morgen nicht mit ihrer Schwester zur Schule gehen wird, zumal sie es hasst zu unterrichten und nicht wirklich weiß, wie sie es anfangen soll. Sie hatte noch nie unterrichtet, und sie ist gerade ...more
My mum read these books as she was growing up, and encouraged me to do so. This is a classic book written before 1950, the last in the "Little House" series. I don't read classical fiction because while the plot is somewhat fascinating, I find that that isn't enough to keep me interested. I prefer modern books because they are written to please this generation of readers. Reading about Laura's travels is interesting, however the language structure of the novel is very simplified. I later found o ...more
Matthew Hunter
Laura's all grown up! Well, she's 16 or so. By the end of the book and her wedding to Almanzo, she's 18 and a whole heck of a lot more mature than I was at her age. I didn't possess the self-confidence to stand in front of others and teach or speak until I was in my early 30s. I'm impressed with her!

I've heard that Rose - Laura's daughter and queen of the American Libertarian movement - played a significant role in transforming Laura's journals into the historical fiction accounts of her pioneer
I loved this book. In it Laura teaches school, while still in school. Initially she teaches in a small school several hours from home, and is boarded with the Brewsters. Mrs. Brewster resents her and is also going prarie crazy, ala "Giants in the Earth". All the time, Almonzo Wilder attends to her, driving her through snow and cold on weekends as she teaches. It is lear he loves her, but she is very standoffish; still she can't stand to see Nellie Oleson flirt with him. Almonzo perservers and ev ...more
Oh, Almanzo. And Laura, you lucky girl.

This 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 (
Wow-wee. I haven't read this much about dress patterns and sewing styles since that horrible day in my grandmothers bathroom after some bad lunch meat. While reading this aloud to the kids on the car I couldn't help but continually lapse into a Swedish Chef voice for Pa, An antebellum southern mistress for Ma, An earnest lisp-y twit for Laura and Lenny impression for her sisters (Tell us about the rabbits, George) to keep it the least bit interesting.

On a side note, Laura Ingalls Wilder is a fi
Lily would have had me read the whole book in one sitting. I made her take a break to sleep, but she was enthralled. Mostly because this is the book where Laura and Almanzo fall in love. :)
I'm a sap for romantic stories. I really loved this book as it told of Laura's time teaching school terms and spending time with Almanzo. I love that they went riding all the time together. They would ride for 40-60 miles in a night which means a long time of talking together, so that is sweet to me. It's as if they dated without even talking about it for three years. It was really also nice to see how hard working Laura was, willing to do things for others instead of herself. It is a quality yo ...more
Why is it that reading These Happy Golden Years makes me giddy? Could it be my actual favorite of the series after all? Perhaps. It has been such a treat for me to reread these Little House books this past month. I've enjoyed visiting with Laura and her family. I've enjoyed watching 'the romance' unfold with Almanzo in Little Town on the Prairie and These Happy Golden Years.

In These Happy Golden Years Laura has accepted--for better or worse--that she is all grown up. In this book, she teaches s
I love Laura in this book. She’s grown and matured so much. I especially love the scene with Nellie Olson and Laura in the buggy with Almanzo. Laura is just so deliciously sneaky. But she shows a great deal of growth in her conversations and even her thoughts. This is still very much a book for children, but it has an adult flavor to it since Laura is now an adult. This is perhaps why these last few books are among my favorites, because the tone has shifted slightly to include a broader audience ...more
Divya Rao
This is definitely my favorite of all the books, and there are a few reasons why:

1. LAURA IS TOTALLY A FEMINIST OF HER TIMES AND I. LOVE. THAT. There are a few reasons why I think she was a feminist. First of all, she really loves money. Ok, that's not fair. She really loves being able to help provide for her family; she never once thinks of it as only the man's job. Second of all, she's independent--she's not a hapless girl, she makes her own decisions about Almanzo and she tells him she's ind
Somewhere between 4 and 5 stars!
Spoiler: LAURA AND ALMANZO GET MARRIED!! We totally didn't see that one coming! ;)
This picks up right where Little Town on the Prairie left off - Pa is taking Laura to her first teaching job. She lives with the Brewsters and Almanzo saves her each Friday by driving out the 12 miles it is from town to take her to her family for the weekend. We don't really get to 'see' too much into Laura's mind - she wrote this after being married for DECADES to him, but we still
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Mary 6 132 Apr 30, 2014 02:22PM  
  • In the Land of the Big Red Apple (Little House: The Rocky Ridge Years, #3)
  • Beyond the Heather Hills (Little House: The Martha Years, #4)
  • Betsy's Wedding (Betsy-Tacy, #10)
  • Little Town at the Crossroads (Little House: The Caroline Years, #2)
  • Across the Rolling River (Little House: The Caroline Years, #5)
  • Changes for Felicity: A Winter Story (American Girls: Felicity, #6)
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)
  • 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)
  • West from Home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915  (Little House #11)
Little House on the Prairie (Little House, #2) Little House in the Big Woods (Little House, #1) The Little House Collection (Little House, #1-9) On the Banks of Plum Creek  (Little House, #4) Little Town on the Prairie  (Little House, #7)

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“These happy golden years are passing by, these happy golden years.” 21 likes
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