Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “These Happy Golden Years (Little House, #8)” as Want to Read:
These Happy Golden Years (Little House, #8)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

These Happy Golden Years (Little House #8)

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  47,971 Ratings  ·  825 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)
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 These Happy Golden Years, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Majenta Clarence Brewster, nephew of the couple Laura boards with while teaching at the school. Not the same troublemaking Clarence from LITTLE TOWN ON THE…moreClarence Brewster, nephew of the couple Laura boards with while teaching at the school. Not the same troublemaking Clarence from LITTLE TOWN ON THE PRAIRIE, who stirred things up for teacher Miss Eliza Jane Wilder.(less)
Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott
Favorite books from my childhood
166th out of 3,408 books — 6,466 voters
Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëTwilight by Stephenie MeyerThe Notebook by Nicholas SparksRomeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Best Love Stories
87th out of 3,486 books — 7,492 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kate
Nov 14, 2010 Kate rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Elizabeth

I read this after visiting De Smet, and it was so lovely to be able to fix this unabashedly romantic YA novel firmly in its real-life location. On our last day in South Dakota we drove all around the lakes – Spirit Lake and Lakes Thompson and Henry – and out to the former tree claim where Laura and Almanzo’s first home was, and so in reading this book I was able to take a little nostalgia trip of my own, following the paths of their buggy rides.

I love Laura and Almanzo’s courtship (which is real
...more
Noelle
Sep 24, 2008 Noelle rated it it was amazing
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.
Naomi Bennet
/

AHHHHH. THIS BOOK MAKES ME SO HAPPY. I must have let out at least 100 happy golden sighs. I've read this book SO many times - I seriously don't know. Definitely more than ten. Definitely. Let's just say that. :-)

What I LOVE:
1. Almanzo. I love him!!! He's so handsome and funny and he UNDERSTANDS Laura. He's so kind to go and get Laura each Friday evening through the snow. And then he keeps on coming to take Laura out for buggy rides. And he buys her gifts. And takes her to singing school. And let
...more
Philip
May 24, 2014 Philip rated it it was amazing
*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
...more
Kathryn
Jun 28, 2013 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-history
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
Jess
THE SERIES ENDS HERE, I CAN'T HEAR YOU.
Siobhan
Mar 20, 2008 Siobhan rated it really liked it
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
...more
Empress5150
Dec 28, 2010 Empress5150 rated it it was amazing
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
Jessica
Aug 27, 2010 Jessica rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Ashley
Nov 24, 2015 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Welll, I just realized I hadn't reviewed this yet, so here goes!

This may have been my favorite book in the series. I went into it with low expectations, but, man, was it great! Almanzo is such a gentleman! He comes to get her even when there's nothing in it for him! And the sleigh rides and buggy rides!! *happy squeal* And that buggy ride with Nellie :D Sometimes their courtship seemed awkward, especially because of the age difference, but overall it was sweet and they were such great friends!

I
...more
Jaime
Secretly, I'm jealous of the simplicity of the times. Buggy rides, just getting married & setting up house without a big charade, the sunsets and the sights of the rolling hills...

I didn't think this book was as exciting as a child. Laura was older and growing up. I didn't understand it. But now I'm in the same time of life, it seems, as Laura is in this book and I enjoy her stories. Maybe my life has stories too.
Tanvir Ahmed
Dec 04, 2015 Tanvir Ahmed rated it it was amazing
বইটা শেষ করে খুব মন খারাপ ছিল, কারন এটিই লিটল হাউজ সিরিজের শেষ বই।লরা আর আলমানজো এর বই আর পড়তে পারবনা ভাবতেই খারাপ লাগে।
কাজী আনোয়ার হোসেনকে মন থেকে শুভেচছা জানাই। তিনি অনুবাদ না করলে এই কলাসিক বইগুলা কখনোই পড়া হত না।
...more
Cari
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
Tracy
Sep 14, 2012 Tracy rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Audrey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melody
Oct 09, 2010 Melody rated it really liked it
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,
...more
Chris
Oct 10, 2009 Chris rated it liked it
Shelves: wendy-books
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
Sue
2015: I felt sentimental about their courtship after driving out to twin lakes, even though they're not almost connected now like in Laura's time, and visiting the site of Almanzo's homestead and tree claim. I always liked this book as a girl because it seemed fitting to finally get Laura and Almanzo together since we all knew it was going to happen.

first read in 1972
Jessica (priceiswong)
Jun 10, 2015 Jessica (priceiswong) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
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.
Amy
Sep 19, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing
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.
Jess
Feb 04, 2009 Jess rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who read it as a kid...
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara
Apr 14, 2013 Sara rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, 2013
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
...more
Ruth
Mar 01, 2011 Ruth rated it it was amazing
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
Delicious Strawberry
In all of the previous Little House books, Laura was a little girl (except for the last couple of books when she was a teenager) but still, in all the previous books, she was very much a minor and under the care of her family, doing what Ma and Pa tell her and all of that. As she grows up, she becomes more independent as she takes on a school-teaching job, though she still lives with her family sometimes and shares strong bonds with them.

Back then there were no cars, phones, electric, and the li
...more
Richard Ward
Nov 03, 2013 Richard Ward rated it it was amazing
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
sabisteb
Sep 17, 2011 sabisteb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buch, classics
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
Alicia
Sep 23, 2013 Alicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
...more
Jrobertus
Aug 18, 2010 Jrobertus rated it it was amazing
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Mary 6 140 Apr 30, 2014 02:22PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: these happy golden years 1 3 Feb 22, 2012 11:35AM  
  • On the Other Side of the Hill (Little House: The Rocky Ridge Years, #4)
  • Down to the Bonny Glen (Little House: The Martha Years, #3)
  • Betsy in Spite of Herself (Betsy-Tacy, #6)
  • Little City by the Lake (Little House: The Caroline Years, #6)
  • On Top of Concord Hill (Little House: The Caroline Years, #4)
  • All-of-a-Kind Family Downtown (All-of-a-Kind Family, #4)
  • Molly Learns a Lesson: A School Story (American Girls: Molly, #2)
5300
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)

Share This Book



“These happy golden years are passing by, these happy golden years.” 19 likes
“I declare to goodness, I don't know but sometimes I believe in women's rights. If women were voting and making laws, I believe they'd have better sense. (Mrs. McKee to Laura, regarding homesteading laws)” 0 likes
More quotes…