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)

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  52,318 Ratings  ·  931 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)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
Aug 26, 2016 Tatiana rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, historical, newbery, 2016
I am very bitter about the $100 organ Pa insisted Laura needed to buy for Mary to play during her visits home (for a couple of weeks every other year or something). This was the money nobody could afford to waste.

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
Kellyn Roth
I think this is my favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder book. I really like Almanzo and his horses and ... it's just an amazing book. :)
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 Sarah

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
Jennifer Lynn
I always like to read THIS book after reading 'The Long Winter', even if it does not keep the correct order- this just seems like the proper continuation of where 'Winter' leaves off. I like this one because it tells the story of Laura and Almanzo's courtship, beginning when she is 15 and ending with their marriage when she is 18. As a kid, it always blew my mind that they had never ever even kissed until they were ENGAGED! Hell, I was reading this at 10 or 11, and *I* had kissed boys by then! T ...more
Raevyn (God's Blessed Child)
Jan 24, 2017 Raevyn (God's Blessed Child) rated it it was amazing
I remember this being my favorite of the series.
Mar 01, 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
Mar 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
Mar 19, 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
Jul 25, 2009 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
Aug 03, 2016 Kelly added it
Shelves: read-in-2016
Boy a lot of things happen in this slim volume. If there's anything worth noting about reading this series as a whole as an adult, it's that pacing is a real detail here. We get a whole book about a single long winter and then books like this one where Laura goes from 15 and starting as a teacher to 18 and married with her own fewer pages.

Takeaways from book eight: Laura hates teaching, Laura wants to get married sooner so she can stop teaching, Pa really likes taking Laura's money fo
No matter how many times I re-read this book I never get tired of it, and I'm constantly finding new things in it! This has got to be the best book in the whole of the 'Little House' series! It's absolutely wonderful. Five stars just doesn't seem to be enough for it!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
Ashley Perham
Aug 19, 2015 Ashley Perham 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!

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।
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
Sep 10, 2007 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,
Aug 29, 2016 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Full review @ Smoke & Mirrors: Finished this one three days late for my own read-along. (Worked 180 hours these past three weeks.) Love this one! I'll admit I cried at several spots. Oh, if only I'd had an Almanzo or Anne's Gilbert the first marriage!! Almanzo was sooo sweet! How romantic he was! When Laura saw the pantry and how meticulous he'd been in crafting the drawers and shelves and all the windows he placed in their house! I loved that he too ...more
Sep 05, 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
Jessica (priceiswong)
Jul 12, 2013 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.
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
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.
First time read in 2009
Second time read: 31-1st of May 2016
Katy Orsborn
Aug 17, 2016 Katy Orsborn rated it it was amazing
Still one of my absolute favorite books! Now I need to watch Season 6 of the TV show...
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Mary 6 146 Apr 30, 2014 02:22PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: these happy golden years 1 4 Feb 22, 2012 11:35AM  
  • New Dawn on Rocky Ridge (Little House: The Rocky Ridge Years, #6)
  • Down to the Bonny Glen (Little House: The Martha Years, #3)
  • Betsy and Joe (Betsy-Tacy, #8)
  • Across the Rolling River (Little House: The Caroline Years, #5)
  • Little Town at the Crossroads (Little House: The Caroline Years, #2)
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.” 20 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)” 3 likes
More quotes…