Laurie's Reviews > The First Four Years

The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
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's review
May 12, 2011

really liked it
Read in May, 2011

This book was, finally, refreshingly honest. I loved the previous 8 books, but was always a bit bothered at how Laura's true feelings were rarely described. Finally hearing about the boredom that Laura felt as a new mother, about how she didn't want Manly to be a farmer, and how she occasionally hated the stink of their farm stock was quite satisfying to me.

And, "Manly?" Two things about this nickname: first, have I been pronouncing his name incorrectly? Is it not "Ahl-MAHN-zoh?" Second, I wish we had read this sooner. So endearing and telling of their friendship-based relationship. What guy wouldn't want his nickname to be 'Manly?' ;)

As an adult, I now understand why these books are classics. In many ways, I wish I could go back and live as Laura did. Life was so hard, but so simple. People in her time avoided debt, valued self-education, and spent most of their lives working out doors. What wonderful ideals to strive for.
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01/30/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Shay Hawthorne I've got a little triva for how Almanzo came to be called Manly. This is from Laura's autobiography.

When Laura first met Almanzo she straight up told him she didn't like his name (damn, girl.) and asked him if he had any nick names. He replied that his family calls him "Manzo" (probably pronounced MAHN-zoh) and she said that was even worse (lol) so he said that some dude they both know(can't remember who) calls him "Manny". Laura misunderstood and thought he had said "Manly" but she liked it better. So she called him that from then on. Alternately Almanzo said that Laura was also his sister's name and he didn't like her name either (don't you just love these two?). Laura said her middle name was Elizabeth and he should think of a nickname based on that. He choose "Bess" or more specifically "Bessie". Not very flattering yeah, but both nicknames stuck for life.

Laurie Ah! That makes more sense. Thanks for sharing!

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