Jessica Harlan's Reviews > The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie

The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure
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's review
May 08, 2012

really liked it

For anyone who was obsessed with the Little House books as a child, this book is a fantastic opportunity to get to know the Wilder family again, and to know a little more about what their lives were *really* like. The most compelling part of the book is when McClure and her boyfriend road-trip across middle America to see all the historic Laura sites. McClure is sometimes impressed, but more often disappointed with how reality differs from what was in the books, and she also does a great job researching and analyzing all the critical studies and historical articles and books written about the Wilder family. It wasn't until reading this book that I really understood that the Little House books are historical fiction, with composite characters (Nellie Olsen, for one, is a combination of several girls Laura knew) and liberties taken with the ages of the characters and the order in which events in their lives occurred. My only complaint is that McClure wasn't the most reliable of "tour guides" through the historic sites... on occasion she gets disheartened or just plain bored, and passes up the opportunity to see or do certain things, which I found a bit of a let-down.

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