Jeana's Reviews > Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated

Confessions of a Prairie Bitch by Alison Arngrim
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's review
Oct 25, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: book-club-books, non-fiction-memiors
Read from January 31 to February 05, 2012

As a child, I was obsessed with Nellie Oleson. I loved watching/reading Little House on the Prairie and for some reason, Nellie always intrigued me. Yes, she was mean and horrible, but there was something about her. Maybe something I, as a fourth child, could see in her meanness in that it got people to notice her. And wow was I envious of all her curls, pretty dresses, fancy dolls, and fists full of gum drops.

This memoir was a lot of fun to read--I loved seeing the dirt behind the actors of Little House: the fact that Mary wasn't very nice, but she and Laura--Melissa Gilbert--were best friends was awesome; the irony that Melissa was actually very rich in real life while poor Alison Arngrim was hungry and eating food bought from her father stealing tips from a restaurant; what Michael Landon was really like.

The first part of the novel is a little gritty, about the sexual abuse she suffered as a child at her brother's hand. It was difficult to read and emotional, but wow--look at the difference she was able to make in the world in light of her trials. I'm impressed and inspired with her ability to help people--not only for children being abused but also she was very active with AIDS when it was so huge. She really used her role as Nellie to make the world a better place.

I would give this five stars--because I laughed a lot, cried, and was thoroughly absorbed in this memoir--but for all the language. There's a lot of bad language in this one, but I think the book is worth wading through the language.
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03/19/2016 marked as: read

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