Laurie R. King Virtual Book Club discussion

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder
This topic is about Prairie Fires
Archived General > Read-a-long: Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser

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message 1: by Erin (new)

Erin (tangential1) | 1638 comments Mod
A great discussion started over on the "what are you reading" thread with enough people that I thought a devoted read-a-long discussion thread would be cool. Kind of like our usual discussion threads, but not our official monthly book pick.

Are you reading Prairie Fires? Share your thoughts here!

message 2: by Laura (new)

Laura Stratton | 240 comments It's on my reserve list at the library.

Sara | 30 comments A co-worker and I discovered we're life-long Laura Ingalls Wilder fans through this book, and have discussed a potential trip to Mansfield, Missouri to pay our respects. Even though we acknowledge that Laura was a real person with her own set of issues (like the rest of us), we still honor the place her books have held in our lives. Has anyone else visited one of Laura's (or Almanzo's) homes?

Norah Wolthuis (readingaway) | 8 comments I have visited De Smet. There is a nice museum and the surveyors’ house has been moved next door. My son has just taken a job with Bass Pro since they have purchased Cabela’s and moved to Springfield, MO. Mansfield is just down the road and I will visit there soon. As I said in the beginning posts, PRAIRIE FIRES is an astounding book for many reasons and I highly recommend it and look forward to a good conversation.

message 5: by Laura (new)

Laura Stratton | 240 comments I'm about 3/4 of the way through "Prarie Fires". And I'm really NOT enjoying it. I am a life long Laura Ingalls Wilder fan and have read some other books that covered some of the material in this book. I knew that the "Little House" books were loosely based on her life and I knew that Rose Wilder Lane had a strong influence on her mother's books.
What bothers me the most about "Prarie Fires" is that it is focused primarily on Rose and her very fractured relationship with her mother. Rose isn't a nice person I was hoping for more about Laura and less about Rose's depression and hatred of her mother.
What do others think?

Sara | 30 comments I don't necessarily think Rose hated her mother. Theirs was a complicated, co-dependent relationship and the author states on more than one occasion that neither woman could completely break free from the other.

I also think the author was trying to show that while at first, Laura was dependent on Rose for help in book formation, marketing to editors and editing, Laura gradually gained the confidence to write on her own with limited editorial assistance from Rose. I think this also fanned the fires of professional jealousy Rose felt toward her mother. Laura was successful where Rose was not, even if it was in the "juvenile" market.

Rose Wilder Lane is certainly portrayed in a very negative way, and Laura Ingalls Wilder is shaded in a less than rosy light. They were people, after all. How many of us walk around without flaws of our own?

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