The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie

January 26, 2012

The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie by Wendy McClure is, well, interesting I will say. This is a biography of sorts about Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House books. I say of sorts because, it is about Laura, but more about the Laura we all know and love from the books and Wendy's discovery of the real Laura and her family. It is about Laura Ingalls and has some interesting tidbits in her I hadn't heard before, mainly on Laura's daughter Rose Wilder Lane.

Wendy loved the Little House books as a kid and then grew up and moved onto different forms of literature. Only to come back to the Little House books after her mother passed away of cancer. The Wilder Life is a story of Wendy's pilgrimage to all the sites where Laura Ingllas Wilder lived, that were mentioned in book and later the TV show.

While reading this, I realized I'm watching a person's obsession bloom before my eyes. The start of the books is ok. Like most people, she went to research on the internet about Laura and started to read books/biography's on Laura. That seemed pretty normal to me. I have a couple of the books she has myself.

Then as the book progressed, Wendy wanted to start experience things like Laura did in the book. She wanted to make butter the same way as it was done in the books, not like how school kids do it today. So she scoured the internet for an antique butter churn to make her own butter at home. However, it wasn't very much like Little House since she sat in front of a TV to do it.

It just kept progressing with her research in to "Laura World" as she phrased it through out the book. Wendy then decided she wanted to go to all the sites in the books. And as you read you see her build up high expectations that things will be the same as in the books even though it's about a hundred twenty years difference. I know that things will be different, because there are hardly any buildings left that were built in that time. So, most are replicas. And the original homestead of the Ingalls in DeSmet is now a tourist area of sorts with a camp ground.

The reviews I read on it, said it was a funny adventure into the world of Little House, but I see it as a growing obsession of a person who is trying to find some thing to help fill the void of her mom. She continually wishes she had Laura's mom close by or at least have her tell her certain phrases that she had stated in the book.

This is a not to read, in my opinion.

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