From the moment I first heard about Wendy McClure‘s book, The Wilder Life, I knew I had to read it. I grew up in South Dakota. Thankfully, not in a shanty built by my Pa. Though he did do quite a few renovations to our home over the years. I have always felt a kinship with Laura, but only because I grew up in the same state.
I do remember reading the Little House books. Though most of my knowledge of Laura comes from watching the show after school. I remember one year, my Oma bought my sister and I bonnets on one of her summer trips. I loved my bonnet and wore it whenever I could; always down my back just like Laura.
My first sewing project was inspired by Little House. I was 8 or 9 and absolutely needed a long gingham skirt to wear with my bonnet. Rather than just make one for me, my mum took the opportunity to teach me how to sew. That afternoon, I learned how to cut out a pattern, sew seams, make an elastic waistband, and stitch a hem.
I also remember playing Little House on the Prairie with my sister, brother, and cousins. There are photos somewhere of all of us dressed up as characters from the story.
I haven’t even mentioned the book yet! I read this book based on the title and the knowledge it was about Laura and Little House on the Prairie. I kind of thought it was a fictional novel. I was pleasantly surprised as I began to read the book. I found the book engaging and at some points I just had to read a bit more before going to bed. Who knew exploring the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder could be so interesting?
I must applaud the author for the lengths she took to explore Laura World. Searching down a butter churn just like the one Ma used took considerable effort. I would also like to try making butter, but I think I’ll use my Kitchen Aid. I do want to take a trip up to South Dakota and spend the night in a covered wagon. I also want to track down the Japanese Anime rendition of Little house!