I used to think that I was a serious Little House on the Prairie nut. Until I started reading this book. Ms. McClure (who also writes for Bust magazine) is a nut for all things Little House. Me? I’m barely scratching the surface.
First of all, I’ve never read the books. I know, I know. I am that girl. But I have probably seen every single episode of Little House on the Prairie that was made. My sisters and I used to build forts in the living room while watching the tv show. We used to play Little House, with specific episodes in mind for each “game”. (I was always Laura, not because I was the attention seeking sibling – although that is true – but because I was the middle girl. My younger sister, who was Carrie by default, was the quiet one by nature. My older sister…well, she wasn’t blind but she was good at pretending. Anyway, my point is that I LOVED those tv shows.
Which makes me precisely the kind of “fan” that McClure hates. I liked the book, don’t get me wrong, but I really wanted to LOVE it. But I found myself feeling chastised and a bit scorned in parts for not having read the books. McClure says that the shows aren’t “real”; that they depict a fake Laura World. Yet, she spends the better part of the book debating the finer points about Laura’s life and the discrepancies, of which there are many, between the books and the real life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. So, who is she to tell me my fake Laura World is faker than her fake Laura World?
She does out-fan me in that she goes on several long trips to visit actual Laura historical sites throughout Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Kansas. This book is about those trips, and for all that she mocked me for being a tv show fan, I can’t fault her writing. She is hysterical! Her description of Nellie Oleson (the blond, ringlet-haired snobby adopted daughter of the Oleson’s) alone made me laugh out loud.
If you overlook the chastising (which, admittedly may have all been in my head), its a great read and any Little House fan, book or tv show, should check this book out.