Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Little House in the Big Woods (1932)

Little House in the Big Woods. Laura Ingalls Wilder. 1932. 238 pages.

It's been almost five years since I last read the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. These are pure comfort reads. Though not every single book in the series is equally satisfying. I've never finished Farmer Boy, for example.

Little House in the Big Woods is an enjoyable, nostalgic read celebrating "the good life" of a young family. It is a way of life being celebrated or remembered. The focus is just on much on how Ma and Pa used to do things, as it is on the characters themselves.

Attention and detail given to preparing for all seasons of the year, washing, cleaning, cooking, baking, hunting, storing and saving for winter months, celebrating with family and extended family, etc. In the first chapter alone, the reader learns the joys of smoking venison and playing with a pigs' bladder not to mention the how-to's of making head cheese. Each episode, each observation offers the reader a window into the past. Some things have changed--and changed a lot--other things have remained the same. One of the things that resonates in this book--in this series is the love and joy of family life. Pa. Ma. Mary. Laura. Carrie. Each are part of the family. Each are important, valued, loved. The relationship of Laura with her parents and Laura with her sisters and Laura with her beloved dog, Jack, are timeless.

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Kailana said...

I have been wanting to reread this for years and just never seem to get around to it... One day!

JoanneMarie Faust said...

These were the only books that languished on my bookshelves as a child. My grandmother tore through them and, I'm pretty sure I was given the whole series more for her enjoyment than mine. I did read this a few years ago and I can't remember what my rebellion against this book could have been. I may not race to devour the series, but I definitely shake my head about my refusal to read them as a child.

Ms. Yingling said...

I'm torn between Little Town on the Prarie and The Long Winter as my favorites. These are a hard sell now, but there are some of us who have very fond memories of them.

Suko said...

These are comfort reads for me as well. I love reading about simpler times, when people worked hard physically and seemed more reflective and less materialistic.