The Little House books, which chronicled the pioneer adventures of Laura Ingalls Wilder, are among the most beloved books in the American literary canon. Lesser known is the secret, concealed for decades, of how they came to be. Now, best-selling author Susan Wittig Albert reimagines the fascinating story of Laura's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, an intrepid world traveler and writer who returned to her parents' Ozark farm, Rocky Ridge, in 1928. There she began a collaboration with her mother on the pioneer stories that would captivate generations of readers around the world.
Despite the books' success, Rose's involvement would remain a secret long after both women died. A vivid account of a great literary deception, A Wilder Rose is a spellbinding tale of a complicated mother-daughter relationship set against the brutal backdrop of the Great Depression.
©2015 Susan Wittig Albert (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
Well I'm at sixes and sevens about this book. I really wanted to love it. My kids all adored the Little House books and I have even visited the Rocky Ridge Farm in Mansfield Missouri. I had high hopes for some balance and insight in this book. The author admits that the book is a fictionalized account of the lives of the characters. This is where my problem may lie. It all felt a bit contrived.
I wonder if there wasn't a hidden agenda in the topics that Albert chose to stress. The whole thing felt polarized and pushing a message---this made me wary and uncomfortable. I think the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle of these stories. Overall, this was an uncomfortable and unhappy listen for me. I would love to find a book with the actual letters between mother and daughter--this, to me, would be an interesting read.
I found this book utterly fascinating. I was never a huge Laura Ingles Wilder fan as a child, but I'm now in love with Rose Wilder Lane. She was a pioneer for writing women everywhere.
Mary Robinette Kowal is a fantastic narrator. She recommend this book on a podcast she contributes to, "Writing Excuses," and it was every bit as amazing as she said it was. Her southern accent is done just right. She never overplays the part, and she keeps her voice from varying in volume, (greatly appreciated for those of us listening with headphones).
The story was well written, with a very contemplative climax, and a real sense of the struggles freelance writers face. Ms. Albert has a mastery of prose, a deft hand with detail, and raises the everyday drama of the 'dirty 30's' with subtle grace that most historical fiction writers lack.
This may not be a great book for people looking for dramatized reenactments. This is an outstanding book for for any kind of writer though.
I love the way that this story use the letters of Mrs. Lane to provide a narrative to a life that most of us could only dream of. Rose is even more special to me and I want to read her letters as they were written.
I was read the Little House books growing up, then I watched every episode of the show over and over again. When I learned about Laura's daughter being a writer, and a strong Libertarian Women, I had to know more. This book is an enjoyable honest journey thru her life. I learned many new tid bits of history as well as a broader picture into the Wilder family. In addition to that it encouraged me to look inward, contemplating many elements of my own personal journey. I walk away from this book thankful.
The story moves like fiction but is very much a biographical account of the life of Rose Wilder Lane. We get to see Laura from the Little House books as "Mama Bess"-- all grown up and bossing around her adult daughter. A far cry from the books and TV show. A fascinating read, particularly the epilogue. This book made me want to study Rose's work and who could ask more than that type of reaction?!
A nice story but a bit slow. Complicated relationship between Mother and Daughter. Some interesting facts throughout book, but still very monotone. It was hard for me to finish.
Yes, I would highly recommend this book to any Laura Ingalls Wilder fan. I've often wondered about the story behind the Little House series, and this book answers those questions. Though fiction, Albert puts together a plausible story, weaving in true life happenings from both Rose Wilder and Laura Ingalls Wilder.
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