Caroline *Book Review*
Author: Sarah Miller
Publish Date: September 19, 2017
Genre: fiction/historical fiction
Rating: 4/5 stars
- Historical fiction based on a beloved children’s book
- well loved characters, seen in a different light
- a fresh look at what it was to be a pioneer woman
- pioneers/covered wagons/harship
From The Back Cover
In this novel authorized by the Little House Heritage Trust, Sarah Miller vividly recreates the beauty, hardship, and joys of the frontier in a dazzling work of historical fiction, a captivating story that illuminates one courageous, resilient, and loving pioneer woman as never before—Caroline Ingalls, “Ma” in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved Little House books.
In the frigid days of February, 1870, Caroline Ingalls and her family leave the familiar comforts of the Big Woods of Wisconsin and the warm bosom of her family, for a new life in Kansas Indian Territory. Packing what they can carry in their wagon, Caroline, her husband Charles, and their little girls, Mary and Laura, head west to settle in a beautiful, unpredictable land full of promise and peril.
The pioneer life is a hard one, especially for a pregnant woman with no friends or kin to turn to for comfort or help. The burden of work must be shouldered alone, sickness tended without the aid of doctors, and babies birthed without the accustomed hands of mothers or sisters. But Caroline’s new world is also full of tender joys. In adapting to this strange new place and transforming a rough log house built by Charles’ hands into a home, Caroline must draw on untapped wells of strength she does not know she possesses.
For more than eighty years, generations of readers have been enchanted by the adventures of the American frontier’s most famous child, Laura Ingalls Wilder, in the Little House books. Now, that familiar story is retold in this captivating tale of family, fidelity, hardship, love, and survival that vividly reimagines our past.
Growing up, the Little House books were my favorite stories. To be honest, I still rank them as one of my all time favorite books. So, I was very excited to receive an advanced copy of Caroline, which is basically, the story of the Ingalls family, and their move from Wisconsin to Kansas. However, unlike The Little House on The Prairie, it’s told from a more accurate, historical time line. Told, from Caroline’s (Ma) point of view. You get the adult version, and a deeper insight into what a mother/wife/woman of the time period might have thought about dragging her young daughters out to the american west.
Having read The Little House on the Prairie, book many, many times, most of the events were familiar. However, because your hearing them from an adult as an adult, your more apt to see the situation for what it was, a dangerous, yet exciting undertaking, unlike the childish version of a grand adventure full of new things to explore. When I was a child, I didn’t much care for Caroline, she always seemed, standoffish and even a bit mean. As an adult woman who is also a mother and wife, it was much easy to relate to her thoughts and feelings.
Overall, it was a wonderful, familiar tale. Which showed, how a pioneer woman might think, there are plenty of touching moments between Caroline and Charles, as well as some loving thoughts towards her daughters. Many times I was brought almost to tears, as you read about leaving her family and all that was familiar in Wisconsin and journey through the wilderness to a new land. However, I do have a few complaints, first there just didn’t seem to be that much attention to the action, it was much more about Caroline’s, thoughts about the situation, and she seemed to second guess her every response, answer and action towards her children and her husband, which sometimes was a little overkill and didn’t seem entirely believable, even for a woman of that time period. Second, Charles came off as a lovable, able bodied but clueless man. Third, the story was just kind of slow and plodding.
A thorough look at what it meant to be a pioneer of the American west, from leaving your family and friends, whom you were most likely never to see again, to the hardships faced on the open road in a covered wagon. If your a fan of all things pioneer or Laura Ingalls Wilder, then I highly recommend this book. It releases on September 19, 2017..so add it to your TBR.
* I received an advance copy of the book from the publisher for review purpose. All thoughts, opinions and fangirl moments are my own.
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