Caroline
In this novel authorized by the Little House estate, 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.

Caroline Details

TitleCaroline
Author
ReleaseSep 19th, 2017
PublisherWilliam Morrow
Rating
GenreFiction, Historical, Historical Fiction, Adult

Caroline Review

  • Sheri
    January 1, 1970
    A fabulous five star read! From the very first line you are drawn into the story with Sarah Miller’s beautiful prose. Her comparison of the crochet hook to the fiddle’s bow and the music it produces sets the tone and spirit for a novel filled with hopes and dreams. Her words are so descriptive and readily convey Caroline’s thoughts and feelings.For those who’ve read Little House on the Prairie (LHOTP), it’s a familiar storyline and thus there may not be that compulsion to keep reading just a bit A fabulous five star read! From the very first line you are drawn into the story with Sarah Miller’s beautiful prose. Her comparison of the crochet hook to the fiddle’s bow and the music it produces sets the tone and spirit for a novel filled with hopes and dreams. Her words are so descriptive and readily convey Caroline’s thoughts and feelings.For those who’ve read Little House on the Prairie (LHOTP), it’s a familiar storyline and thus there may not be that compulsion to keep reading just a bit more to see what will happen. You already know what happens. The difference, besides point of view, is that LHOTP is action and adventure oriented, while Caroline: Little House, Revisited is more descriptive and emotive. It tells the same story but doesn’t gloss over the unpleasantries that were not proper to write about or didn’t otherwise contribute to a happy children’s story. The novel wonderfully conveys everyday life and you get a real sense of the physical, mental, and emotional realities. Miller’s expressive writing evokes empathy and consideration for the trials and tribulations of life during pioneer times.Some describe this as a slow read and at first I was inclined to agree. But after some thought, I feel this is meant to be a serene read where each word and scene is savored. To read it over again, I would take more time and enjoy it in a relaxed manner, perhaps only reading 1-2 chapters a day.Another thought I had was that the perceived slowness of the novel is an intentional way of conveying the pace and progress of life during pioneer days. That slowness in reading helps the reader understand just how long it took to accomplish what we might consider easy tasks today. So different from our fast lives today where we can fly from one coast to the other in a matter of hours, or pop something in the microwave and be eating in a matter of minutes.Caroline: Little House, Revisited offers a new perspective on a familiar story. I encourage you to slow down and give yourself the time to fully appreciate Sarah Miller’s engaging writing in this wonderful read.
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  • Juli
    January 1, 1970
    One of the first books I read when I had learned how to read well enough to read a chapter book was Little House in the Big Woods. All these years later, I can still remember that I got the book for free at school (R.I.F. day!). I carried it all the way home after school just staring at the cover with the picture of a happy family in a log cabin on it. That book started a life-long love of anything Laura Ingalls Wilder.....the thought of being a pioneer girl, living on the prairie, watching Pa b One of the first books I read when I had learned how to read well enough to read a chapter book was Little House in the Big Woods. All these years later, I can still remember that I got the book for free at school (R.I.F. day!). I carried it all the way home after school just staring at the cover with the picture of a happy family in a log cabin on it. That book started a life-long love of anything Laura Ingalls Wilder.....the thought of being a pioneer girl, living on the prairie, watching Pa build the house.....it all seemed magical. I never once thought about what it might be like for Ma and Pa Ingalls. As a girl, I just focused on the lovely children's stories told from Laura's perspective. Sarah Miller revists the Ingalls family, telling the story from Caroline Ingalls' perspective. The life of a pioneer family from an adult's view is still magical.....but also harsh, frightening and unforgiving.Caroline recounts the story of the Ingalls' move from Wisconsin to the Indian Territory in Kanasas by covered wagon. It mirrors the tale from Little House on the Prairie, but this time the story is told by Ma, not Laura. Caroline is pregnant and afraid there won't be a woman to help her when it comes time for the baby to be born. She has to bear the stress of the lurching wagon, life on the trail, managing the food supplies and cooking in a moving wagon, keeping the girls occupied, helping Charles with the wagon & horses, helping build their first cabin......I never considered what a hard life it would have been for a mother making a long trek by wagon after leaving her entire family behind. Especially pregnant and not knowing if there would be help for her at the end of the journey. I really enjoyed this book! Christmas with Mr. Edwards. Losing & finding Jack, the dog. Building the log cabin. The family being sick with ague. All the events from Little House on the Prairie....just another side. The tale is sometimes joyous....other times sad. But, that's life,right? The story presents the married/husband side of Pa, too. Caroline supports her husband and is strong for him, even when he makes mistakes. Just a lovely story. Miller did take a few liberties with historical fact, but outlines the few changes she made in the back of the book. It was nothing that made me cringe....little things to keep the continuity. I highly recommend this to anyone who grew up loving the Little House books! Be prepared to get a bit teary eyed a couple of times.....and I even had a few eyerolls when the prose got just a bit too sappy....but all in all, a wonderful read. There are a couple sexual situations -- nothing graphic or inappropriate. Married couples have sex -- even Ma and Pa Ingalls. It's tastefully done, and not in any way traumatizing. But, I would recommend parental guidance before allowing children to read the book. Adults might want to read the book first....and make an informed decision before allowing those under 13 to read it. I was sad momentarily when I read the last page -- I didn't want it to be over! I have the Little House books on my shelf....I need to re-read them! I also have a couple seasons of the 1970's tv show on DVD. I feel a binge watch coming on!
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  • Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
    January 1, 1970
    I'm running a giveaway for this book at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine. As someone who grew up watching Little House on the Prairie and reading the much-celebrated books series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, I was very excited to hear about this book at Book Expo 2017. When I was offered the opportunity to participate in the blog tour, I jumped on it!Caroline’s character, in both the book and television series, was never featured as prominently as perhaps it should have been. She maintained a steady, consistent, a I'm running a giveaway for this book at Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine. As someone who grew up watching Little House on the Prairie and reading the much-celebrated books series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, I was very excited to hear about this book at Book Expo 2017. When I was offered the opportunity to participate in the blog tour, I jumped on it!Caroline’s character, in both the book and television series, was never featured as prominently as perhaps it should have been. She maintained a steady, consistent, and somewhat stereotyped wife/mother role. I’m pleased that someone saw fit to explore her life in more depth.Though I enjoyed reading this book and would definitely recommend it to anyone who was or is obsessed with the Little House series, I must admit that I did have some difficulties with it. The first is the pacing. The first hundred-thirty-something pages described the Ingalls family journey from Wisconsin to Kansas. While there were a few moments of excitement, much of the narrative was taken up with rather mundane experiences and Caroline’s constant waxing nostalgic. The rest of the book was similarly paced and, in my opinion, could have been pared down quite a bit.The second, in fairness, has to do with my own sense of nostalgia in some way. You see, when I was a little girl, (I was two when it started and nine when the last episode aired. Feel free to Google and do the math.) I thought there could have been nothing better than to be Laura Ingalls. It seemed as though she lived the perfect All-American life. After reading this novel, I realized that her family, along with many others, were living the American Dream at the expense of the Native American people they disrespected and displaced. I realize now that I should have made that connection much sooner but the truth is that, while I have given much consideration to the horrible way in which Indigenous Americans have been (and still are being) treated throughout the years, I never once thought of how this might impact my opinion of the Ingalls family. While I understand that the Ingalls family was one of many who staked a claim on Native land, Caroline was particularly averse to their presence which impacted my opinion of her. That said, I absolutely appreciate Sarah Miller’s honesty with regard to Caroline’s attitudes toward Native Americans.Sarah Miller excelled at developing the characters of of several of Caroline’s neighbors including Mrs. Scott and Edwards. She also made palpable the loneliness and apprehension Caroline experienced as she traveled to Kanas.Caroline: Little House, Revisited was published with the full approval of Little House Heritage Trust.
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    January 1, 1970
    OK, I just wanted to say that this book, I really wanted to love the story more than I did. I love the TV series and the books the show is also good. And, this book is one that I really, really looked forward to reading. However, I found that the story never really got to me.I liked the whole idea of reading the book from Caroline's perspective, as a young wife and mother on her way to a new home. Her fears as she is pregnant and the whole idea of leaving everything and everyone behind got to me OK, I just wanted to say that this book, I really wanted to love the story more than I did. I love the TV series and the books the show is also good. And, this book is one that I really, really looked forward to reading. However, I found that the story never really got to me.I liked the whole idea of reading the book from Caroline's perspective, as a young wife and mother on her way to a new home. Her fears as she is pregnant and the whole idea of leaving everything and everyone behind got to me. It's just the everyday worries during the travel, well it felt a bit tedious to read about. Sure, it was interesting, but at the same time did I feel that it went on and one now and then. I liked the idea of the book, about reading about Charles, Caroline, and the children traveling to Kansas. If you have read the books and/or seen the TV series is this a must read. Sure, I found the story not perhaps living up to my expectations, but at the same time was it interesting to get Caroline's POV on leaving the old life behind. And, her worries about the baby was the thing that really got to me, just the thought of how worrisome everything would be, not even knowing if there would be someone in Kansas there to help her with the birthing. I just wish the story had been a bit more moving or in some way more engrossing. I almost forgot to bring up the best thing, Mr. Edwards. I was so thrilled when he showed up. He's my favorite character and he did bring much enjoyment to the book and I loved reading about how he saved Christmas for the children. I can't believe that I almost forgot this. So, there were some bright spots in this boo, like the presence of Mr. Edwards. I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of those books that I enjoyed immensely, but that took me FOREVER to read. I have no idea what witchcraft made a good 360-page book feel like a 600-page slog, but there you have it. This is Little House on the Prairie told from the perspective of Laura Ingalls Wilder's mother, Caroline Ingalls. For the most part Miller tows the party line (she doesn't divert much from Wilder's account of the family dynamics, or invent many new experiences in Kansas). Miller's main goal is to explore This is one of those books that I enjoyed immensely, but that took me FOREVER to read. I have no idea what witchcraft made a good 360-page book feel like a 600-page slog, but there you have it. This is Little House on the Prairie told from the perspective of Laura Ingalls Wilder's mother, Caroline Ingalls. For the most part Miller tows the party line (she doesn't divert much from Wilder's account of the family dynamics, or invent many new experiences in Kansas). Miller's main goal is to explore Caroline's emotions as deeply as possible. She certainly succeeds in that, although the pacing and energy of the book suffer as a consequence. Still, I'd absolutely recommend this for Little House fans or for those who love a detailed pioneer story.
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  • Asheley
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5The book begins in 1870, as Pa and Ma, Mary and Laura are leaving the woods of Wisconsin for the prairie of Kansas. If you’re like me and Ingalls-obsessed, then you likely know the bulk of the story as Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote it, but Author Sarah Miller has mixed the fiction that we know from the Wilder’s Little House books and real-life fact based on research to show us this portion of their tale thru Caroline’s eyes. Caroline’s perspective on this trip is everything. Caroline, as the m 4.5/5The book begins in 1870, as Pa and Ma, Mary and Laura are leaving the woods of Wisconsin for the prairie of Kansas. If you’re like me and Ingalls-obsessed, then you likely know the bulk of the story as Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote it, but Author Sarah Miller has mixed the fiction that we know from the Wilder’s Little House books and real-life fact based on research to show us this portion of their tale thru Caroline’s eyes. Caroline’s perspective on this trip is everything. Caroline, as the mother and wife, was the glue that held this family together.Right away, we get to witness Ma’s perspective on leaving behind her beloved family and her large support group of women in Wisconsin – this broke my heart a little and opened my eyes to the differences in Ma Ingalls’ story versus how I always assumed she was just as excited about the trip as Pa and Laura. We witness what it was like for Caroline to ride in a wagon for an extended period of time (over approximately-700 miles – can you imagine doing that as a pregnant woman?) and then we experience along with her the nerves that she felt when they finally got to “Indian Territory.” (As many of us know, Ma had feelings of racism and fear toward Native Americans, and that is evident in this book as well since it was part of her life.)Some of my favorite scenes from the Ingalls Family’s story are included, only now from Caroline’s perspective, and I couldn’t help but smile while I was reading. Some favorites of mine are when Caroline helped Charles build their home once they arrived in Kansas (yes, still pregnant!), how she helped Charles rescue their neighbor from the well (still pregnant!), and how Caroline felt about a stranger coming to assist her during childbirth with Carrie because there was no one else, unlike the large community of women they left back in Wisconsin. I loved these moments so much in this book.It is wonderful to be able to experience Caroline’s grief over leaving Wisconsin turn into joy at the bounty and hope of their new home in Kansas. I believe that the feelings that Caroline experienced were very normal and real, and I can say this because I’ve experience somewhat similar feelings over large moves before, except the circumstances are clearly not the same. Caroline’s emotions are very in line with what ours are today despite the difference in time period, and I love being able to finally learn this about her. I love how strong and real she is, yet also vulnerable to many of the same feelings and issues that women are today. Whether she is a favorite character or not, I think she is very relatable since we have her perspective; I personally adored getting to put myself in Caroline’s unique position as she had to make that long wagon trip and start up her new home on the frontier.I cannot stress exactly how much Caroline by Sarah Miller is a true treat. After reading the Laura-centric Little House books, I feel like that children’s historical series is also almost an adventure-series. This book has a quieter pacing, and it is very nice. This book very much carries the perspective of an adult-Caroline who was valued as the center of the home, who was beloved by Charles, who knew she had very little privacy with her husband but took advantage of that time anyway. Caroline was a wise women, and independent, and she had her own thoughts. She knew when she needed to share them, and when it was best to just lead her family by example.I love the familiarity of the setting, the people, and things like Pa’s fiddle, the shepherdess, the delaine. If you’re already familiar with the Ingalls’ story, then you’ll smile when you read about these things too. If this is your first time reading anything-Ingalls, I hope that one thing you take away from this is that the author has obviously researched well and loves this subject matter. I should point out, just to be clear, that this story is historical fiction but that it is based on tons of research. The Author’s Note is exceptionally interesting.As for me personally, there is always a little bit of trepidation when I start a book that I’ve anticipated so heavily. Will it hold up to my hopes? Once I read just a few pages into this one, I realized that I didn’t need to worry at all. Caroline by Sarah Miller is one that I’ll be rereading over and over, just like other Ingalls-related stuff that I often revisit. In fact, I’ve already purchased the audiobook for a reread/listen.This is another book that I’ve made room for on my top shelf, and I would have gladly kept reading if this book had more pages.I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Thank you, William Morrow Books!Find this review and more like it on my blog, Into the Hall of Books!
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  • Asako
    January 1, 1970
    I grew up reading the Little House books and watching the TV series. Caroline was always my favourite character and I had always felt the lack of description about her in the books and the TV series. So naturally I was over the moon when I found out that there was going to be a book about Caroline which covered the story of the third book in the series (and the pilot in the TV series), “Little House on the Prairie”.This book didn’t disappoint me at all. In fact, I enjoyed it and relished each se I grew up reading the Little House books and watching the TV series. Caroline was always my favourite character and I had always felt the lack of description about her in the books and the TV series. So naturally I was over the moon when I found out that there was going to be a book about Caroline which covered the story of the third book in the series (and the pilot in the TV series), “Little House on the Prairie”.This book didn’t disappoint me at all. In fact, I enjoyed it and relished each sentence. In the original books by Laura, “Ma” was always strict and maybe even too good. But the author of this book portrayed her with much more humanity. Her feelings (including negative ones which she hardly expresses in the original books-except maybe the times she scolds the girls) are described elaborately in detail. Some people might find that the author dwells too much on the inner side of the character, but for me, who felt that we had missed out an awful lot about Ma all along...well, it just filled the gap for me.I found a few drawbacks though, which brought me to omitting a star.1) I have to admit that I found myself cringing at the love scenes, but I guess there’s nothing wrong about that since Caroline and Charles are married and they are adults. But I just didn’t feel comfortable reading about it. Therefore, I don’t recommend reading this book with your little daughter as you might have done with the original series.2) I also have a problem with the racism against the Native Americans (which I have been thinking about ever since I read the original books). I know this isn’t exactly a problem with the book, it’s more like a problem with Caroline Ingalls herself and many other people at that time, but STILL. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who feels that they have grown up on the Little House books.
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  • Dale Harcombe
    January 1, 1970
    This tells the story of Caroline, Ma from the Little House on the Prairie books starting at the point where Charles tells Caroline he has had an offer on the little house and land in Wisconsin. And then comes the second part of the plan. Taking the still young Mary and Laura, they will leave Caroline’s brother’s family and other relatives and head for Kansas to settle. The impact of this move ion Caroline is apparent. Leaving family and all that is familiar is a huge wrench for her, but she love This tells the story of Caroline, Ma from the Little House on the Prairie books starting at the point where Charles tells Caroline he has had an offer on the little house and land in Wisconsin. And then comes the second part of the plan. Taking the still young Mary and Laura, they will leave Caroline’s brother’s family and other relatives and head for Kansas to settle. The impact of this move ion Caroline is apparent. Leaving family and all that is familiar is a huge wrench for her, but she loves her husband deeply and knows this is his dream.From the first page I was absorbed into this story. The writing is beautiful. I loved the opening which compares the movement of Caroline’s crochet hook to the movement of the fiddle bow. I loved the insights into Caroline. I never read the Little House books as a child. My only knowledge comes from the TV show which we watched regularly with our children. So to have a deeper understanding of Caroline, the problems she and Charles and the family face and see her feelings about the move and all that happened after, is lovely. It is not a novel full of action but a gentle reflective novel, although there were some scenes that made me catch my breath. It is obvious a lot of research has gone into it and it shows in the descriptions, the daily scenes, the hardships of life on the land and the dangers and attitudes of the time. Some scenes had me teary or fondly remembering scenes from the TV show. I am not one who usually enjoys sex scenes as they are often clumsy and graphic. In this book that aspect is tastefully handled. It shows two people whose love for each other is paramount, making love not just having sex. This book, is not for children as some daily life scenes are harsh, but for adults who want a deeper understanding of love, marriage, working together and following a dream. I rarely will read a book written by someone else that picks up on characters from another author’s work, so I was unsure how I would respond to this. But something about the cover drew me in. I adored it from start to finish and am very glad I chose to read it. It is a book for those who want to settle in to a beautifully written thoughtful read, with well researched setting and a character driven novel. As far as I am concerned this is a highly recommended read that was a treat to read.
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  • Manybooks
    January 1, 1970
    I have both liked and been rather exasperated with and by Sarah Miller's Caroline: Little House, Revisited, as while I have definitely enjoyed the additional information and reading about Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie from Caroline's, from Ma Ingalls' point of view, I also feel that Sarah Miller has spent both far too much time in Caroline Ingalls' head and given us too much continuous and detailed information on bodily functions, on physical sensations (on such mundane scen I have both liked and been rather exasperated with and by Sarah Miller's Caroline: Little House, Revisited, as while I have definitely enjoyed the additional information and reading about Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie from Caroline's, from Ma Ingalls' point of view, I also feel that Sarah Miller has spent both far too much time in Caroline Ingalls' head and given us too much continuous and detailed information on bodily functions, on physical sensations (on such mundane scenarios as using the outhouse or getting dressed, details that while perhaps interesting to a point did not need to be so extensively belaboured and depicted over and over again). Now while I have indeed appreciated seeing Caroline Ingalls presented as not some glowingly shining heroine, as a perfect mother figure par excellence (and the entire Ingalls family, while generally lovingly, also as necessary negatively portrayed, especially and in particular regarding Caroline Ingalls' bigoted and often hateful attitude towards Native Americans), the constant depictions and descriptions of the latter's internal and often quite negative thought processes and reactions to life, to Charles, Laura and Mary, to her preganacy, to the trials and tribulations faced by the Ingalls family on their journey by covered wagon from Wisconcin to Kansas do sadly become a bit monotonous and tedious at times, a bit too much information and details, almost as though Sarah Miller were desperately trying to add more words, more sentences, more of Caroline Ingalls' musings (so much so that even though I have, as already mentioned, enjoyed reading about Caroline Ingalls as not an entirely positive person, I do wonder if at least some of the negativity portrayed in Caroline: Little House, Revisited might be a trifle overly exaggerated, a bit overdone).And finally, while I was originally going to be ranking Caroline: Little House, Revisited with a high two star rating, I have now firmly decided on three stars, as I do indeed massively support and appreciate that Sarah Miller has shown that in reality (actually historical truth, proven through documents, census statements, letters etc.) and very much unlike Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie, the Ingalls family was NOT forced off their Kansas land claim by the US government declaring their homestead Indian Territory, but because Mr. Gustafson (who had bought their property in Wisconcin) had reneged on his payments, which meant that Charles Ingalls and family, while of course retaining their property in Wisconcin also now did not have enough available funds to stay in Kansas, to pay for their Kansas land claim (and I do have to both wonder and yes indeed question why Laura Ingalls Wilder basically fibbed in Little House on the Prairie, blaming both the US government and Native Americans for their plight, for family financial problems that were actually caused by Mr. Gustafson, who was in all likelihood either Swedish or Norwegian, in other words, Caucasion, reneging on his agreed payments, as to me it now sure does rather seem that it was I guess easier and felt better for Laura Ingalls Wilder to cast blame at the the US administration, at politicians, and by extension Native Americans).
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  • Ann
    January 1, 1970
    I just love a good retelling, and I love good historical fiction! I can't believe how much detail I remembered from my frequent rereading of the Little House series as a kid, since it's been probably 25 years. The events of Little House on the Prairie from Ma's perspective are illuminating, especially since she's so often portrayed as the stern but loving authority figure in contrast to Pa's fun personality. I wish there'd been a little more tension in the presentation of her stifled feelings, I just love a good retelling, and I love good historical fiction! I can't believe how much detail I remembered from my frequent rereading of the Little House series as a kid, since it's been probably 25 years. The events of Little House on the Prairie from Ma's perspective are illuminating, especially since she's so often portrayed as the stern but loving authority figure in contrast to Pa's fun personality. I wish there'd been a little more tension in the presentation of her stifled feelings, but I liked that the book didn't try to flip their relationship on its head. Similarly, the racist underbelly of the Little House books is really nicely incorporated into the story without dominating completely. But above all, the setting is the book's star. I could feel the cracking of ice on Lake Pepin and the sweeping grasses of the prairie.
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  • Alice
    January 1, 1970
    I picked up this advance reader's copy at a conference. Hiding for spoilers but this feels kind of silly since anyone reading this probably already knows the general story from Laura's second book, Little House on the Prairie.I honestly did not enjoy this book. I like the concept of telling one of Laura’s books from Caroline’s point of view, and am a little surprised this hasn’t happened before. However, the voice is so… ponderous and depressing! I’ve often reflected on how difficult life must h I picked up this advance reader's copy at a conference. Hiding for spoilers but this feels kind of silly since anyone reading this probably already knows the general story from Laura's second book, Little House on the Prairie.I honestly did not enjoy this book. I like the concept of telling one of Laura’s books from Caroline’s point of view, and am a little surprised this hasn’t happened before. However, the voice is so… ponderous and depressing! I’ve often reflected on how difficult life must have been for Caroline and Charles, but this book doesn’t lend any joy to their experience at all. Yet in real life, we all have to feel some joy at some point, no matter how small. Caroline seems to be constantly holding herself back from feeling anything. She restricts herself from showing anger or frustration, which is understandable given Laura’s depiction of how controlled she was. But it was frustrating and sad to also read her controlling her own happiness, not showing a smile or a laugh. And then on the few occasions when she did smile or laugh, the voice of the book just weighs down the experience and somehow, the reader doesn’t get to feel that happiness. I’m not an editor and I can’t explain why the book read that way, but it did.One moment in the book that I did like was when Mrs. Scott was still in the house after Carrie’s birth, and Mary, Laura, and Charles returned from the Indian camp. (That was rather clever, too, inserting Caroline’s labor as the reason for why they went to the camp that day). Caroline has a brief moment of perspective where she sees her children as Mrs. Scott must see them. I really enjoyed that, and perhaps that’s one of the elements missing from the book - more connection with the children, who we grew up with. Caroline spends most of the book thinking of them as a chore and a job, and yes, children are, but they also bring us joy - and there’s none of that in this book.I also didn’t particularly care for the way she writes the relationship between Caroline and Charles. I always thought of them as equals in that they cared for and respected each other. But the way she writes Charles’ love for Caroline as that of some kind of worship really bothered me. I don’t believe it and I don’t think it’s appropriate.The author clearly did a lot of research, and there’s a couple points where I wished she remembered that we the readers may not have read a biography of Laura’s real story. The first is the reference to Concord as Caroline’s hometown. I live near Concord, NH and Concord, MA. There is a Concord, NY, and probably many others. My memory is that Caroline came from “back East” and I had absolutely no idea, until reading this book and gradually figuring it out, that “back East” just meant eastern Wisconsin. That completely blew my mind. That had never been my impression from Laura’s books! So it would be a very good idea to clarify in the first mention that Caroline’s Concord is the Wisconsin one.I appreciated the inclusion of real-life elements like menstrual pads and “the necessary” but I felt the author went overboard with these. Mentioning them once is interesting. Mentioning them several times starts to get annoying.I found the Author’s Note to be incredibly jarring. I think I was offended by the assumption that the family would not correctly remember where they settled in Kansas, and I also found it jarring that there was ever property purchased in Missouri. I had never read that before. (Or if I had, it was many years ago - it’s been a while since I read a biography). I’m not sure how to soften those notes, but to have these new facts just flung at me in a brief author’s note was, frankly, upsetting.Structurally, there was a problematic scene where we’re in the moment with Caroline, but then somehow it becomes some sort of dream sequence or a retelling - after Scott passes out in the bottom of the well. It’s the italic on page 215. I didn’t understand this transition or why it was there; nothing like that happens anywhere else in the book. I would like to compliment the author on the lovemaking scenes between Charles and Caroline. They are beautifully written and I think that is a very difficult thing to do.Considering the popularity of Laura’s books, I imagine there’ll be a lot of opinions about this one, and some may differ from mine. What I really would have enjoyed (and honestly, what I thought this book would be when I picked it up) would have been a historical tale of Caroline before we meet her in Little House in the Big Woods. I would love to know more about her youth, her courtship with Charles, and her experience as a schoolteacher — which so heavily influenced Laura. Guess I'll have to wait.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs...I have vivid memories of my first experience with Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books. I was seven, maybe eight, and my cousin and I were taking turns reading aloud from Little House in the Big Woods. I’d come to a line about Pa’s ax, but my tongue wouldn’t cooperate and we’ve made jokes about Pa’s ass ever since. I doubt many readers relate, but the humor of the moment created a treasured family memory and inspired a Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs...I have vivid memories of my first experience with Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books. I was seven, maybe eight, and my cousin and I were taking turns reading aloud from Little House in the Big Woods. I’d come to a line about Pa’s ax, but my tongue wouldn’t cooperate and we’ve made jokes about Pa’s ass ever since. I doubt many readers relate, but the humor of the moment created a treasured family memory and inspired a lingering interest in the story that afforded it.As a biographic fiction, Sarah Miller’s Caroline played to that interest. Laura created her own legacy and one could make a solid argument for Michael Landon’s iconic portrayal of Charles, but Caroline was regulated to a supporting role in both the books and television series so I was naturally interested in seeing what sort of depth Miller’s novel might bring her character. Could such a story compete with the existing canon and cultural memory? There was only one way to find out.Looking back, I have to say that I love how Miller chose to approach Caroline. The role of mother is often stereotyped and stale, but Miller gifted the Ingalls matriarch a complexity that is difficult to ignore. She’s a wife and mother, but more than that, she is a woman with spirit, conviction, emotion, and dare I say it, a sex drive. Ground-breaking ideas, right? As a thirty-one-year-old mother of two, I could relate to this character and that’s pretty amazing when one considers how much has changed in the century and half that separates me from the world Caroline knew and experienced.Unfortunately, characterization cannot carry a novel on its own. I adored Miller’s heroine, but I struggled with the pacing of the narrative. Much as I hate admitting it, the novel is slow and I often found it difficult to remain engaged in what was happening. I enjoyed the material, but I knew where this story was going before I picked it up and wish Miller had done more to counter the lack of mystery in the plot.Recommended for fans of the Little House book, frontier, and women's fiction.
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  • Kristin
    January 1, 1970
    Growing up the LHOTP books were my refuge, my escape read. The day I received a complete set of books was truly one of my happiest days. They are books I will smell - a cinnamon, paper aroma or something like that.Ma was certainly never my favorite character as she came off as cranky, uptight, and priggish. Of course, I was much closer to Laura's age so I naturally sided with her.Caroline gets her due and her time. This is not a child's story, but a young wife and mother's tale as she finds hers Growing up the LHOTP books were my refuge, my escape read. The day I received a complete set of books was truly one of my happiest days. They are books I will smell - a cinnamon, paper aroma or something like that.Ma was certainly never my favorite character as she came off as cranky, uptight, and priggish. Of course, I was much closer to Laura's age so I naturally sided with her.Caroline gets her due and her time. This is not a child's story, but a young wife and mother's tale as she finds herself leaving family behind to follow her husband's dreams. I was pleased that the author chose to go with historically correct timeline, rather than the more convenient one that original author chose. It makes sense here. Many of the stories were familiar though from a different viewpoint. As an adult and mom myself, I am much more sympathetic to Caroline, but my heart will always side with Laura.
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  • Sean Little
    January 1, 1970
    I've a confession to make: I'm a 42 year old man who loves football, swords 'n' sorcery fantasy, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.I've probably read the Little House books dozens of times. My favorite is THE LONG WINTER, and that single volume was probably one of the biggest reasons why I wrote AFTER EVERYONE DIED.When I saw a book blurb on a Harper-Collins mailer about a novel called CAROLINE, and saw that it was about the Ingalls family's move from Pepin, Wisconsin to the Kansas Indian Territories, I I've a confession to make: I'm a 42 year old man who loves football, swords 'n' sorcery fantasy, and Laura Ingalls Wilder.I've probably read the Little House books dozens of times. My favorite is THE LONG WINTER, and that single volume was probably one of the biggest reasons why I wrote AFTER EVERYONE DIED.When I saw a book blurb on a Harper-Collins mailer about a novel called CAROLINE, and saw that it was about the Ingalls family's move from Pepin, Wisconsin to the Kansas Indian Territories, I was intrigued. This was a novel written for adults from the perspective of Caroline Ingalls, the family matriarch, and how she and Charles moved to Kansas with two young girls, while she was pregnant with her third. The book was a fascinating and insightful look at a a woman who doesn't get too much depth in the books (Laura's love for her father is evident often, but Ma is a steadfast icon in the background, kind and nurturing, but never really a deep character). I have the utmost respect for Charles and Caroline and how they handled their moves across the prairie, helping to settle this country. To really get inside Caroline's head was a wonderful treat for a fan of the Little House books.Sarah Miller really dives deep on Caroline, bringing up the historical facts of her own childhood (losing her own father at age five and being raised by a stepfather) to process the relationships she saw between Charles and the girls. She really examines the relationship between Caroline and Charles, a very tight, loving relationship that any couple would envy.All in all, it's a really interesting piece of historical fiction that I found riveting. It was nice to see the pieces of Laura's LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE show up in this book from Caroline's perspective--things like Mr. Edwards meeting Santa Claus, and the building of the home in Kansas with Mr. Edwards' help, and the malaria outbreak that nearly killed the Ingalls family. Laura was relegated to a squawky child in the background, while Mary was more of a focus for Caroline. Even in Laura's books, Laura was Pa's kid, and Mary was Caroline's.If you're a fan of the Little House books, I'd recommend giving this one a go. You might enjoy it.Having said all that, this is one of those books that I both loved and hated. I loved everything I saw that I wrote about above. Miller is clearly a good writer, and she has a love for the material. Her prose is elegant and vivid most of the time.The things I hated are based wholly on my own tastes and opinions, not anything empirical. For instance, Miller's prose--to my mind--is often overwrought. Obviously, this being a major publication from Harper-Collins, it was edited by at least one or two editors who had no problem with this prose. It feels as though it fits Caroline's personality. It is a similar voice to how Laura wrote the initial books, and given that it's directed at adults and not children, the extra wordiness of the prose can be forgiven, but I found myself rolling my eyes at times.One of the biggest issues I had with the prose was the proliferation of similes. It felt like there was at least one heavy simile per page, so much so that I started getting angry at every one. They were obvious similes that tried to capture a voice from 1870, and sometimes they were forgivable, but many times they felt so obtuse and clunky that they took me out of the moment.Again, her editors seemed to have no issue with them, so this is purely my own editorial tastes in action. I'm not against similes. I use a lot of them, myself. But when they start battering down your door with obviousness, there's a problem.I enjoyed the story greatly. It was a welcomed perspective to a book series I love. Even with my own issues with the prose, I'd still give this one 5/5 stars. It was an enjoyable and readable book, just a little heavy-handed at times.
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  • Janilyn Kocher
    January 1, 1970
    I was fortunate to receive an ARC from the publisher for Caroline: Little House Revisited. Sarah Miller does an admirable job of deftly weaving her story into a smooth fabric befitting of the events portrayed in the novel Little House on the Prairie. Miller's book reveals a more intimate view from Caroline's perspective. She elaborates on her pain, passion, impatience, fear, relief, and joy. Miller captures the voice of Caroline in a sympathetic tone that only enhances the narrative. Her descrip I was fortunate to receive an ARC from the publisher for Caroline: Little House Revisited. Sarah Miller does an admirable job of deftly weaving her story into a smooth fabric befitting of the events portrayed in the novel Little House on the Prairie. Miller's book reveals a more intimate view from Caroline's perspective. She elaborates on her pain, passion, impatience, fear, relief, and joy. Miller captures the voice of Caroline in a sympathetic tone that only enhances the narrative. Her descriptions are very good, especially of the creek crossing, childbirth, and the beauty of nature.Caroline is the linchpin of the family, the anchor to Charles' wanderlust and Miller keenly displays that role in this novel. It's a good addition to the ever growing list of books associated with the Little House series, both fiction and fact.
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  • Trish at Between My Lines
    January 1, 1970
    This was everything I wanted a Little House tie-in to be. It was faithful to original but also felt fresh and new. I loved hearing the familiar story from Ma's POV. Her bravery and her ability to make a home anywhere is Inspiring. And her self doubts made her more realistic and human.One of my favourite books this year.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    Rereading the "Little House" series as an adult is an altogether different experience. What sounded delightful as a child ("bean broth! how warm and comforting!") now, as a parent, sounds awful (trapped in a one room house for days on end with cold, hungry children to entertain?). Knowing this, I was really looking forward to reading "Caroline," the "Little House" story told from Ma's perspective. Unfortunately, it fell flat for me in a big way. I made it about a quarter of the way through befor Rereading the "Little House" series as an adult is an altogether different experience. What sounded delightful as a child ("bean broth! how warm and comforting!") now, as a parent, sounds awful (trapped in a one room house for days on end with cold, hungry children to entertain?). Knowing this, I was really looking forward to reading "Caroline," the "Little House" story told from Ma's perspective. Unfortunately, it fell flat for me in a big way. I made it about a quarter of the way through before throwing in the towel.The one thing I will say for the author is that she remained true to Laura's voice. But, in my opinion, that's where she failed. Laura wrote largely through a child's eyes and for children. To "hear" that same voice thinking sexy thoughts about Pa? Weird at best and disconcerting at worst.If you're truly looking for an adult perspective on the realities of pioneer life, I think "Giants in the Earth" is a much better use of your time. While written by a man and not strictly told from a woman's perspective, it still gave me a much better glimpse into what pioneer life must have been like for the women and mothers who were dragged along for the ride. Sorry, but I can't recommend "Caroline" to anyone.
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    Such a tedious book! Lots of purple prose and lots of time spent inside Caroline's head with the same thoughts circling over and over. And some of it seemed so trivial too (pickles and white bread?). Anyone who has read the Little House books knows that Ma was serious and reserved, but was there really so little joy in her life? Did she see her girls as burdens and long to be alone so she could daydream in her rocking chair? (or mourn that it was left behind in Wisconsin) But perhaps the most di Such a tedious book! Lots of purple prose and lots of time spent inside Caroline's head with the same thoughts circling over and over. And some of it seemed so trivial too (pickles and white bread?). Anyone who has read the Little House books knows that Ma was serious and reserved, but was there really so little joy in her life? Did she see her girls as burdens and long to be alone so she could daydream in her rocking chair? (or mourn that it was left behind in Wisconsin) But perhaps the most disappointing thing about the book for me is that it doesn't offer any additional insight into her character, but rather undermines the gentle but steel-core strength of the woman we know from the Little House books.
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  • Ariel
    January 1, 1970
    I am a huge Little House fan of both the books and TV show. I was Laura for Halloween one year in the seventies and I still have my prairie bonnet. I was super excited to read this book and I was the perfect audience for it. Unfortunately the first third dragged longer than a trip across the prairie. For some reason Pa decides to drag his family away from everyone they know and take them out to a land where the rightful native inhabitants aren't excited to be displaced by them. On top of this Ma I am a huge Little House fan of both the books and TV show. I was Laura for Halloween one year in the seventies and I still have my prairie bonnet. I was super excited to read this book and I was the perfect audience for it. Unfortunately the first third dragged longer than a trip across the prairie. For some reason Pa decides to drag his family away from everyone they know and take them out to a land where the rightful native inhabitants aren't excited to be displaced by them. On top of this Ma is pregnant with Carrie. Ma can't even speak up to her husband when she is sure that he is going to kill their family by dragging them across too thin ice. I would not have made a good prairie wife as I would have been asserting myself the whole way. It would never occur to Ma to question her husbands judgement in any way and instead she spends her days obsessing over whether her daughters are too prideful. In any case it is a very frustrating book to read from a woman's perspective living in 2018. I mean come on Ma would it have killed you to let Jack ride in the wagon instead of drowning in the river. There is no thought for the poor dog at all. Just when I about had it with Caroline the Ingall's arrive in Kansas and the action picks up at least a little bit. Some of the events in Little House on the Prairie are recounted but from Caroline's point of view like when Mr. Edwards saves Christmas. I was pretty disappointed in this book. It lacked the charm of the books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The author could have also left out the sex on the prairie. I get it, Ma and Pa had sex, they had kids. I could have done without reading about it. I don't think it was necessary to the story. I got more heart, drama, and feeling from one episode of the TV series than this entire book.
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  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Reading Caroline was like reading Little House on the Prairie again for the first time. When I was young, I spend an entire summer reading Wilder's Little House series. Since then, I've re-read her books many times. I was excited but apprehensive to read Caroline. Would Miller be true to the Ingalls family, or would she twist Ma into an unrecognizable character? I shouldn't have worried. From small details like Pa combing his fingers through his whiskers or Ma making cornbread, to major events l Reading Caroline was like reading Little House on the Prairie again for the first time. When I was young, I spend an entire summer reading Wilder's Little House series. Since then, I've re-read her books many times. I was excited but apprehensive to read Caroline. Would Miller be true to the Ingalls family, or would she twist Ma into an unrecognizable character? I shouldn't have worried. From small details like Pa combing his fingers through his whiskers or Ma making cornbread, to major events like Ma twisting her ankle, Pa digging the well and both together fighting the prairie fire, the familiar story shines through each chapter.Caroline is not a children's book. The realities of life on the frontier are experienced--the loneliness, the good-byes, the loss, the monotony of travel, the difficulties of cooking, the lack of privacy, and the terror of illness and childbirth. But somehow, even as Miller explores the practicalities of life on the prairie, the themes of the original story shine through. Laura is as impulsive as ever, Mary is just a little too good, Carrie is small and peaked, Ma's mottos provide steady guidance, and Pa's fiddle celebrates adventure, memories and home.
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  • Ann
    January 1, 1970
    The concept behind this book is excellent - Little House, through the eyes of Caroline. Written with the full approval of Little House Heritage Trust, I felt like it would be a better book than the many books written 10-15 years ago that seemed to be written just to capitalize on the popularity of the Little House books. In many ways, this was an excellent read. Written from Caroline’s perspective, the reader gets a full picture of the fear, loneliness, sorrow, and other emotions faced by a woma The concept behind this book is excellent - Little House, through the eyes of Caroline. Written with the full approval of Little House Heritage Trust, I felt like it would be a better book than the many books written 10-15 years ago that seemed to be written just to capitalize on the popularity of the Little House books. In many ways, this was an excellent read. Written from Caroline’s perspective, the reader gets a full picture of the fear, loneliness, sorrow, and other emotions faced by a woman who is leaving all she knows to follow her pioneer husband. Caroline's fear when crossing the frozen water, and her racing thoughts as to how she will protect her daughters if the ice breaks, are written with an intensity that the original book could not bring through Laura’s eyes. Her concern about what she will do when her baby comes, with no other women around, brings a new dimension to reading about the experiences of a pregnant pioneer.Also, Miller is careful to keep to the accuracy of Wilder's book, changing things only when historical facts differed. I appreciate this dedication to detail. I enjoyed reading things that I remembered from the original Little House on the Prairie, such as seeing how things like Mr. Edwards’ provision of Christmas for Mary and Laura would be seen with great gratitude by their mother.However, two different aspects of this book were very distracting and took away from the potential beauty of the book. First of all, Miller loves to use similes and other comparisons - many of which left me thinking, "What in the world does she mean by that?" For example, when the shopkeeper tells Charles to "Take care of yourself and those girls," Caroline is touched, and "a small rush of pride ironed out her shoulders and trickled down her core. She bowled her hands together in her lap, as though they might catch the runoff. Behind them, a whorl of warmth embraced her womb--not the child, but the space it occupied, suddenly making itself known. It was enough to remind her that she was more than a passenger." That makes no sense. That style of writing is confusing, not clarifying. Many more examples of this confusing style of description exist throughout the book. The book often feels like the writer is enraptured by her choice of words rather than trying to make herself clear. What disappointed me the most, though, was the gratuitousness in the book. Miller didn’t need to include many, many references throughout the book about Caroline’s breasts, the milk dripping from them, the gory parts of the details of labor. She didn’t need to tell as much about the “necessary.” And most of all, she didn’t need to write the eight or ten episodes about Caroline and Charles’ physical relationship. The section about their wedding night was too explicit, and was completely unnecessary to the theme of the book. I think Caroline Ingalls would be appalled. I think Laura Ingalls Wilder would be mortified. I found that to be very disappointing instead of enriching.So because those two causes detracted so greatly from what would have been a great overall reading experience, I gave an otherwise inspiring book the rating of 1.
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  • Erin Cataldi
    January 1, 1970
    Straight up a must read for any grown up Little House fan. This book did not disappoint! Caroline is told through the perspective of Ma and it starts right where Little House in the Big Woods ends. We saw Laura's carefree nature, Pa's strong unwavering love, Caroline's fears about giving birth in the plains with no other females around to assist her. This goes into more detail about the little things that readers always wondered but never knew, how the family went to the bathroom on the road, ho Straight up a must read for any grown up Little House fan. This book did not disappoint! Caroline is told through the perspective of Ma and it starts right where Little House in the Big Woods ends. We saw Laura's carefree nature, Pa's strong unwavering love, Caroline's fears about giving birth in the plains with no other females around to assist her. This goes into more detail about the little things that readers always wondered but never knew, how the family went to the bathroom on the road, how childbirth went on the prairie, how the house was built, what was really going on with the Indians. It beautifully ties in with the series and lends an adult viewpoint to the stories we love so well. I would love to see more books that feature Caroline as an adult narrator, this was lovely!
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    Little House on the Prairie retold from Ma's perspective. I was really nervous to read this book because retelling a beloved classic could have gone off the rails easily, but I was pleasantly surprised by a magnificent, gentle, and honest adult version of the familiar tale. A vulnerable and human Ma made me love her all the more for her hardships and small victories that I could recognize as an adult and mother. This book was also surprisingly romantic. You could see from the original books that Little House on the Prairie retold from Ma's perspective. I was really nervous to read this book because retelling a beloved classic could have gone off the rails easily, but I was pleasantly surprised by a magnificent, gentle, and honest adult version of the familiar tale. A vulnerable and human Ma made me love her all the more for her hardships and small victories that I could recognize as an adult and mother. This book was also surprisingly romantic. You could see from the original books that Ma and Pa had a good marriage, but this reinterpretation of their relationship from an adult perspective was lovely.
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  • Diana
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book, I liked the retelling of the journey of what became the book, Little House on the Prairie from Caroline's point of view. Some of what was written makes you look at Caroline in a different light. She's not the Ma, with all of the answers. She's a woman with flaws, fears, and who makes mistakes. Since I listened to the audio book, I didn't have some of the issues some were mentioning with the sentence structure that made the book hard to read, so I do recommend listening to this I loved this book, I liked the retelling of the journey of what became the book, Little House on the Prairie from Caroline's point of view. Some of what was written makes you look at Caroline in a different light. She's not the Ma, with all of the answers. She's a woman with flaws, fears, and who makes mistakes. Since I listened to the audio book, I didn't have some of the issues some were mentioning with the sentence structure that made the book hard to read, so I do recommend listening to this book. The only issue I had was the narrator trying to sing some of the songs that are well known to fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder's work. Having a great voice for audio books doesn't necessarily mean you can sing. This is an approved work from the Little House Heritage Trust and a must read for the Little House fans out there.
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  • Renee C.
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky enough to obtain an ARC and I read it straight through. It was beyond words to be back in the Little House world and being submersed in it solely from Ma's point of view. I have read and re-read the entire Little House series, as well as every book and article outside the series that has been published about Laura Ingalls Wilder. Caroline: Little House, Revisited, remains true to the tone, atmosphere, history and legacy of the Little House series. Evocative and lush in detail, you wi I was lucky enough to obtain an ARC and I read it straight through. It was beyond words to be back in the Little House world and being submersed in it solely from Ma's point of view. I have read and re-read the entire Little House series, as well as every book and article outside the series that has been published about Laura Ingalls Wilder. Caroline: Little House, Revisited, remains true to the tone, atmosphere, history and legacy of the Little House series. Evocative and lush in detail, you will feel as if you are in the wagon traveling across the plains and living the reality of prairie life right along with Caroline, Charles, Mary, Laura and Baby Carrie.Little House fans will not be disappointed!
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  • Jena
    January 1, 1970
    I love everything about the Little House books.Needless to say, I . am . excited!!!
  • Diana Nelson
    January 1, 1970
    I've always been a big fan of LIW. Growing up near Mansfield, the town in which she and Rose wrote the books, loving Laura was easy to do. One thing I have always loved about her books is the optimism of the character, Laura, which she obviously gets from her Pa. This book, covering the events of Little House on the Prairie, is all from Ma's perspective and is not nearly so optimistic. But, as a mother myself, I can say that the worry and fear Ma feels is realistic. I read this during a time whe I've always been a big fan of LIW. Growing up near Mansfield, the town in which she and Rose wrote the books, loving Laura was easy to do. One thing I have always loved about her books is the optimism of the character, Laura, which she obviously gets from her Pa. This book, covering the events of Little House on the Prairie, is all from Ma's perspective and is not nearly so optimistic. But, as a mother myself, I can say that the worry and fear Ma feels is realistic. I read this during a time when my children are also listening to Little House on the Prairie, a chapter a night on Audible. The faithfulness to Laura's original story is satisfying while the addition of Caroline's thoughts and perspective are interesting if not always enjoyable. I guess I've always been like Laura -- more of a fan of Pa and his way of thinking.
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  • Chelsea
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 STARSDNF - Page 96 ... I really wanted to love this book, but somehow I can't find much interest in finishing. The pacing was a extremely slow and too much time was spent dwelling on Caroline's misgivings about the future. I want to say I'm going to try reading this again down the road, but I highly doubt it. It's not a book I'm going to rave about to my friends (Hey, guys! 😉), which is probably a good indication of my overall disinterest.
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  • Jenn
    January 1, 1970
    I heard about this book from NPR's "Fresh Air" podcast and was intrigued. I confess - I am not quite sure what I expected. The book is very G-rated -- straddling some unknown line beyond "children's story" and historical romance. I'm impressed with the way the author thought through the psychology/motivations of the primary adult characters, Caroline & Charles. It was fun to see the stories that I remember from Laura Ingalls' books told from the adult perspective. I especially enjoyed the Ch I heard about this book from NPR's "Fresh Air" podcast and was intrigued. I confess - I am not quite sure what I expected. The book is very G-rated -- straddling some unknown line beyond "children's story" and historical romance. I'm impressed with the way the author thought through the psychology/motivations of the primary adult characters, Caroline & Charles. It was fun to see the stories that I remember from Laura Ingalls' books told from the adult perspective. I especially enjoyed the Christmas with Mr Edwards story. Overall, the author did a good job of incorporating the prejudices of the adults into the stories.The author does a good job creating suspense in some of the more "exciting" incidents in the lives of the family: crossing the frozen lake and, later, floating the wagon across a deep water crossing, and the prairie fire, the intrusion of Native American visitors to scavenge their pantry. The incidents around the house-building, the well-digging and childbirth were all well written and engaging. I was surprised to see Caroline painted as so naive, dependent, conservative and lacking in a spirit of adventure. I expected a bit more from her internal character given some of the things she experienced (I imagine, voluntarily). I found the single episode of sex to be incredibly -- well -- Victorian. She doesn't describe enjoying her body or being physically comfortable except in sitting in her rocking chair. It makes me think that Caroline NEVER had fun. What did she really enjoy doing? What made her HAPPY> When did she express her full happiness and gratitude or was it always "between the lines"? I guess that's the bottom line -- she was just practical and bound up with propriety and naïveté -- there wasn't really a lot of real emotion shared, she kept things pretty bottled up.
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  • Darlene Ferland
    January 1, 1970
    Sarah Miller did a beautiful job filled with insight into the Mother of Laura, Mary and Carrie, the children of the of the Little House on the Prairie books. Reading the books as a child or watching the show on television really didn't fully flesh out Mrs. Ingalls. Ms. Miller did bring the Mother to life. This book is a wonderful depiction of life on the move in the 1870. The family chose to fill a covered wagon and head to the Kansas Indian Territory to claim land and build a new life away from Sarah Miller did a beautiful job filled with insight into the Mother of Laura, Mary and Carrie, the children of the of the Little House on the Prairie books. Reading the books as a child or watching the show on television really didn't fully flesh out Mrs. Ingalls. Ms. Miller did bring the Mother to life. This book is a wonderful depiction of life on the move in the 1870. The family chose to fill a covered wagon and head to the Kansas Indian Territory to claim land and build a new life away from the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Caroline's family is there and she is pregnant. Her fear is palatable but Charles believes deeply that this is the best move for his growing family. Vividly, the struggle within Caroline and the happenings in a rough passage to Kansas is brought so beautifully to the written page, that I am glad that the Little House Estate authorized this read!
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