Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Caroline: Little House, Revisited



Welcome to What I'm Reading Wednesday, My Lovelies!  I have a treat to share with you today:  Caroline: Little House Revisited by Sarah Miller.

About Caroline

• Paperback: 400 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (June 12, 2018)

USA Today Bestseller! One of Refinery29's Best Reads of September

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.






My Review:

Since reading about Caroline via the October, 2017 Indie Next List, I placed it on my TBR list.  So when TLC Book Tours presented me with the opportunity to read, review, and share on my blog, I jumped at the chance!  The Little House series is a favorite of ours, and I read the entire series to both of our children because it was one of my favorites as a child.  I was eager to read this beloved story of the little house on the prairie from Caroline's point of view.  I was not disappointed, but it did take me a little bit of time to get used to the adult point of view because I'm so familiar with the Little House series.

Miller's version of the story is well-researched, and it's a blend of Laura Ingalls Wilder's story from Little House on the Prairie and historical accuracy.  I found the story so frustrating for the Ingalls family because they leave their life and family in Wisconsin to stake a claim in Kansas; the beauty of the plan is that they would be debt-free with the money from selling their land in Wisconsin.  The family's travel to Kansas is difficult and suspenseful: crossing the frozen Mississippi River as it's thawing; severe storms and torrential rains; and wet and mildewed supplies.  The family makes it to Kansas, and Mr. Edwards helps Charles build a home for the family (where they survive a wolf pack that could have easily entered their quilt-covered door).

Carrie is born in Kansas, and Charles and Caroline start meeting people and forming bonds.  Then Gustafson defaults on his loan to Charles and moves on.  Charles can't pay for the Kansas land, and his former property reverts back to him.  Now the Ingalls must move home.  There are several things that stand out in my mind about this book.  The first one is Caroline's concern over her baby's quickening as they travel.  There's always that anxiety paired with everything else as the family moves with their meager belongings in their covered wagon.  Plus Charles' reaction to Gustafson's inability to pay for his property is heartbreaking.  That scene is so powerful that it made me cry!

If you love the Little House series, you'll love Caroline.  I enjoyed it so much that I've already placed holds on Miller's books about Lizzie Borden and Helen Keller.  If I enjoy them as much as I did Caroline, then I'll purchase them for our home library.

About Sarah Miller

Sarah Miller began writing her first novel at the age of ten, and has spent the last two decades working in libraries and bookstores. She is the author of two previous historical novels, Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller and The Lost Crown. Her nonfiction debut, The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century, was hailed by the New York Times as "a historical version of Law & Order." She lives in Michigan. Find out more about Sarah at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Disclosure:  I received a softcover copy of Caroline from the publisher via TLC Book Tours in exchange for a fair and honest review.







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Until next time...
Happy reading!
Ricki Jill

10 comments:

  1. I know I will love this book. Thank you for giving me ideas for books to read!

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  2. Wow...I would love to check this out. I still have my Little House books from when I was little.

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  3. I love the little house books. I read them when I was younger. Then, as a teacher, I read them to about every class I had.

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  4. I am sure this is an amazing story of the challenges the early settlers faced...I can't imagine enduring those conditions!!
    Jenna

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  5. This one sounds very good, RJ. Thanks for sharing about it -- I wasn't aware.

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  6. I am a fan of Little House on the Prairie. My boys loved Farmer Boy. :-)
    I am pinning. As always, thank you for sharing.

    P.S.
    How about that baseball series. ;-)

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  7. I have to get this book. I love the Little House books!

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  8. this sounds awesome!!!!can't wait to read it!

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  9. So glad you enjoyed this one! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

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  10. I have been so busy working on my project list that I literally fall asleep on the sofa each night, but I'm nearly finished and I have all your posts to go through to choose a few books to read.

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