Friday, January 24, 2020

Book Review - Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser

I was extremely excited when I bought this book. I loved the Little House series written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and I was interested in reading about her life. Well, be careful what you wish for. Caroline Fraser has gone above and beyond in her research and detailed writing of Laura Ingalls Wilder's life.

Prairie Fires is a Pulitzer Prize winning piece of non-fiction. It is beyond detailed and frankly, for me,  it got tediously boring. I think the reference notes have reference notes. This is my problem. I do not fault the author - she absolutely achieved her mission. She covered grandparents, parents, droughts, grasshopper, deaths, and more in extreme detail. Her epic tale of Wilder's life truly encompasses an amazing story of survival. It spans Indian Wars to Dust Bowl.

I guess I wanted Laura-lite. I wanted to zoom to her writing career. Truly her life of struggle, rootlessness, and poverty made Laura Ingalls Wilder the writer and achiever she was late in life. She recast her hardscrabble life into a childhood series on homesteading. I skimmed a lot in the book and it was interesting, but also a bit of a slog.

Congrats to the author for her Pulitzer and for her hard work. She truly revealed a complex Wilder life in Prairie Fires.  I admit - I just wanted to roast marshmallows for a few hours.

9 comments:

  1. Hi Joanne - many thanks ... thought I had another book to read ... looks like not - but I too, like you, would be interested ... but for now will stand it up. Cheers Hilary

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    1. trust me. It just droned a bit. Better to re-read the Little House books, I think.

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  2. Well at least everything that was noted was also noted haha

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    1. The author covered everything possible, that's for sure.

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  3. A most honest review Joanne.

    Yvonne.

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    1. I try to stay true. And I'll admit that maybe I'm just not as studious any more. I had my day with research...kinda over it.

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  4. It sounds like I'd share your opinion on this book. Life's too short to slog through books stuffed with boring details. So I probably wouldn't like this book, but I LOVE your review. Ya made me laugh! :)

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  5. Well, I guess not even the most happening life of any artist/writer can stand that sort of microscopic scrutiny without becoming tedious. Sticking to the books she wrote seems like great advice. Thanks.

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  6. This does sound tedious. I agree with you--I would probably prefer to reread Laura's books.

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