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.
Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. She considers herself fortunate to be able to pursue a writing career after eons in the business world. Joanne enjoys reading and movies, and is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.