Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Mixed feelings. Very well written and will be enjoyed by adult fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder. And has some of those “how people did stuff” details that I love about the Little House books. Here, it answers all those questions about going to the bathroom or childbirth.
And sometime I got a chuckle out of Caroline’s thoughts, like when she realizes Mary can be a bit annoying by being good to get praise.
The “buts”. But, in matching the time period to the Kansas LHOP book, it leaves untouched some fascinating and interesting questions about Caroline’s childhood, especially how shaped she was by poverty, and the early years of her marriage lived in other people’s houses and with such a long time without a baby.
When the poverty is touched on, it’s sad in that Caroline believes she’s creating a better life for her girls when she isn’t. But, that’s knowledge brought by the reader who knows what the future will bring. And the opportunity to dig into her belief to be satisfied by what one has, rather than try for more, is passed by - as well as the negative consequences of such a belief structure.
The biggest “but” is the racism. It matches the source material and the history, yes - but it still resulted in a lot of problems for me as a reader. Any judgement about it is mainly from the reader, not the text. This could have been explored deeper, even if the result was uncomfortable.
And still - there was a lot I liked in how Caroline saw things, what made her tick. I’m interested in reading more from Caroline’s viewpoint.
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