When I heard about The Wilder Life, My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie, By Wendy McClure, I ran to Barnes and Noble like a Sooner racing into Oklahoma to stake a homestead claim. (Too much? Possibly.) Well, I did order it on Amazon without a second thought to what it was about. After all, I LOVED Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Little House books, and when it arrived and I saw its Tiffany blue cover with the first page of Little House in the Big Woods open to a Garth Williams original illustration I KNEW I would love this, too. So much for judging a book by its cover.
OK, I didn't NOT like this book. In fact, the first chapter is hilarious, bringing back memories of my own childhood days of Laura re-enactments. At that point I could really relate to Wendy McClure and her obsession with all things LHOTP. But somewhere on her road trip to see all of the "real" sights in the nine Little House books, she got a little too wordy and introspective. In the end, her journey makes sense, as does her tendency to ramble, but she often took the long way around the barn.
Am I glad I read The Wilder Life? Yes! Am I going to buy a butter churn? NO. If I happen to be in De Smet, SD, will I be excited to see the real Little Town on the Prairie? Probably! Anyway, I definitely am going to reread my 1971 boxed set of the series, and perhaps I'll find my own inner Laura.
As Ma would say, "All's well that ends well!"