The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie

The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie - Wendy McClure Given that Laura Ingalls Wilder is near the top of my list of famous people I'd like to meet in Heaven, I could not wait to read this book by a fellow Wilder/Little House groupie. To that end, The Wilder Life was an enjoyable trip through the mind of a person a lot like me.

Parts of McClure's quest to find a real life Laura World were laugh-out-loud funny (especially the bit about churning butter by hand), while other moments were poignant and touching. I understood fully her sadness and frustration when Laura World always seemed just out of reach even when surrounded by the places and things that the real life Laura had touched. The Little House books create an almost magical world that invite you in and leave you wanting so much to be able to travel back in time. Part of the problem is knowing that while the books are fiction, so much of them is rooted in Laura Wilder's real childhood and experiences. They simply don't read as "made up", so believing that a perfect, more simple time and place once existed is far too easy.

One thing McClure's book did is inspire me to set out on a tour of the Laura Homes myself, perhaps not in the very near future but soon. She offers up a handful of facts about the Ingalls family that I did not know even after having read a few biographies as well as extensive insight into the life and influence of Laura's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane. I'm excited to visit the real locations to see if I can find a bit of Laura World myself.

A must-read for any Laura Ingalls Wilder fan.