I chose These Happy Golden Years from Becky's list both because I wanted to experience some Beckyness and because it's been ages since I read the Little House books.
Well, now! I can’t say enough good things about this book. Granted, a HUGE part of my enthusiasm is because of Cherry Jones, the audio performer. Cherry Jones’s readings of the Little House series brings the Ingalls and Wilder families to new life the way Garth Williams’s illustrations did in the 1950’s. I am in the process of loading the entire series onto my iPod because of her.
Now, onto the story itself. Because of my own tangental historical obsessions, I couldn’t help but compare the 15-year-old Laura to Annie Sullivan as she set out to teach school for the first time. In some ways, I’d go so far as to say Laura had it worse than Annie – leaving such a happy home at such a very young age and all. Anyway… Laura and Almanzo’s courtship is so understated that it drove me bonkers as a kid, but this time around I found it rather sweet. I don’t know when Laura started to fall for Almanzo, but he had me during that awful 12 mile sleigh ride from the Brewster school in a near-blizzard.
All in all, there’s just something about watching a character grow up like this. But more than that, it’s amazing to have such a full slice of American history preserved this way. I’m in serious danger of adding the Ingalls/Wilders to my list of historical passions. Thanks, Becky!