The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Category: Children’s book
Synopsis: Through the many blizzards of the Long Winter the Ingalls family tries their best to survive.
My Thoughts: I didn’t have any plans what so ever to read this book. But as I was starting the fires in the house with the help of wood that was never meant to be wood and an ever dwindling supply of this type of wood too I was struck by the image of Laura and Pa twisting straw and wondering if this was in my future. Our situation is nowhere near as dire as that which the Ingalls faced that winter but I am mighty tired of the cold and the snow.
It is interesting to note Ma’s view on what is women’s work when one thinks of the view of “foreigners” that is presented in Willa Cather’s My Ántonia. Here Laura helps Pa make hay despite the fact that Ma would have preferred her not to because it is needed. The views on what is woman’s work and what is a mans work in these books sometimes get on my nerves. I try to remind myself that it was the view of the time but still, it rankles some.
Like Laura I hate the feeling of dry earth on potatoes. It makes me shiver too. I always could relate to Laura. As I said in my review of The Little House on the Prairie, Laura was a childhood heroine of mine and it wasn’t just because she was headstrong like me. We also had other small things like this in common. This is one of the things I came to appreciate about the books, the small details that make their way into the books and make Laura more of a person, someone I could be friends with.
The Long Winter was never my favourite Little House book but now reading it as an adult I have a whole new appreciation of the situation the settlers found themselves in. I think I could feel the worry in a whole new way now. I could also appreciate what Ma and Pa did to make sure the girls did not worry to much. The way they managed to make a living through this time is truly amazing, and yes I know it is a story but I can see that there is truth in it.
All in all this cold tale really did warm me on a very cold day here in Sweden where the winter seems to have no end. At least I don’t have to live off nothing but brown bread. Our cupboards might have felt bare today but they are nice and filled again today, and we got a new load of wood and no one had to risk their life to get it to us. Today I appreciate living in the modern world. I also seem to have kicked off a bit of a Little House binge so look for more mini-reviews in the next few days. The books are a nice antidote to Theory of Literature :D
I could probably have counted this book for several challenges but I’m not going to because I read it for me, on a complete impulse and you know what, that was fun!