Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Wilder Life by Wendy McClure

I could see Laura Ingalls WIlder everywhere. Really she was everywhere. She was no longer just a person but a universe made of hundreds of little bits, a historical fictional literary figure character person idea grandma-girl-thing.

My only encounters with Little House on the Prairie are the reruns I occasionally watch, this website, which is excellent, and reading the awesome Confessions of a Prairie Bitch. Sadly, I never read a single Laura Ingalls Wilder book in my youth. Reading The Wilder Life made me wish I had set aside the Baby-Sitters Club for a minute to try something else.

The book has a simple premise. Wendy McClure rediscovers her old copy of Little House on the Prairie. She proceeds to reread the entire series, then takes steps to recreate the "Laura World" that she had experienced as a child. McClure does a ton of research on the people, history, and places. She learns how to churn butter and make bread starter. Eventually, after continued research, she plans a road trip to important Little House locations.

The entire book is entertaining. It makes me want to get some obsession of my own, plan my own road trip. Alas, the BSC's Stoneybrook was a fictional town. I also lack the incredibly supportive boyfriend who followed McClure to the majority of her destinations. He read ALL of the Little House on the Prairie books for her! That is beyond adorable. Start reading for descriptions of property law, stay for encounters with religious sects who are using Little House as a training manual for the coming apocalypse/rapture! Trust me, just read this book.

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