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Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura…
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Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder (2017)

by Caroline Fraser

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2693342,232 (4.04)29

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I can remember reading the Little House on the Prairie books as well as watching the show. I like many other girls probably dreamed of being Laura. Yet, I don't know much about who the real Laura behind the inspiration truly is.

Well I can tell you that this book gave me tons of details about Laura. Who she was, where she came from, her childhood, and so much more. Yet, there comes a point when too much information can be a hindrance. This is what happened with me. It got to the point that I was on overload and could not process anymore information. Now, maybe if the information did not see to be repetitive this would have helped. I could not take anymore information; thus, I had enough reading. I could not finish this book. ( )
  Cherylk | Jun 18, 2018 |
I cannot believe this book won the Pulitzer Prize. It was not very coherent. I only finished part I, The Pioneer and have no desire to read anything more. Biographies do not have to be boring and unreadable. They can be well-written and enjoyable. This book jumped from topic to topic and had so much information that had little to do with Laura Ingalls Wilder. ( )
  kayanelson | Jun 18, 2018 |
I read Ghost in the Little House about twenty years ago, so this book was not as shocking to me as it seems to have been to some other readers -- I was already aware that Laura and Rose were difficult people; that my beloved Little House books were idealized, sepia-toned versions of the truth if not outright fiction; and that Rose frequently punched up Laura's prose and omitted or rearranged some facts to score political points against the New Deal. Prairie Fires is not quite as hard on Laura as Ghost in the Little House is and that, admittedly, meant that I, an avowed Laura partisan, enjoyed it quite a bit more.

Would I have liked Laura and Rose if I had known them? Almost certainly not. (Were we to meet today, I have a strong suspicion that Rose and I would end up in a shouting match about Donald Trump.) But I still love the books, problematic though they are; learning the truth behind their composition doesn't spoil them for me but makes them more complicated and interesting. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
This book tell the Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder in great detail from her birth to death and then some. While I did enjoy some parts and learnt a good amount, this book was too long. It could have been edited to half its size. ( )
  AstridG | May 25, 2018 |
Laura Ingalls Wilder deserves a tome like the one Caroline Fraser has written about her. But Prairie Fires is about much more than one women. And I found both pros and cons in the book for just that reason. While it never veered “off course,” the path Prairie Fires took was as wide as those fires themselves. It’s about family, politics, history, and unrelenting poverty. Not quick, but good.

Full review at TheBibliophage.com. ( )
  TheBibliophage | May 23, 2018 |
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Placing the Ingalls family’s homesteading mishaps in a bigger picture of national enterprise is one of many demonstrations of Fraser’s admirable commitment to presenting her research in a broader historical context. But sometimes this causes the literary gears to grind. ... And yet there is far more to admire than to criticize in Fraser’s determination to provide everything needed for a responsible and thorough history of Wilder’s life and legacy.
 
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