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Caroline: Little House, Revisited (2017)

by Sarah Miller

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4003151,756 (3.77)35
USA Today Bestseller! One of Refinery29's Best Reads of September In this novel authorized by the Little House Heritage Trust, Sarah Miller vividly recreates the beauty, hardship, and joys of the frontier in a dazzling work of historical fiction, a captivating story that illuminates one courageous, resilient, and loving pioneer woman as never before--Caroline Ingalls, "Ma" in Laura Ingalls Wilder's beloved Little House books. In the frigid days of February, 1870, Caroline Ingalls and her family leave the familiar comforts of the Big Woods of Wisconsin and the warm bosom of her family, for a new life in Kansas Indian Territory. Packing what they can carry in their wagon, Caroline, her husband Charles, and their little girls, Mary and Laura, head west to settle in a beautiful, unpredictable land full of promise and peril. The pioneer life is a hard one, especially for a pregnant woman with no friends or kin to turn to for comfort or help. The burden of work must be shouldered alone, sickness tended without the aid of doctors, and babies birthed without the accustomed hands of mothers or sisters. But Caroline's new world is also full of tender joys. In adapting to this strange new place and transforming a rough log house built by Charles' hands into a home, Caroline must draw on untapped wells of strength she does not know she possesses. For more than eighty years, generations of readers have been enchanted by the adventures of the American frontier's most famous child, Laura Ingalls Wilder, in the Little House books. Now, that familiar story is retold in this captivating tale of family, fidelity, hardship, love, and survival that vividly reimagines our past.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Brought me back to my childhood when my mother would read out loud to us from the "Little House on the Prairie" series. I loved looking through Caroline's eyes at the world now that I'm an adult, especially after having experienced Laura's viewpoint when I was a child.
I could see the actors who played the characters in my mind as I read. Caroline matched my memories perfectly.
Great job. ( )
  Barbwire101 | May 19, 2021 |
I really enjoyed this book. I loved reading the Little House books as a little girl; it was fun and comforting to read the story from the perspective of an adult and mom now that I am an adult and a mom. Nothing truly exciting or fast-paced here, just a nice story retold. The Indian scenes were very interesting; I thought the author handled well the balance between how we as future generations see the disposal of the Indians from their lands and how it might feel to the white settlers at the time. ( )
  mageestarr | Jan 2, 2021 |
I really enjoyed this grittier, adult take on "Little House on the Prairie." Pioneer life was HARD for women. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
One of the first books I read when I had learned how to read well enough to read a chapter book was Little House in the Big Woods. All these years later, I can still remember that I got the book for free at school (R.I.F. day!). I carried it all the way home after school just staring at the cover with the picture of a happy family in a log cabin on it. That book started a life-long love of anything Laura Ingalls Wilder.....the thought of being a pioneer girl, living on the prairie, watching Pa build the house.....it all seemed magical.

I never once thought about what it might be like for Ma and Pa Ingalls. As a girl, I just focused on the lovely children's stories told from Laura's perspective.

Sarah Miller revists the Ingalls family, telling the story from Caroline Ingalls' perspective. The life of a pioneer family from an adult's view is still magical.....but also harsh, frightening and unforgiving.

Caroline recounts the story of the Ingalls' move from Wisconsin to the Indian Territory in Kanasas by covered wagon. It mirrors the tale from Little House on the Prairie, but this time the story is told by Ma, not Laura. Caroline is pregnant and afraid there won't be a woman to help her when it comes time for the baby to be born. She has to bear the stress of the lurching wagon, life on the trail, managing the food supplies and cooking in a moving wagon, keeping the girls occupied, helping Charles with the wagon & horses, helping build their first cabin......I never considered what a hard life it would have been for a mother making a long trek by wagon after leaving her entire family behind. Especially pregnant and not knowing if there would be help for her at the end of the journey.

I really enjoyed this book! Christmas with Mr. Edwards. Losing & finding Jack, the dog. Building the log cabin. The family being sick with ague. All the events from Little House on the Prairie....just another side. The tale is sometimes joyous....other times sad. But, that's life,right? The story presents the married/husband side of Pa, too. Caroline supports her husband and is strong for him, even when he makes mistakes. Just a lovely story. Miller did take a few liberties with historical fact, but outlines the few changes she made in the back of the book. It was nothing that made me cringe....little things to keep the continuity.

I highly recommend this to anyone who grew up loving the Little House books! Be prepared to get a bit teary eyed a couple of times.....and I even had a few eyerolls when the prose got just a bit too sappy....but all in all, a wonderful read. There are a couple sexual situations -- nothing graphic or inappropriate. Married couples have sex -- even Ma and Pa Ingalls. It's tastefully done, and not in any way traumatizing. But, I would recommend parental guidance before allowing children to read the book. Adults might want to read the book first....and make an informed decision before allowing those under 13 to read it.

I was sad momentarily when I read the last page -- I didn't want it to be over! I have the Little House books on my shelf....I need to re-read them! I also have a couple seasons of the 1970's tv show on DVD. I feel a binge watch coming on! ( )
  JuliW | Nov 22, 2020 |
DNF @ 53%

Can't do it. I'm not crazy about the fanciful way it's written... the mild, proper Caroline Ingalls. She's constantly censoring herself against speaking against her husband, who she idolizes. She scolds one child for being too good and vain about her goodness. There was no effort to approach the Native Americans with respect, instead falling into stereotypes and indeed, making them Caroline's greatest fear. It's a disappointing picture of Western movement. I know the Little House books have some problematic elements, but any modern retelling can and should address this... not inflate it.

All set, thanks!
  Morteana | Oct 26, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
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None knew thee but to love thee,
Thou dear one of my heart,
Oh, thy memory is fresh and green.
"Daisy Deane"
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Caroline's wrist turned and flicked as the steel tongue of her crochet hook dipped in and out, mirroring the movement of the fiddle's bow.
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USA Today Bestseller! One of Refinery29's Best Reads of September In this novel authorized by the Little House Heritage Trust, Sarah Miller vividly recreates the beauty, hardship, and joys of the frontier in a dazzling work of historical fiction, a captivating story that illuminates one courageous, resilient, and loving pioneer woman as never before--Caroline Ingalls, "Ma" in Laura Ingalls Wilder's beloved Little House books. In the frigid days of February, 1870, Caroline Ingalls and her family leave the familiar comforts of the Big Woods of Wisconsin and the warm bosom of her family, for a new life in Kansas Indian Territory. Packing what they can carry in their wagon, Caroline, her husband Charles, and their little girls, Mary and Laura, head west to settle in a beautiful, unpredictable land full of promise and peril. The pioneer life is a hard one, especially for a pregnant woman with no friends or kin to turn to for comfort or help. The burden of work must be shouldered alone, sickness tended without the aid of doctors, and babies birthed without the accustomed hands of mothers or sisters. But Caroline's new world is also full of tender joys. In adapting to this strange new place and transforming a rough log house built by Charles' hands into a home, Caroline must draw on untapped wells of strength she does not know she possesses. For more than eighty years, generations of readers have been enchanted by the adventures of the American frontier's most famous child, Laura Ingalls Wilder, in the Little House books. Now, that familiar story is retold in this captivating tale of family, fidelity, hardship, love, and survival that vividly reimagines our past.

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