Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.


The First Four Years (1953)

by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Other authors: Rose Wilder Lane

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Little House: The Laura Years (9), Little House Novels, Chronological Order (book 24)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,746691,100 (3.76)86
During their first four years of marriage, Laura and Almanzo Wilder have a child and fight a losing battle in their attempts to succeed at farming on the South Dakota prairie.
Recently added byBrittharton, SophieJessop, sierra5858, jawhew01, private library, MamaCass21, ACORAN, GBCS_Library
Legacy LibrariesRose Wilder Lane

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 86 mentions

English (68)  Finnish (1)  All languages (69)
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
This is the last in the Little House series, looking at the first four years of Laura and Almanzo’s marriage. They homesteaded during this time and tried to get a farm going, and they had a daughter, Rose.

This was published after Rose’s death. The book was an unfinished manuscript. I still really enjoyed it, even if it wasn’t as Laura would have published it if she’d ever taken time to finish it. There were still plenty of brilliant descriptions of things. During the four years, their farm (at least the crops) never did flourish, though they did well with their animals. The weather (as it often is with farming) was the culprit – hail, a tornado (or cyclone, as Laura called it), drought, fire. Also blizzards in winter factored into their lives, as it did with anyone on the prairies. I have a beautiful “full color collector’s edition”, which has very nice glossy colour illustrations. ( )
  LibraryCin | Sep 22, 2023 |
(3.5 / 5)

I can understand now the claims that this book is so vastly different from the rest of the series. The main thing I noticed is that there is a lot of hardship, just like the rest of the books have, but while the rest of the books also make sure to talk about the happy things mixed in, this one barely does. I get the feeling that Laura Ingalls Wilder, or perhaps her daughter Rose Wilder Lane, who edited the previous works, intentionally included those happy moments to soften the difficult ones. No one did that for this manuscript. Not that there weren't a few happy moments, but they were meager compared to the loss of crops time after time, the bad weather, the fire, the sickness. And Almanzo comes across pretty terrible in this book. He convinced Laura to give farming 3 years when she tells him that she doesn't really want to live a farmer's life due to the hardship (which she was absolutely correct about, obviously) before they were married, so it's not like she waited until afterward to tell him she didn't want him to farm, and that, if farming isn't so much a success for them that she's okay with continuing, he'll quit. After 3 years of losing their crops every year, though, he talks her into "just one more year." To me, that sounds like a man who has no plans to ever give up his own way. I haven't read Wilder's diaries from after this time, and I don't plan to at this time, but I do hope that he wasn't as manipulative as he seems in this book.

For this whole series, my enjoyment of the book was greatly enhanced by the audiobook narrator, Cherry Jones, who does a fantastic job. If you've ever considered reading this series, or have already read it and have occasion to listen to the audiobooks, I say do it! ( )
  Kristi_D | Sep 22, 2023 |
Published in 1971, this unfinished and unedited manuscript has a completely different tone and writing style than the rest of the series. In past rereads of the Little House series, I had attempted to read this book several times but didn't make it past the first chapter. Part of me wishes they had not published this ninth book, but it does make one wonder how much editing Rose Wilder (Laura Ingalls Wilder's daughter) contributed to the other eight books and also how much of the prior writing was fictionalized versus fact. This ninth book sounds more factual or at least less embellished and I must say the story itself is quite depressing. It is missing the usual feel-good Christmas chapters and charm found in the prior books. As with the entire series, there are some racist passages. I'd recommend using those paragraphs as teaching moments for children or even ourselves, instead of skipping reading the books entirely because they contain some unpleasant aspects of U.S. history. ( )
  Ann_R | Aug 7, 2023 |
After listening to the first book of the little house series I couldn't resist myself to finish the series as soon as possible so that I know what happened to Laura and his family. I didn't read any other books before finishing this series. ( )
  rezaulhayat | Aug 6, 2023 |
This book is very different from the others in the series. It was found and published after Wilder's death. I'm glad I read it to learn about Laura's life after marriage, but it had none of the warm, hopeful feelings as the first 8 books. There is all of the descriptions of the incredibly difficult pioneer life, but without the steady and wise influence of ma and pa. It is very spare. I found myself really disliking Manly because of many of the financial decisions he made. There was no hopeful resolution, just resignation in the end. ( )
  CarolHicksCase | Mar 12, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 68 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wilder, Laura IngallsAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lane, Rose Wildersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
MacBride, Roger LeaPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seyres, HélèneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tholema, A.C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Williams, GarthIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
First words
The stars hung luminous and low over the prairie.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

During their first four years of marriage, Laura and Almanzo Wilder have a child and fight a losing battle in their attempts to succeed at farming on the South Dakota prairie.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions


Popular covers

Quick Links


Average: (3.76)
1 6
1.5 2
2 57
2.5 22
3 252
3.5 40
4 258
4.5 20
5 220

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 197,749,460 books! | Top bar: Always visible