Saturday, December 19, 2015

Little House Wrap-Up

"Silver Lake Reflections"
by Judy Thompson
Well, it's done! I finished the whole "canonical" Little House series, from Martha to Rose. I can't really believe I went through 5 generations of Little House girls, from around 1797 to around 1905, from Scotland to Boston to Wisconsin to South Dakota to Missouri to California! It was an amazing journey that I can't wait to do again someday. It was fun to look forward to my next scheduled read. I reread some childhood obsessions favorites and discovered some new classics, especially in the Rose series! So in this post, I'm going to try to rank my favorite girls, lessons, and books and give some summarizing thoughts on each miniseries and the series as a whole. And I'll try to keep it concise :D

First, the ranking of the girls. This is hard because I love certain qualities in each of them! And obviously, just because they're not number one, doesn't mean I don't love them!

5. Charlotte - Charlotte was nice, but she seemed kind of bland and didn't really have any memorable traits. She also was a little young for me to really connect with although I enjoyed reading about her!

4. Martha - Martha also never got old enough for me to connect with, but I loved her adventurous spirit and her desire for anything new. I also loved the lesson she learned about contentment with where she was in life!

3. Rose - Although I loved Rose as a child, I lost my connection with her as she got older and made some decisions I didn't necessarily agree with. Also, she didn't seem to grow or learn from her mistakes, like hanging out with older dudes...

2. Laura - I love Laura. She has a great work ethic, loves to learn, does what she has to do, is exciting, and just amazing!

1. Caroline - Caroline was me okay! I basically identified with everything she was. (Obviously not the whole living in the wilderness, but you get what I mean!) She loved to teach, was a great speller, loved to write, and just was me sooooo much! And she and Charles are just sooooo cute together!

I'm not going to rank each miniseries because that would be way too hard. And I loved and disliked books from each miniseries! So I'm going to list my favorite books from each miniseries. (Fun fact: I rated about half of the books 5 stars!)

Martha - Down to the Bonny Glen was the one that stood out the most to me! I so enjoyed to the character development in Martha. She learns how blessed she is to have the father and position she has although she may resent it at times. It was a reminder to me to be content in my situations! Also, Miss Crow was awesome!

Charlotte - Across the Puddingstone Dam was my favorite Charlotte book, although I did enjoy On Tide Mill Lane. Puddingstone Dam just had the happiest scene in the whole series when person gets reunited with long-lost person! It still makes me happy and just yes and they hug and they're together and it's soooooo sweet!

Caroline - I enjoyed most of the Caroline books, but my favorite was Across the Rolling River because we meet Charlie. Charlie and Caroline are so cute, which is probably why A Little House of Their Own is my second favorite book of theirs! (BTW these are the only Caroline books I don't have so fingers crossed for Christmas!)

Laura - I rated most of the Laura books five stars (Laura's writing style was off the charts!), but my favorites were These Happy Golden Years and Little Town on the Prairie. I just love the stories of the Ingalls in De Smet, and Laura and Manly are so cute! I just love seeing how the Ingalls go about their daily life and do stuff, which is basically what these two books are!

Rose - I loved the feeling and emotions Roger Lea MacBride puts into his books. My favorite was New Dawn on Rocky Ridge because it made me feel happy, sad, excited, frustrated, and just everything! It was amazing! Little Town in the Ozarks was also great!

And now I'm going to choose one thing that I learned from each miniseries (which will be hard so I'll probably break my own rules...)

Martha - Contentment. This was mostly impressed on me in Down to the Bonny Glen. Martha, the daughter of basically a landlord, has a very different life than that of her friends, and she tends to yearn for the "freer" life of them. However, in Down to the Bonny Glen, Martha learns just how blessed she is to be where she is in life. This is something I literally have to work on every day!

Charlotte - Change. There's a lot of change that happens in the Charlotte books, some good and some seemingly not-so-good. Although I didn't know it at the time I was reading these books, there are a lot of changes my world is going through right now. These books just remind me that change is natural and it's all what you make of it. People have to change!

Caroline - Family. I think I like the Quiner family better than any other Little House family. They were helpful and kind and mostly cheerful. They all pitched in to help in anyway they could. It reminded me to have more teamwork and what the most important things are in life!

Laura - Hard work. Basically, the Ingalls achieved everything through hard work. They had to to survive! There's nothing wrong with hard work, and I probably need more of it. It's just amazing what the pioneers accomplished with just their families and elbow grease!

Rose - Stick-to-it-iveness? The American Dream basically failed the Ingalls and Wilders like a bajillion times. But you know what? They kept going. Laura and Manly faced incredible hardships, but they did what they had to do and never complained! I guess that's the real American Dream, the opportunity to get up and do it again until you succeed!

Now onto mini-review and main ship of each series!

Martha - I loved this one for nostalgic purposes (Guys, I've loved box beds since I was like 8), but also for its details about Scottish culture and its splenidferous character development! The ship for this series is Martha and Lew which works out and is amazing and I love it soooooo much!

Charlotte - I actually enjoyed Martha more than Charlotte in this series. I like how the series has a continuous theme of change. I also enjoyed spending time with the Tuckers! My main ship of this series was again Lew and Martha, but the feels when Martha sees you-know-who-again! It still makes me soooooo happy!

Caroline - I enjoyed the Caroline books again for nostalgic purposes, but also because they're just great! There's a great story that continues, and the characters are lovable! I just love how the Quiners/Holbrooks start over and just do it! The main ship would have to be Caroline and Charley cuz they're so cute and I love them so much! Probably more than any other ship in the series!

Laura - These are classics for obvious reasons. They're well-written, packed with information, yet also amazingly interesting! The descriptions, especially of the open prairie, are beautiful, and most of the time, the descriptions of processes and machines are easy to understand! It's just a great series! Laura and Manly are soooo cute together, especially on the buggy and sleigh rides! (But that age difference though....)

Rose - I did not expect to enjoy these that much, but I ate them up! Again, Roger Lea Macbride puts so much emotion into his books that you feel as if you are the character! Rose kind of disappointed me at the end, but it was a satisfactory series! I still ship Paul and Rose in the train station working the telegraph!! It's just soooo cute!

Overall, I'm obviously glad I read the whole series! It was amazing the overview I got of both American history and one person's life! Someday, I hope to own all of these and give them to my children! Little House will always be a special part of me.

I'm planning on doing a blog party for all the Little House books in February, for Laura Ingalls Wilder's birthday (as suggested by Naomi :) If you're interested in doing a guest post, comment or shoot me an email!

2 comments:

  1. Ashley, I am convinced. We are Little House Twinsies. I agree with you on practically everything in here.
    1. I relate to Charlotte the least and Caroline the most, too.
    2. CHARLEY AND CAROLINE ARE MY BIGGEST LITTLE HOUSE SHIP. (I love them soooo much. I've read that last Caroline books so many times.)
    3. And everything else.

    OHH. You're going to do a week!!! February is so far away. :-( Of course I'd be in for a guest post. I'll brainstorm ideas and email you once I've thought of something, okay? (Probably something on the Ingallses and the Quiners.)

    ~ Naomi

    ReplyDelete
  2. Naomi: I know right! Charely and Caroline are sooo cute! I can't wait to read your post ideas :)

    ReplyDelete

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