Book 7 still brings the Little House magic but it has lost a little of its shine. The long winter is past and now the Ingalls are back to their normal day to day lives. They get a kitten. The family works to send Mary to college. And, preventatively they decide to spend another winter in their town building to make sure they aren’t caught in the shanty during a blizzard.
A couple of random thoughts:
You do have to read these remembering that it was a different time. Almanzo starts to court Laura when she is just 15. He’s 23. In today’s world, that’s a big problem but the truth is that it wasn’t uncommon then. There are also a few cringe-worthy scenes where Caroline calls Indians savages and Charles does a performance in black-face. In today’s world, both of those are unacceptable but if we exclude all literature from the past that includes anything that we know is wrong today, then we will start to ban books and that’s just not okay. We can enjoy (and learn from) reading about the past even when we don’t agree with everything that takes place.
Laura is a sympathetic character but she certainly wasn’t perfect. I appreciated her honesty in Little Town. Nellie Olsen moves into town and we all know she isn’t a very nice girl. But, Laura, has a little evil streak herself and definitely makes things worse by mouthing off. One thing I didn’t like was that Laura wasn’t smart enough to talk to Ms. Wilder (Almanzo’s sister who comes to town and becomes their teacher). Instead she let Nellie poison Eliza against Laura and reacted poorly. If she had a 5-minute conversation with her it could have been cleared up.
Regardless, another great read. 4/5 stars.