Published by HarperCollins on December 26th 2007
Source: the library
Buy on Amazon
Mary Ingalls lost her sight after a devastating bout of scarlet fever. Now Mary has the opportunity to attend the Iowa College for the Blind, where she will get a fresh start with her education and can learn the skills she needs for an independent future as well.
It seems like a dream come true. But it also means leaving her cherished family behind in Dakota Territory, including her sister Laura. Laura's feisty personality has always complemented Mary's quiet nature, and ever since Mary lost her sight, Laura has served as Mary's "eyes" to the world. Now that she's on her own, Mary must learn to get along without her beloved sister, and in the process realizes that she may have a bit of Laura's spunk in her after all.
For the first time, readers will get a glimpse into the life of Mary Ingalls and will discover a whole new side of this Little House sister they've gotten to know through Laura Ingalls Wilder's classic Little House books.
So since I read the entire Little House series, I wanted to read all the other Little House related books as well. I was pretty sad when Mary went off to college because we rarely see her after that, and I always wondered what kind of life she had after Laura gets married & eventually moves away.
So this book wasn’t half bad. It’s not as charming as the original books, but it’s fascinating to see what Mary’s life could have been like (there’s very little documentation on her actual life, but this book is based upon research done upon the real college she attended) at the school for the blind. Some of the skills, like beading, that they learnt cracked me up a bit, but again it was a different era & it was actually quite ingenious to teach blind people beading in order to help make a living for their families after they graduate!
It was also very interesting to meet her roommates and her other classmates and the other teacher’s and helpers at the school. I thought for a bit there was going to be a romance blooming but alas, that wasn’t so…. (and I normally hate romance but I wanted to see Mary happy!)
I do wish the book was longer, and the machine they used to write letters to their families was so cool to read about. I tried finding photos of it online but couldn’t find any really good ones, but what a great idea.