I received this book for free from the library in exchange for my honest opinions/ review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Garth Williams
Series: Little House #8
on October 14th 1953
Genres: children's, classic, historical fiction
Source: the library
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Fifteen-year-old Laura lives apart from her family for the first time, teaching school in a claim shanty twelve miles from home. She is very homesick, but keeps at it so that she can help pay for her sister Mary's tuition at the college for the blind. During school vacations Laura has fun with her singing lessons, going on sleigh rides, and best of all, helping Almanzo Wilder drive his new buggy. Friendship soon turns to love for Laura and Almanzo in the romantic conclusion of this Little House book.
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts
As always, I have mixed thoughts (this line should be standard on every review I write)
I was very sad reading this, as it’s the last “real” book of the series. I’m also pretty sure I never read this one as a kid/teen, perhaps ever, as none of it really seemed even vaguely familiar.
I love watching Laura begin to have an adult relationship with Almanzo, (and I know times were different) but it still seemed like she agreed to marry him within even falling in love with him. They dated/courted a lot, certainly, and it’s obviously from the beginning that Almanzo had feelings for Laura (even when she didn’t see it, we the reading audience did). In the books, the two barely talked & half the time they seemed like that didn’t even acknowledge each other’s presence! (and yes, I know everyone is different; just because I love to (over) talk (and that’s how I process things, is by talking aloud even if the other person isn’t listening) doesn’t mean every likes to talk, but they went on a bunch of sleigh/carriage rides and then “let’s get married!” It certainly wasn’t sudden since they had been courting for years, but compared to today’s books, the lack of emotion during the courting is startling. And Almanzo is just so incredibly sweet to Laura.
The age difference between the two bothers me a bit, but Almanzo certainly acts like a proper gentleman.
It was very interesting reading the whole courtship, that’s for sure; similarly, it was very interesting the way Laura’s Pa basically manipulated Laura into spending her hard earned money (doing a job she mostly didn’t want/hated) the way he wanted (i.e. the organ that Mary isn’t even around to play and no one else knew how to play. $100 is SUCH a lot of money to spend on such a thing!) All that money could have been used when Laura got married, or held onto for a rainy day when the crops are bad one year. It’s not like there’s such a thing as insurance in those days, after all. So spend money on an organ??
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: