The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

August 30, 2016 Whitney Review 2 Comments

The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls WilderThe First Four Years (Little House, #9) by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Series: Little House #9
Published by HarperTrophy on January 2nd 2007
Genres: Young Adult
Source: Bought

Laura Ingalls Wilder is beginning life with her new husband, Almanzo, in their own little house. Laura is a young pioneer wife now, and must work hard with Almanzo, farming the land around their home on the South Dakota prairie. Soon their baby daughter, Rose, is born, and the young family must face the hardships and triumphs encountered by so many American pioneers. And so Laura Ingalls Wilder's adventure as a little pioneer girl ends, and her new life as a pioneer wife and mother begins. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America's frontier past and a heartwarming, unforgettable story.

First Impressions

The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder is the last installment in the Little House books.  I had looked forward to the conclusion of the series and seeing the beginning of her life as a married woman.

Impressions On the Writing

The novel was not without its problems. Not only was Laura and Almanzo’s life difficult, unfortunately so was my ability to throughly enjoy the novel. It has been noted that Rose Wilder was the mastermind in the writing of the series. This final book cements this belief. It was mediocre at best. Laura rambled and lacked a cohesive thought.

Final Thoughts

The First Four Years was a disappointing ending to the Little House books and wished that Laura Ingalls Wilder had concluded her autobiographical novels with These Happy Golden Years.


2 responses to “The First Four Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder

  1. I have always felt that The First Four Years should not be marketed as the final book in the series. The unfinished manuscript was found almost 40 years after Laura wrote it and it was published with virtually no editing. There is a possibility that it was intended for an adult audience but that Laura lost interest and abandoned it. Your wish that Laura end with These Happy Golden Years seems to be what she intended.

    Lane definitely helped with editing the Little House books but Laura was an established journalist and essayist long before the books were written. Literary historians agree that Lane’s editing skills were used more in the early books and that Laura felt free to accept and reject her suggestions.

    I grew up with these books. It is always nice to see people still reading them.

    • I had heard that The First Four Years was an add-on of sorts and considered a “stand alone” to some. It makes complete sense to me as it isn’t as polished. I grew up with reading this series as well and it was very nostalgic to reread the series. Thank you for taking the time to comment and share your thoughts.

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