A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert is the story of Rose Wilder Lane and the work she did on The Little House series. It is told from Rose’s point of view and spans the time from 1928 to 1939. AWilder Rose is stated to be a fictionalized account of Rose’s life during this time period.
Rose is telling the story to Norma Lee Ogg who lives with Rose (along with Norma Lee’s husband). Norma Lee wanted to hear about Rose’s writings because Norma Lee wants to be a writer. The story goes from 1939 back in time to start at 1928 and leads up to 1939. Rose tells how she encouraged her mother to write about her childhood. Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote The Prairie Girl as a non-fiction book about her girlhood adventures with her parents. It was not accepted for publication so Rose encouraged Laura (or Mama Bess as she was called by Rose) to write a fictionalized account. Laura wrote the stories on dime store orange notebooks. Laura then gave them to Rose to type up. Rose states that they needed a lot of work to be accepted by a publisher. They were too flat. Rose would then rewrite and edit the books. Rose had no idea when she started this project that one book would turn into eight books.
Rose was hoping that if her mother had an income that she could escape. Rose’s main goal was to earn money and live her own life. Rose did not like living at Rocky Ridge Farm in Mansfield, Missouri. She found it confining and depressing. Laura is portrayed as controlling (wanting to keep her daughter on a tight leash). There is little mention of Almanzo in this book.
The book talks about Rose’s travels across Europe, the time she spent in Albania, her friendships with other writers, and the three “adopted” sons. The book also mentions the various articles and books that Rose wrote during her lifetime. From reading this book it seems that Rose suffered from depression that greatly affected her life outlook.
I did not enjoy this book. It is supposed to be fiction, but read more like non-fiction. It was dry and I did not find the book engaging. When I read a book, I want to be pulled in (to be drawn into the world of the book). This book makes Laura Ingalls Wilder out to be a tyrant and her daughter, Rose spent her life trying to escape her mother. I give A Wilder Rose 2 out of 5 stars (I gave it two stars for the amount of research involved). There is a lot of political rantings in this book. Rose did not like FDR, The New Deal, and had a strong political view (that went against most people’s views). I was really looking forward to this book, but I was very disappointed.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
A Wilder Rose will be out on March 17, 2015 and is available on Kindle Unlimited (if you are a member). Please remember that this review is just one person's point of view. While it may not be my cup of tea, someone else will love it.
I am currently reading When Grace Sings by Kim Vogel Sawyer. I hope you have had an enjoyable day! Happy Reading!