This is the final book in the original series (I think These First Four Years was published after her death).
It was great, of course. The first part has a scary part in it where this lady tries to kill her husband with a butcher knife, and another scary part where two boys get caught in a tornado, but Wilder is so matter of fact about both stories that my kids weren’t really scared by them.
Again, the character lessons of perserverance and hard work really stand out. Man, those pioneers were tough. Laura had to sleep in a room that was so cold the water was always frozen, go to a cold school through the snow, teach, and come home. Then on the weekends, Almanzo picked her up with his horses in weather so cold that the thermometer froze at 40 below, but it was actually below that, then they went twelve miles home. One time she almost froze to death she was so cold, but they made it in time. Sheesh!
This kind of stuff is so great for my kids to hear. My kids who complain if they get a little shiver.
The ending is bittersweet. Laura and Almanzo get married. It’s almost anticlimactic. Here’s the sentence about the wedding. Are you ready?
“They were married.”
Okay, then. So, they were married and start a whole new life. It’s so monumental, but she writes it beautifully, you can feel how Laura is glad, but missing her family.
It’s still a little sad though, because we can’t see her life with Almanzo yet, so it still feels like she’s leaving somthing great. Anyway, despite that I give it five stars.
The kids just don’t want to stop. My son wants to go on to The First Four years and my daughter wants to go back to Farmer Boy. I’m trying to move us on to the Narnia series.
Happy reading, friends. Happy Golden Years, these surely are.