I just finally finished reading The Wilder Life, by Wendy McClure. It was really one of the most perfect books I've read in a long, long time. I loved the Little House books as a girl, though the later books were just never as good to me as the earlier ones. I've so enjoyed reading the first two books with Elizabeth, and dream of a Little House tour to some of the homesites - even more so after finishing The Wilder Life.
There's one passage in the book that was just so perfect, I had to capture it here:
In my mind, the world of the Little House books just went up in smoke at the end, their heroine disappearing into clumsy ordinariness and ignominy. It had always trailed off with a vague, unspoken disappointment. It's the kind of story we learn over and over again about everything in the world: your life starts out as a wide open frontier that you explore until the forces of time or history or civilization or nature intervene, and then suddenly it's all gone, it all weathers and falls down and gets built over; everyone dies or moves away of becomes a grainy photograph, and yes, at some point you just get fat and fall off a streetcar. Progress - it dumps you on your aging and gigantic ass!
Harry Potter has interrupted our Little House books, but we'll be on the bank of Plum Creek soon.