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This hilarious, insightful memoir describes what happens when a New England WASP literary editor becomes the owner and hard-pressed worker in a Brooklyn Korean deli.
If you have ever wished that a fictional character could step into real life, this is a book for you! The Wilder Life is the story of a children's book editor's singular effort to reconnect with the young Laura Ingalls she knew from the Little House on the Prairie book series, and the poignant lessons she had learned by the end of her journey.
Like many other women who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, McClure remembers being utterly devoted to the Little House books when she was young. Although she all but forgot about Laura as she grew older, the rediscovery of her old books many years later stirs a new sense of longing. Soon she is trolling the Internet for Laura websites, and she embarks on a road trip to Little House–related locations across the Midwest.
McClure's desire to reclaim her lost "Laura World" makes for captivating reading, as she explores museums and exhibits established in Ingalls's honor, as well as events and places that celebrate life as it was lived more than a century ago. She comes across Little House pageants and Laura-lookalike contests, and even ends up having a strange overnight experience with a group of "End Timers" — people who are convinced the world's end is imminent — at an Illinois farm.
What exactly does she hope to accomplish? Though McClure starts out searching for Laura, she ends up finding something far more transformative and profound.