The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie

The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie

by Wendy McClure


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The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie by Wendy McClure

Wendy McClure is on a quest to find the world of beloved Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder—a fantastic realm of fiction, history, and places she’s never been to, yet somehow knows by heart. She traces the pioneer journey of the Ingalls family— looking for the Big Woods among the medium trees in Wisconsin, wading in Plum Creek, and enduring a prairie hailstorm in South Dakota. She immerses herself in all things Little House—exploring the story from fact to fiction, and from the TV shows to the annual summer pageants in Laura’s hometowns. Whether she’s churning butter in her apartment or sitting in a replica log cabin, McClure is always in pursuit of “the Laura experience.” The result is an incredibly funny first-person account of obsessive reading, and a story about what happens when we reconnect with our childhood touchstones—and find that our old love has only deepened.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594485688
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/03/2012
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 465,030
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Wendy McClure has been writing about her obsessions for nearly a decade, both online and in print. She is the author of the 2005 memoir I’m Not the New Me and a columnist for BUST magazine, and has contributed to The New York Times Magazine and This American Life. She works as a children’s book editor and lives in Chicago with her husband.

Table of Contents

1 Our Past Life 1

2 Whose Woods These are 28

3 Going to Town 50

4 Good Girls and Golden Curls 74

5 There is a Happy Land Far, Far Away 100

6 The Way Home 141

7 There Won't Be Horses 179

8 Fragments of a Dream 209

9 Anywhere East or South 249

10 The Road Back 281

11 Be It Enacted 299

12 Unremembered 321

Acknowledgments 329

Selected Bibliography 333

What People are Saying About This

Alison Arngrim

"A howlingly funny, historically thorough and irresistibly mad trip down the rabbit hole of the Laura Ingalls-Little House obsession that has consumed an entire generation of women. I spent seven years on the prairie and this book made me want to run out and buy a butter churn! Mandatory reading for all “bonnetheads” - and the people who love them!" --( Alison Arngrim, TV's Nellie Oleson and New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of A Prairie Bitch)

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The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 109 reviews.
Twink More than 1 year ago
Subtitled: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie. When I saw The Wilder Life, I just knew I had to read it. I used to bicycle down to the Byron Library once a week and pester Miss Spicer for her next book recommendation. I had finished all of The Borrowers (I really wanted to live in their little mouse world) when she recommended Little House in the Big Woods. Well, I fell in love with this series and the whole kit and caboodle. I wanted to be Laura Ingalls. So did Wendy McClure. McClure's parents are moving, so Wendy comes over to help with their garage sale. She comes upon her childhood copy of Little House in the Big Woods. Rereading it brings it all back... "...I wanted to live in one room with my whole family and have a pathetic corncob doll all my own. I wanted to wear a calico sunbonnet - or rather, I wanted to not wear a calico sunbonnet, the way Laura did, letting it hang down her back by its ties. I wanted to do chores because of those books. Carry water, churn butter, make headcheese. I wanted dead rabbits brought home for supper. I wanted to go out into the backyard and just, I don't know, grab stuff off trees, or uproot things from the ground, and bring it all inside in a basket and have my parents say "My land! What a harvest!" And so begins the exploration of all things Laura - Laura world as she comes to call it. McClure tries all the things she wanted to do -churning butter, making by pouring syrup in the snow, reproducing recipes and more. She tracks down everything ever written about the Ingalls/Wilders, in print, on the Internet and finally in person. McClure (often with her boyfriend Chris) retraces the journeys of the Ingalls family, visits the homesteads and museums and meets others who love Laura as much as she does. (and some who are downright obsessive) It was fascinating to learn more about the 'real' Laura and the life and inspiration behind the books. Wendy McClure is an excellent writer. Her introspective search for Laura is told with charm and much humour. I found myself laughing out loud many times. I too found myself wondering what is is that attracted us as children to the books and stayed with us as adults. "I considered this as I stared up at the ceiling of our tent. Who knew how many times those books made me idly wish for a now other than the one I was in, that the world would somehow crack open and reveal a simpler life?" You don't need to be a Laura fan to enjoy The Wilder Life, but you'll definitely close the last page as a Wendy McClure fan. A memoir that kept me engaged from first page to last.
MattCH More than 1 year ago
The description of this book reads: "story about what happens when we reconnect with our childhood touchstones-and find that our old love has only deepened" and this couldn't be more true. The Wilder Life is a compelling read that will resonate with anyone who read through the Laura Ingalls Wilder books as a child, potentially looking to better understand the world where they lived by contrasting it with a world gone by... only to return as an adult in an even more confusing world to remember reading about a simpler world during a simpler time in one's own life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I grew up reading the Little House books and wanting to live Laura's life. Following the author on her 'pilgrimage' made me laugh and cry, at times. Her approach to the deeper sense of meaning the Little House books had for her was touching and accessible.
Doreen McKenna More than 1 year ago
A perfect book for all ages and I am only 9 and watch the movies and read the books they are all good this book is perfect for your child to read and it will teach your child about the olden days too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love little house books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the idea of the book and her writing style. Her adventures are entertaining and mostly informative, but abou 3/4 of the way through the book, it seemd to lose steam and meander away from where it was headed at the beginning. It has some info about Laura in real life and a lot about obscure bits of the book and out of the way sites, but this is really about one person and her interaction with the text.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fresh and enlightening! A must read for any Little House fan!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like the julia child book/movie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like the author I loved the Little House books and reading about her journey through "Laura's World" was fun and somehow nostalgic and at times touching.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im only nine and i enjoyed these books when i was very young love them
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was a little underwhelmed by this book, however it was fun to discuss with the other ladies in my bookclub. I definitely wanted to finish the book, but it wasn't what I expected from reading the description. I did enjoy the author's unique writing style (very personable). I found the first half of the book sort of nerve-wracking to read because the author is *so* obsessed that it comes off as manic and just downright stressful. The second half of the book lost that manic feel though, and was more enjoyable to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My friends, and I, loved the Little House on the Prairie books and the show.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was a huge fan of the Little House books as a child, so much so that my parents took us on trips to visit all of the real life locations, so I was excited to hear about this book and couldn't wait to read it. Some of it I liked quite a lot. But what was up with the author's problem with Christians and Faith? She seemed to really have an issue with it and that really distracted me while reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If im allowed to i would like to have the apprentice name of firepaw
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A slim, dark ginger cat approach the camp with a wary expression. Ears flickering to and fro, desperately searching for sounds of current life. "Hello," the she-cat whispered softly, tail brushing the ground with light, flittering sweeps bordering on the movement of cautious. "Lilywolf? Goldenstripe? It's me, Amberst-" she quickly corrects herself, "Amberleaf." She meowed with finality. ~Amberleaf
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello. I'm not inactive, I'm on about everyday pretty much, but I share a nook acount with both my brother and younger sister, Goldenstripe and Redspirit. So when they post for their cats my posts go away. Goldenstripe is the deputy, and the meetings are always on Tuesdays so just wait a little bit longer while I get everything together. We are moving camp and I've been working on something else so I'm a little held up. I need everyone to head to 'Cat Dance' result one and read my post. I'm still setting up the dens but y'all can start getting ready for the meeting. Also, Golsenstripe posted, and my kits can feel free to respond but everyone else, if you do respond you can't find Goldenstripe and make him come back, he's supposed to be gone already. Thanks!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am rebuilding Ashclan.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yawned and started padding to the fresh kill pile
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Orngemist respond
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is like a double result for me...can finally rp diff cats... and lol Comet....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Could this be the clan he was looking for? Maybe. He took the shivering kit and padded away.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He nods not knowing who the Amberleaf or Whitetail are. (Gtg bbl)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I posted at our book, Rae.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ran around in enthusiastic circles.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hemlockpaw sat and surveyed the ruined camp, his eyes confused. PaleSky paced nervously, wondering if they would be accepted. <p> [ Whwre does one post a bio? ]