Hands up if you watched Little House on the Prairie when you were little! Go on, raise your hand!
Ok, now raise your hand if you watched it as an adult. Did you watch yearning for your own childhood or did you just want to relive the Ingalls family memories?
For someone who has grown up with LHOTP all her life, this book was not what I had expected. You have an image of an actress and Im sure we all agree that as Karen played “Ma” and that’s the image we all have. The wholesome image. This book takes that image and puts an arrow in it. But in a good way.
This book is honest and untarnished. it makes no apologies for what is written inside the calm exterior of “Ma” and her prairie life.
This book tells Karens version of events (after all Mr Landon is not here to give his). It’s unvarnished. It’s real and that It gives every aspect of Karens life to us, the reader. Whether the episode is good, bad or ugly, it is there for us to examine in our own way.
From my point of view, I love to hear how our writers grew up. Its their upbringing and parental influences that make them who they are and Im sure that some of Karens fathers alcoholism was clearly an influence in her life.
I applaud Karen for her brutal honesty and it is just that, brutal honesty. If you picked this book up looking for saccharine sweet “Ma” from LHOTP, put it back because this isn’t it. This is the story of a life lived, mistakes made, people met, arguments had, family and career. But at the end of all of it, Karen should be incredibly proud. It takes guts to be so open and raw in a book and put yourself out for judgement by others.
Thank you for that honesty. Thank you for your work and most of all thank you for seeing me through my childhood!