Back to the Prairie

When I was a youngster, mid 70s, I always watched Little House on the Prairie. The relationships between Laura “Half-Pint” Ingall’s, and her family, were always a pleasure to watch.

Roll forward in time,  and Melissa, who is a New York Times, bestselling author, comes back to  rejoin the literary world with this gem.

Melissa uses ‘Back to the Prairie’ to narrate her life. The life that is a journey from neck surgery, botox, veneers and designer clothes, all the way to a house in the Catskills, dirty nails and DIY.

Melissa shares the route through the Catskills remodel. Squirrels, bears, chickens and deer, are just a few things she encounters with her husband.

Melissa is not afraid to discuss her good points and bad points through the book, and that is great to see. Too many autobiographies gloss over the bad, in order to make the read that little more appealing to the public. That’s not Melissa.

She will tell you she had Botox and couldn’t express herself. She will tell you she dyed her hair. She will tell you she fought the ageing process. But the best part of all…she will happily tell you she knew enough was enough. She knew she was willing trade it all for DIY, dirty finger nails, remodelling, growing food and raising animals.

Melissa’s husband is Timothy Busfield. West Wing alum, Thirty something star, director, and writer. These two are soulmates and through the words on every page, it is evident. The relationship they have, bouncing ideas off each other, finishing each other’s sentences, similar thoughts, all cementing that soulmate feeling. Through Melissa’s beautiful writing, it’s easy to see that he is the calm to her worry. He is the Yang to her Yang and so on. If Melissa has a question or worry, Tim has the answer.

I loved the book. The style of writing was perfect. The honesty and candour was sublime and so refreshing. There was no glossing over any hard times. It’s easy to see which bits of Melissa’s life have been incredibly hard and which have been near perfection. Sometimes in books, it can be easy to skip parts that drag you down. This doesn’t. Not at all. 

I’ve seen some reviews that wish there was more “Little House” information in the book. I disagree. The book isn’t about Little House, Little House was the smallest part of her life. The book is about Melissa. Thats where the focus should stay and where the focus remains throughout the book. 

Though my political views differ from Melissas, it in no way impacts on the view of this book. Everyone has their own opinions of the world and what happens in it. Melissa was quite right to share her own views. This book is her life. 

I did smile at one piece though……when Melissa went into the cinema with the ‘buttered popcorn and sour patch kids’….I thought to myself, “you’re my kind of friend Melissa, that’s me all over!”

Highly recommended. 

Melissa with her husband Timothy Busfield
'Little House' Days