Author: Sarah Miller
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆
In the frigid days of February, 1870, Caroline Ingalls and her family leave the familiar comforts of the Big Woods of Wisconsin and the warm bosom of her family, for a new life in Kansas Indian Territory. Packing what they can carry in their wagon, Caroline, her husband Charles, and their little girls, Mary and Laura, head west to settle in a beautiful, unpredictable land full of promise and peril.
The pioneer life is a hard one, especially for a pregnant woman with no friends or kin to turn to for comfort or help. The burden of work must be shouldered alone, sickness tended without the aid of doctors, and babies birthed without the accustomed hands of mothers or sisters. But Caroline’s new world is also full of tender joys. In adapting to this strange new place and transforming a rough log house built by Charles’ hands into a home, Caroline must draw on untapped wells of strength she does not know she possesses.
I find that I’m struggling to write this review, because I went into Caroline: Little House Revisted fully expecting to love it and honestly, I’m left feeling empty. Its not that Ms Miller isn’t a good writer or that I wasn’t engaged…its just that I felt like there wasn’t really anything new or groundbreaking that was added in the alternate POV telling of Little House. Now admittedly, I probably re-read Little House on the Prairie every couple of years (in fact, probably the whole series), so I’m well versed with the story and maybe that is why I am kind of disappointed. So much of the story was retelling of the same events that occurred in Little House on the Prairie from Caroline’s point of view, but I never really felt like I got to know her, more than who she was beyond Ma (athough I’m sure other readers will disagree with me).
Caroline starts off as Ma, Pa, Mary and Laura are getting ready to leave Wisconsin (Little House in the Big Woods) for Indian territory (aka Kansas). There are a few deviations from the story that many of us have read previously that bring it in line with what really happened to the family, vs. what Laura wrote about it her books – however, for the most part Caroline followed the events in LHotP from beginning to end. I don’t know if it was a lack of historical information available on the family – but I felt like more primary sources needed to be incorporated into the story (in her authors note, Ms Miller addresses some of the historical deviations, but also states that she kept significantly to LHotP as her authoritative source).
Anyways, overall, I found Caroline to be a good read, but I think my pre-read expectations were just a tad too high and I didn’t get what I wanted. 3 stars overall.