Saturday, February 28, 2009

Review-- West from Home

Title: West from Home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco 1915
Editor: Roger Lea MacBride
ISBN: 0064400816/ Harper & Row, 1974
Genre: Letters
Rating: A

First Line: Dearest Mama Bess-- I simply can't stand being so homesick for you any more.

When I was six, my mother handed me Little House in the Big Woods, and I never looked back. I still love Laura Ingalls Wilder's tales of her childhood and still get the giggles when I think of the mouse giving Pa a bald spot. When I ran across this book at Paperback Swap, I thought it was time for a Half Pint Fix.

Laura's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, became a journalist and moved to California. Rose became very homesick for her mother and finally saved up the money for Laura to board a train and come for a visit. Laura's visit coincided with San Francisco's World's Fair celebrating the opening of the Panama Canal. This book contains the letters Laura wrote home to her husband, Almanzo during her stay.

I loved this book for its glimpse into a San Francisco that had just rebuilt itself after the 1906 earthquake, and for its insights into Laura the adventurer, Laura the woman who was thinking about starting to write, Laura the mother, and Laura the wife who never stopped worrying about her husband alone on their farm in Missouri. This is a book for all those, like me, who have fond memories of Little Houses.


  1. Once again: twins separated at birth! I was exposed to the Little House books at about the same age (I was an early reader). I love your edition of West from Home!! Mine isn't as colorful. Have you read Little House in the Ozarks? If not, you must run out and find it!

  2. We do seem to have many things in common, Beth! I haven't read Little House in the Ozarks, and if I'm to run out and get a copy, I'd better change out of my stilettos! LOL

  3. I read West from Home for the first time when I was about 10 years old, traveling across the country with my family to California for the first time. I can STILL remember it. Now I want to go back and read it again!

  4. I'm glad I brought back some good reading memories, Elizabeth!


Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!