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I absolutely loved this book! I love the whole Laura Ingalls Wilder series, they are TERRIFIC!
I really liked this book! I own the whole series and I recommend this! After this there is one more book in The Little House Series then after that you can read Laura's daughter Rose's books. Those are not written by Laura, but they are still nice to read on about the Wilder family. I read all the Little House and Rose Years books....all really good. I have read the older comments, and yes I agree Almanzo was a lot older than Laura...I wish he had been a little younger, so that they could have both gone to school with each other...but I guess it was common for the guy to be older than the girl. I guess that why her parents weren't that too surprised or totally rejected their daughter dating this older guy.
I seriously cried reading this book - happiness and sadness at the same time. The love story is so adorable and I love how patient Almanzo is. He listens to her and is such a gentleman. She grows to love him and she also grows up. She realizes she's going to have to move away from her parents' house someday forever. It really hit home for me because I got married and had the same feelings as her. The songs were all really beautiful.
It is so nice to read how much Laura learns and appreciates fully just how exceptional her home life is; how very happy it is in stark comparison to her life when she goes off on her own for the first time, to teach and is boarded in a home with a woman who is mentally unstable and threatens her husband with a knife through the night.
I think until this point in her life, she had rather taken it for granted as she had been unknowingly sheltered from the harsher realities of the world.
It is nice to read of the unfolding (albeit slow) love between her and Almanzo - I do think her shyness shows through in just how little she shares.
It's funny that in this book series she indicates Almanzo is a boy and lied to get his land claim but in fact, he was a full ten years older than Laura and was more her father's friend than her own - which also explains her surprise at him wanting to court her.
I guess she was ashamed of their age gap at at the time she wrote the books. I've seen pictures of them as an old couple and it is really endearing to see such enduring love - they were really meant for each other and lived through a lot together.
I love all of her books and read them over and over but the inaccuracy around Almanzo's age indicates to me there were some things she chose to not write about 100% accurately.
Two very scary things that never get explained to her happen to Laura in this book. At the beginning of the book, while teaching school, Laura boards with a depressed woman who tries to commit suicide with a butcher knife in the middle of the night. At the end of the book, Laura has her wedding night with Almanzo Wilder.