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Monday, October 14, 2013

HF Tours Review and Giveaway: A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert

Title: A Wilder Rose
Author: Susan Wittig Albert
Format: ARC
Publisher: Persevero Press
Publish Date: September 2013
Source: HF Virtual Book Tours

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a historical fiction fan.
  • You were a fan of the Little House on the Prairie books.
What's the Story?:

From "In 1928, Rose Wilder Lane—world traveler, journalist, much-published magazine writer—returned from an Albanian sojourn to her parents’ Ozark farm. Almanzo Wilder was 71, Laura 61, and Rose felt obligated to stay and help. To make life easier, she built them a new home, while she and Helen Boylston transformed the farmhouse into a rural writing retreat and filled it with visiting New Yorkers. Rose sold magazine stories to pay the bills for both households, and despite the subterranean tension between mother and daughter, life seemed good.

Then came the Crash. Rose’s money vanished, the magazine market dried up, and the Depression darkened the nation. That’s when Laura wrote her autobiography, “Pioneer Girl,” the story of growing up in the Big Woods of Wisconsin, on the Kansas prairie, and by the shores of Silver Lake. The rest—the eight remarkable books that followed—is literary history.

But it isn’t the history we thought we knew. For the surprising truth is that Laura’s stories were publishable only with Rose’s expert rewriting. Based on Rose’s unpublished diaries and Laura’s letters, A Wilder Rose tells the true story of the decade-long, intensive, and often troubled collaboration that produced the Little House books—the collaboration that Rose and Laura deliberately hid from their agent, editors, reviewers, and readers.

Why did the two women conceal their writing partnership? What made them commit what amounts to one of the longest-running deceptions in American literature? And what happened in those years to change Rose from a left-leaning liberal to a passionate Libertarian?"

My Two Cents:

Growing up, I read the Little House on the Prairie books over and over again. I loved the stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family and their lives on the prairie. I so wanted to be a pioneer when I was little. Those books were probably my first brush with historical fiction, a genre that you all know that I dearly, dearly love. When I got a little older and realized that the books were based on actual stories from Laura's life, I was even more intrigued but I never put much thought into how the books were written. "A Wilder Rose" answers that question.

Rose Wilder, daughter of Laura and Almanzo, was a writer in her own right who took her mother's little house stories and turned them into something that could actually be published and were beloved by so many young readers worldwide. What this book opened my eyes to was just how much Rose had to do with the Little House books. Ms. Albert draws on Rose's real life journal entries and letters between Rose and Laura to shed some light on what really happened with the Little House books. All of the detail is so good and really made this secret history come to life for me!

The mother-daughter relationship in the book between Rose and Laura was absolutely fascinating to me. Rose seems to feel trapped in the Ozarks in many ways. She had a chance to travel the world until the Great Depression hits. She is then forced to go home to her parents, which seems to strain Rose's relationship with her mother even more. Because there is so much good detail, the relationship really feels real!

I didn't know much about Rose at all before reading this book other than the fact that she was the daughter of Laura. I really enjoyed learning more about her. She was a really interesting person in her own right. While her parents had really only stayed in the same places, she absolutely loved to travel and to write. She was also really political, which I thought was interesting to read about. Early 20th century American politics are so great to read about. Things were so different than they are now!

Overall, this was such a fascinating back story to a beloved book series!


Enter below for your chance to win a copy of the book (US/CAN only)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the Rest of the Tour:

Monday, October 7
Review & Giveaway at Unabridged Chick
Tuesday, October 8
Review at Reading the Past
Wednesday, October 9
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Review & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books
Thursday, October 10
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Friday, October 11
Review & Giveaway at Flashlight Commentary
Saturday, October 12
Review at Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, October 14
Review at Griperang’s Bookmarks
Review & Giveaway at A Bookish Affair
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  1. I had no idea that anyone else was involved in the Little House stories that I so enjoyed.

  2. This sounds fascinating. Many thanks for this feature. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. I can't wait to read this book. I love history and historical fiction. Thanks for the review and giveaway.

  4. Thanks for the review...I've been looking forward to reading this book!

  5. would so enjoy reading A Wilder Rose!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!

  6. The Little House books were my first venture into reading historical fiction many, many years ago and I have not stopped reading historical fiction since then. Would love to read this back story about those books.

  7. I loved the Little House books and a couple of years ago took a road trip to Mansfield MO to visit the farm where she wrote them. I would love to win this book!

  8. Thanks for the giveaway! This looks great!

  9. I'm reading the Laura Ingalls books to my daughter now. I have wanted to read this book for a long time and hope to win it!

  10. This book has been on my wish list for awhile! I REALLY want it! I am a 3rd grade teacher and Laura Ingalls Wilder is my favorite author. I used to teach her books to my class before state testing became so crazy! I have traveled to all of her sites and loved every one! I really want to go back one day! Thanks for this opportunity. I am glad I found this site on facebook!

  11. I've always felt a connection to the Little House series because of the Missouri connection. I don't know much about Rose Wilder, but this one sounds interesting.

  12. Love the Little House books and I had heard that Rose was involved in the writing. I think this would be an interesting book to see another side to the stories.

  13. I love historical books. I didn't know about this writing partnership. Would like to discover the answers from A Wilder Rose.
    Thanks for the giveaway!


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