Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rocky Ridge

On vacation last week in Missouri I went to Rocky Ridge Farm, home of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I sometimes think there must be a Laura Ingalls gene, because not only did I grow up on the books, but my son, who doesn't read much, loves them as well, and he particularly likes the modern continuations of them which take up the life of Rose Wilder.
It was a beautiful June day, very green, and the farm was shaded by huge trees. The house is small and was built more or less a room as a time, as their farm succeeded. Laura wrote the books in a narrow office near the front of the house.

There's a weird alchemy to the Little House books. If you re-read them, you notice tons of "Pa builds Ma a shelf" type description but none of it slows the narrative down. You also notice subtler things, like Laura's resentment of Mary, and later, after Mary goes blind, her guilt, and her resentment over her guilt. Like a lot of classics you can't quite see how it's done, but you can feel that it works.

1 comment:

Mary Aalgaard said...

That makes me want to revisit the LIW books. I was in love with them when I was young.