These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Series: #8 in the Little House series
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: originally 1943, this edition 1971
The Short Version:
Laura’s first experience away from home teaching school brings both concerns and a chance for romance to bloom with Almanzo Wilder
Why I Read It:
I started my re-read of this series due to a Read-along but I’m finishing it up on my own because I can’t leave my re-read unfinished.
This one picks up immediately after the end of Little Town on the Prairie. Pa takes Laura to her new teaching job. She’s nervous and scared but determined to do her best. The family she’s boarding with has some issues but Laura manages to make it through her school term. Almanzo Wilder showing up every Friday afternoon to give her a ride home for the weekend is the beginning of their courtship.
Laura’s teaching jobs and her courtship with Almanzo are the primary stories in this last volume of the series to be completed before Laura’s death.
I am not going to worry about spoilers with this series.
As I’ve done with previous books in the series I’m just going to post a few random thoughts that ran through my head as I read this.
Laura seems awfully naïve about Almanzo’s intentions when he starts showing up every Friday to give her a ride home for the weekend.
Mrs. Brewster is pretty messed up. If I woke up to someone brandishing a butcher knife I wouldn’t go back when the weekend was over. Again Laura’s sense of obligation to earn money for Mary seems pretty strong.
This book felt like a winding down of the series. Ma and Pa are more financially secure, Mary is doing well at college, Laura and her friends are all pairing off.
The excuse for the rushed wedding (Almanzo’s sister is on her way to take over the wedding plans) seems a bit lame but it works for the story.
Despite Laura’s rough first teaching job, this is really the most overall positive book in the series and pretty much wraps of a happily ever after.