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Summary

The Little House books, which chronicled the pioneer adventures of Laura Ingalls Wilder, are among the most beloved books in the American literary canon. Lesser known is the secret, concealed for decades, of how they came to be. Now, best-selling author Susan Wittig Albert reimagines the fascinating story of Laura's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, an intrepid world traveler and writer who returned to her parents' Ozark farm, Rocky Ridge, in 1928. There she began a collaboration with her mother on the pioneer stories that would captivate generations of readers around the world.

Despite the books' success, Rose's involvement would remain a secret long after both women died. A vivid account of a great literary deception, A Wilder Rose is a spellbinding tale of a complicated mother-daughter relationship set against the brutal backdrop of the Great Depression.

©2015 Susan Wittig Albert (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Sara
  • 27-11-15

The Author Chose Her Angle And Ran With It

Well I'm at sixes and sevens about this book. I really wanted to love it. My kids all adored the Little House books and I have even visited the Rocky Ridge Farm in Mansfield Missouri. I had high hopes for some balance and insight in this book. The author admits that the book is a fictionalized account of the lives of the characters. This is where my problem may lie. It all felt a bit contrived.

I wonder if there wasn't a hidden agenda in the topics that Albert chose to stress. The whole thing felt polarized and pushing a message---this made me wary and uncomfortable. I think the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle of these stories. Overall, this was an uncomfortable and unhappy listen for me. I would love to find a book with the actual letters between mother and daughter--this, to me, would be an interesting read.

32 of 35 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Janna Daniels
  • 08-01-18

Wait it out. I’m glad I did.

This was a difficult book for me, especially the beginning, as a Little House and Laura Ingalls Wilder lover. Because I am also an inveterate book-finisher, I stuck with the story even though I was offended and even angry with the first two chapters or so. I’m glad I waited it out and I can say that I loved the ending and that I am STILL a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan and have a much greater appreciation and interest in the works of Rose Wilder Lane.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Elizabeth
  • 05-06-18

Fascinating Story Behind the Wilder Classics

At first, I thought I might abandon this story early on, but a few more minutes into it and I was hooked. I had no idea this was the story behind these beloved classics.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Heather S.
  • 05-10-17

Interesting look into the life of Rose Wilder Lane

I read part of this book on Kindle and listened to parts on Audible through Whispersync. While I wanted to really like this book, I struggled to appreciate the writing style. But it had its good moments as well as it's awkward moments. I enjoyed the story being told in first-person, but found it didn't improve the story when it switched to the 3rd person. (Rose is telling her story to a friend, so it goes back and forth every few chapters.) I didn't like hearing a few repetitive lines and bits of stories or sayings over again at different points of the book. It felt like they should have been caught during the editing process, but were overlooked. The congruity of the story seemed off when the timeline of the story went back or forward pivoting on a phrase used before. Overall, it was an interesting look (albeit thru a historical fiction lens) at Rose's life during the mid-twenties to mid-thirties. An easy read.

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  • Ruth
  • 27-08-17

Accent

I grew up in the same part of Missouri. The "southern" accent - always dropping the final g - was totally inappropriate. It was distracting to the story. I found the premise and characters quite fascinating.

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  • patrish
  • 27-06-17

For Laura fans only, I think

It's hard to give a rating to this book. I really liked it, but it has some significant flaws. Long sections of historical context seem poorly integrated and dreadfully similar to research notes. The structure is clunky, moving back and forth between Rose narrating in first person as she experiences events and an omniscient third person as she tells the story to a young friend many years later. The performance, which makes plentiful use of accents and voices, is at times grating but always expressive and engaging. I loved it, despite the flaws.

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  • S06N
  • 28-08-15

A Great Insight Into Freelance Writing

I found this book utterly fascinating. I was never a huge Laura Ingles Wilder fan as a child, but I'm now in love with Rose Wilder Lane. She was a pioneer for writing women everywhere.
Mary Robinette Kowal is a fantastic narrator. She recommend this book on a podcast she contributes to, "Writing Excuses," and it was every bit as amazing as she said it was. Her southern accent is done just right. She never overplays the part, and she keeps her voice from varying in volume, (greatly appreciated for those of us listening with headphones).

The story was well written, with a very contemplative climax, and a real sense of the struggles freelance writers face. Ms. Albert has a mastery of prose, a deft hand with detail, and raises the everyday drama of the 'dirty 30's' with subtle grace that most historical fiction writers lack.
This may not be a great book for people looking for dramatized reenactments. This is an outstanding book for for any kind of writer though.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • KrsTea
  • 20-05-15

Endearing

I love the way that this story use the letters of Mrs. Lane to provide a narrative to a life that most of us could only dream of. Rose is even more special to me and I want to read her letters as they were written.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • beth
  • 10-01-17

Childhood love expanded

I was read the Little House books growing up, then I watched every episode of the show over and over again. When I learned about Laura's daughter being a writer, and a strong Libertarian Women, I had to know more. This book is an enjoyable honest journey thru her life. I learned many new tid bits of history as well as a broader picture into the Wilder family. In addition to that it encouraged me to look inward, contemplating many elements of my own personal journey. I walk away from this book thankful.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan Ratcliff
  • 23-08-16

Highly recommended

Interesting and excellent content. The audio was excllent quality and the reader was a pleasure to listen to.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful