The Wilder Life - Wendy McClure (2011)
Like most girls my age I grew up reading the Little House on the Prarie books, and watching the TV series. Even in far off New Zealand, prarie life in calico dresses, boots and bonnets was appealing.
In her mid twenties, Wendy with help from her boyfriend sets out to find what remains of the prarie life that Laura Ingalls Wilder described. For me, it was interesting to discover that the books are a combination of autobiographical fact and novel. She travels around various sites, trying out pioneer living, scoping out sites of various Ingalls family homes, churning butter and buying sunbonnets.
In the end, it somehow ends up a bit unsatisfying for her and us, is that she never finds the Laura world she is looking for. Woods have disappeared and log cabins are long gone, and dusty museums are filled with 1970s lunchboxes.
Still lots of it made me smile, and I can picture my ten year old self riding across the praries in a wagon. 3/5