Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Caroline - Sarah Miller

I've just turned the last page of  Caroline by Sarah Miller - and I'm truly sad that it's ended, as I find myself wanting more. I had hesitated when I was offered the opportunity to read Caroline, as The Little House books are childhood favourites of mine. I imagined myself as Laura in many a book (and the television series as well) and didn't want to sully my perception of 'Ma.'

Well, I needn't have worried - Sarah Miller's portrayal of Ma has only added to my love of this series and given it more depth. The Little House books are of course told through Laura Ingalls Wilder's eyes. Caroline is told through Ma's eyes, thoughts, heart and actions. It's the perfect accompaniment for adult readers who grew up reading the Wilder books.

Miller does a wonderful job of portraying Caroline - the love between her and Charles, both intellectual and physical. And of course the love for her children and her desire to raise them 'right'. Her inner dialogue is often in turmoil, but she presents a calm, measured countenance to the world.

Just as well depicted are the details of the physical and mental strength needed, moving, settling in a raw land, raising children in this time and the details of daily life. But, along with those hardships are the moments of joy. Simple things - good weather, a kind neighbour, music, family and many more 'small' things. We all need to take a step back from our consumerism and enjoy the simple pleasures that life has to offer.

As adults, we can view the prejudice and disturbing historical actions of moving the First Nations peoples to reserves with the contrition it deserves.

Miller's author notes at the end explained a few departures from Wilder's memoirs. Miller had the permission of the Little House Heritage Trust. Here's an interesting post from Miller on her decision to tell Caroline's story.

Caroline has found a place beside the Little House books on my bookshelf. Read an excerpt of Caroline.

"Sarah Miller began writing her first novel at the age of ten, and has spent the last two decades working in libraries and bookstores. She is the author of two previous historical novels, Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller and The Lost Crown. Her nonfiction debut, The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century, was hailed by the New York Times as “a historical version of Law and Order.” She lives in Michigan." Find out more about Sarah at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, as well as on Instagram.

See what others on the TLC book tour thought. Full schedule can be found here.

I received this book for review from HarperCollins and TLC Book Tours.


bermudaonion said...

I liked the Little House books but wasn't obsessed with them the way some kids were. I still think I'd love this book.

trish said...

What a gift (a gift to those of us who love the series!) for an author to do justice to such a beloved series!

Thank you for being on the tour!