In the Bookcase


Book Review: West from Home

West from Home by Laura Ingalls Wilder (5 star review)

West from Home
Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915

written by Laura Ingalls Wilder
edited Roger Lea MacBride

124 pages // published in 1976 // epistolary autobiography


In 1915, Laura Ingalls Wilder traveled by train from her home in Missouri to San Francisco. Laura's westward journey to visit her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, coincided with a spectacular event taking place in that city-the Panama Pacific International Exposition. This was a great world's fair celebrating the completion of the Panama Canal, and Laura was amazed by the attractions that had been gathered there. Her husband, Almanzo, was unable to leave their Missouri farm, and it was Laura's letters that gave him the chance to see what she saw during her visit to California.

These letters, gathered together here, allow the reader to experience Laura's adventures and her intimate thoughts as she shared with her husband the events of her exciting sojourn.

My Review

5 Star Rating

In 1915, before Laura ever wrote Little Cabin in the Big Woods, she went to visit her daughter Rose in San Francisco. They experienced much of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition world's fair together, and Laura wrote home to Manly about all sorts of incredible things she was seeing each week. This book is a compilation of those sweet letters.

Such beautiful writing and vivid descriptions. I feel like my own friend experienced it all and has written me all about it. (Actual time travel, people!) Also, the book has an amazing collection of photos too. To see proof of these scenes that Laura saw helps me to better imagine everything she talks about in the letters.

A couple of fun tidbits: I love how she mentions Inky, the Wilder's dog, quite often in her letters to Manly. Aww! ... Also, I learned that a lot of the family actually called Laura "Mama Bess", due to another Laura in the family -- wow!

One of my favorite incidents included herein is when Rose writes a letter to her father to tell him the alarming news that "Mama Bess is growing fat." For me, that is the most hilarious of the bunch!

Included at the back is a newspaper article that Laura wrote about the food exhibits at the world's fair, including recipes she nabbed from vendors. I'm tempted to try one or two recipes, honestly.

If you're a fan of Little House at all, I'm sure you'd love this "bonus" from Laura. Suitable for all ages.

Add to Goodreads



P.S. Like and vote for this review on Goodreads.

1 comment:

  1. You're bringing back to my mind things I had forgotten from my reading a few years ago! I am glad someone published these.