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A Wilder Rose

By: Susan Wittig Albert
Narrated by: Mary Robinette Kowal
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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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  • 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.

34 people found this helpful

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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.

5 people found this helpful

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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.

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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.

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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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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  • Smalltowngirl
  • 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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  • 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.

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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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • bb
  • 10-08-15

Totally Modern Rosie

What did you love best about A Wilder Rose?

It presented a Rose Wilder who was her own person and did not make decisions based on what her mother or society wanted. The author pieced bits of history into a narrative to tell about this amazing women. Yet Rose remained devoted and committed to her family.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Wilder Rose?

The moment that impressed me was when she realized that the Little House of the Prairie books were going to be famous. She decided not to make a name for herself and leave the credit for the books to her mother.

Which scene was your favorite?

Rose was a strong willed independent woman who generously adopted sons. However, she was a bit too demanded with them. One of her sons told her he was not going to do what she wanted and stormed off.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Wild Rose, Laura Ingalls' wilder child.

Any additional comments?

It is amazing that it took so long for the world to learn that Rose Wilder was actually the "ghost writer" for her mother's books.

1 person found this helpful