Sarah Miller Revisits Caroline Ingalls

Coming in September 2017: Caroline: Little House, Revisited, an adult novel that reimagines Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie from the perspective of Laura’s mother, Caroline Ingalls. From the HarperCollins website:

In this novel authorized by the Little House estate, Sarah Miller vividly recreates the beauty, hardship, and joys of the frontier in a dazzling work of historical fiction, a captivating story that illuminates one courageous, resilient, and loving pioneer woman as never before—Caroline Ingalls, “Ma” in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved Little House books.

In the frigid days of February, 1870, Caroline Ingalls and her family leave the familiar comforts of the Big Woods of Wisconsin and the warm bosom of her family, for a new life in Kansas Indian Territory. Packing what they can carry in their wagon, Caroline, her husband Charles, and their little girls, Mary and Laura, head west to settle in a beautiful, unpredictable land full of promise and peril.

The pioneer life is a hard one, especially for a pregnant woman with no friends or kin to turn to for comfort or help. The burden of work must be shouldered alone, sickness tended without the aid of doctors, and babies birthed without the accustomed hands of mothers or sisters. But Caroline’s new world is also full of tender joys. In adapting to this strange new place and transforming a rough log house built by Charles’ hands into a home, Caroline must draw on untapped wells of strength she does not know she possesses.

For more than eighty years, generations of readers have been enchanted by the adventures of the American frontier’s most famous child, Laura Ingalls Wilder, in the Little House books. Now, that familiar story is retold in this captivating tale of family, fidelity, hardship, love, and survival that vividly reimagines our past.

More information on this new book will be posted as it becomes available!

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Author: Benjamin Lefebvre

Benjamin Lefebvre is an Assistant Professor of English at Ryerson University. He is the editor of seven books, including an edition of L.M. Montgomery's rediscovered final book, The Blythes Are Quoted (Penguin Canada, 2009/2017), and the three-volume critical anthology The L.M. Montgomery Reader (University of Toronto Press, 2013–15), which won the 2016 PROSE Award for Literature by the Association of American Publishers.

3 thoughts on “Sarah Miller Revisits Caroline Ingalls”

    1. I suppose it depends on the facts in question. Unlike in the books, in which the Ingallses travel from the Big Woods to Kansas in one spring (when Laura presumably is six, making it 1873), the historical Ingalls family left the Big Woods in 1868 but arrived in Indian Territory only in spring 1870. No doubt for many readers who take Wilder’s books as “fact,” a book that aligns more with historical record will be seen as erroneous, particularly the birth of Carrie Ingalls in Indian Territory.

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