To celebrate Valentines Day, we are going to have ‘Fictional Boyfriend’ Month here at Land of Lost Books. Originally we’d planned on only doing it for a week, but realized we had enough fictional boyfriend material to cover a full year and then some, so we compromised with a month. To kick it off, I’m going to dig deep into the archives and pull out an old favorite from the Little House series based on the real life of author Laura Ingalls Wilder. I loved both the books and the television show, so I’m going ask your indulgence as I cheat a little on the whole boyfriend angle.
How many of you used to watch Little House on the Prairie? I see a few hands out there. Come on, it’s okay to admit it. Now, how many of you crushed on Almanzo “Manly” Wilder? Because I tooootally did. Big time. Remember the love triangle with Nellie Oleson? How about the time Almanzo punched out that kid Laura was teaching because he thought some hanky panky was going on? Or, oh be still my little pre-teen heart, the kiss they shared on Laura’s Sweet 16th birthday? Wee! Loved it all!
And the book those episodes are based on, These Happy Golden Years, is just as fun. Fifteen year old Laura Ingalls has to take a job teaching to help keep her sister Mary enrolled at a school for the blind. Let’s all pause for a moment and let the reality of that sink in. Fifteen years old!! Anyhoo – Laura hates it. She’s away from her family for the first time, some of her students are older than she is and she has to stay with a woman who clearly resents her presence. The only bright spot is the fact that local hunk du jour Almanzo Wilder drives the twelve miles there and back to bring her home. Their relationship blossoms between wild horse races, pesky Nellie Oleson sightings and even an incident with a knife wielding crazy. Throughout it all, Laura’s confidence as a teacher and a woman grows. And I don’t think I’m spoiling it for anyone when I divulge that Almanzo and Laura end up tying the knot, living (mostly, given the hardships of the time) happily ever after. Yay! I’ll tell you what else: the real Almanzo Wilder was pretty darn hot in his own right!
Do you have a favorite ‘fictional boyfriend’ from the series? Any Albert fans out there? Or Adam? How about Pa? Willie? It’s okay, we won’t judge.
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Interested in reading These Happy Golden Years? Add it to your Goodreads, find it at your local library or one of the retailers below. And be sure to check out the different links to the author, Laura Ingalls Wilder, a.k.a. Half-Pint. She was a fascinating woman who in many ways was ahead of her time.
Not available in E-book format.