Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter-First Paragraph in which she, and those of us who join her, posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she is reading or planning to read.
A few months ago, Susan Wittig Albert contacted me and asked if I was interested in a review copy of her soon-to-be-released novel A Wilder Rose: Rose Wilder Lane, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Their Little Houses. Of course, I said YES!!!!
I loved the Little House books as a child and teen, and have been fascinated with the writing lives of Laura and her daughter, Rose, especially after reading Little House, Long Shadow a couple of years ago. I think a novel about these two iconic American writers is a perfect vehicle to get another perspective on their story.
The book arrived last week and I'll be starting it soon. To whet your appetite, here is the opening page of chapter 1.
With an audible sigh, Rose Lane rolled the letter out of her Underwood typewriter and signed it--Much love as always, Rose.
She dropped the letter onto the stack or orange-covered tablets her mother had sent her a year and a half before. Now she was committed. Like it or not, she had to finish the rewrite and get the typescript of her mother's book in the mail by the middle of next month. It meant putting off her own paying work--the nonfiction article she was writing for Woman's Day. But she'd had the manuscript so long that the book had missed Harper's 1938 list. With the letter had come a chiding letter from her mother's editor, Ida Louise Raymond, making it clear that By the Shores of Silver Lake had to be finished quickly in order to appear in this year's catalogue.
But she should be able to meet the deadline. Her mother had already agreed to the changes that had to be made. "You know best," she had written, sounding resigned. "Without your touchups, the book will fall flat." If there weren't too many interruptions, Rose would finish the pen revisions in a few weeks. This time, though, she would pay somebody--maybe Norma Lee, who could use the money--to retype the manuscript, which would at least get that job off her desk.Would that I could drop everything and just read this novel, but I have a couple of other reading projects that I want to finish first.
I'm not expecting to love Laura or Rose, not in the way that I loved the fictional Laura and her idyllic (albeit harsh) fictional woods and prairie, but I am expecting to better appreciate and understand their story. I'm anticipating a narrative that explores the give and take, the raw-edged emotions and loyalties, the ego and the ambitions that must have characterized this unique pair who together created such an incredibly powerful and enduring literary work.
|Laura Ingalls Wilder|
|Rose Wilder Lane|
BTW, I couldn't find the book available on Amazon yet for pre-order but I imagine it will be listed there and elsewhere soon.