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Currently reading

The Journals Of Louisa May Alcott
Louisa May Alcott, Joel Myerson
Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust
Daniel Jonah Goldhagen
The Awakening
Kate Chopin
Ulysses
James Joyce
Jane Austen's Guide to Good Manners: Compliments, Charades & Horrible Blunders
Henrietta Webb, Josephine Ross
Becoming Jane Austen
Jon Spence
The Portable Dorothy Parker
Brendan Gill, Dorothy Parker
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Anne Brontë
Don't Tell Alfred
Nancy Mitford
Autobiographies (Collected Works, Vol 3)
Douglas Archibald, William O'Donnell, W.B. Yeats

Should have re-read the Little House books instead

Pioneer Girl - Bich Minh Nguyen

Oh man, I was let down by this book. I love Laura Ingalls Wilder so much that, by extension, I love all people who love her. And some of them are nuts. 

 

Based on the cover (I know, I know) and the plot description on the book flap I thought this would be a witty novel about a Vietnamese-American woman's love for Little House. Witty it ain't, although I did appreciate the reference to Michael Landon's perpetually bared chest and the infamous Sylvia episodes of the TV show. 

 

The best parts of the book should have been Lee's interactions with her family, but they never led anywhere and quickly grew repetitive. While this was not a memoir, the structure and total lack of tension in the narrative made it read like one--events just unfold and the narrator bops from one place to the next without doing anything particularly interesting. 

 

The fake literary mystery that the narrator is trying to solve was pretty cheesy, especially given the lack of context in the author's note about what's real and what's not. She says this is a "what if" story but doesn't tell the reader exactly which bits she made up, and also stops short of fictionalizing Rose Wilder Lane's life in a way that would resolve the plot. In the end I was left feeling this book failed as a novel because the plot never went anywhere unexpected and failed as a book about the Wilder women because parts of it were fake. 

 

I'm going to go re-read my Little House boxed set now.