Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Free Land: Almost done

I have less than fifty pages left of Free Land to read. There have been parts that were so interesting I stayed up too late to read them, but most of the book hasn't drawn my interest. Maybe it's because the story is a bit familiar in spots--not unlike Rose's mother's stories. Maybe it could be the lack of optimism in the main characters or how the Beaton's marriage has been adversely affected by trying to make it on their own in a somewhat unsettled territory.

The lengthy descriptions which I enjoyed reading in the Anne of Green Gables books by Lucy Maud Montgomery, bore me to death in Free Land. I can't exactly pinpoint why. It certainly doesn't seem to make sense; unless I chalk it up to the fact that Montgomery was describing the beauty of the Canadian countryside, whereas Lane is typically describing the difficulties the Beaton's experience in living and farming under harsh conditions--raging blizzards, scorching heat, droughts.

But still, I must read it to the end so that I can figure out what happens.

I wonder too, if Laura Ingalls Wilder had written her books for an adult market instead of for children--would I enjoy them as much as I do? It truly seems that the one major element missing between Rose's book and her mother's is that undying optimism which the young narrator of Little House books portrays through words and actions.

Last night I ordered Let the Hurricane Roar from a local library. I'm curious to see how Rose portrays this story which is supposedly based upon the life of Charles and Caroline Ingalls. I believe I can get a more complete picture of Rose as a writer if I read as many of her books as I can find.

I love this kind of research!


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Blogger Sadie said...

Out of curiosity, I went to Amazon.com to see if they carried this and 'hurricane'. Under "Free Land" I found the customer reviews exceptionally interesting as several of them focus on the debate of who wrote the Little House Series and if Rose ("editing Long Winter at the time of this novel") "plagiarized" to create Free Land. I'm afraid it's an answer we'll never truly know...but I'm in the vein that Lane did not write the LH series...but she likely did glean a LOT of inspiration from them for her novels. I need to see if I can find these locally, though it's unlikely giving that I live in hickville :P

10:30 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

Hey Sadie,

Thanks for stopping by. I don't think Rose actually plagiarized this portion of Free Land. After all, I bet many of the families during that Hard Winter in De Smet were probably doing the same thing that the Ingalls family was--finding unique ways to keep from freezing and starving to death. Though, it was really strange reading a lot of the same stuff in Free Land that I had already read in Wilder's book

I don't know how your library system works out in hickville (LOL), but we have a virtual catalog and I can get titles anywhere within the state from other libraries as long as the library is willing to loan out its copy.

I really wasn't impressed with Free Land, but I loved Let the Hurricane Roar. I'll post my comments some time this week about Hurricane. It tells the story of Charles and Caroline, but it has a healthy dose of fiction tossed in.


11:37 PM  

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