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The Long Winter

di Laura Ingalls Wilder

Altri autori: Vedi la sezione altri autori.

Serie: Little House: The Laura Years (6), Little House novels, chronological order (book 21)

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8,59187793 (4.16)169
After an October blizzard, Laura's family moves from the claim shanty into town for the winter, a winter that an Indian has predicted will be seven months of bad weather.
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» Vedi le 169 citazioni

I had an accident at Christmas and ended in the hospital for a week. I was pretty much shut in for a couple of weeks after I was moved home. Then, we had a blizzard, and I continued to be confined to the house. So, I started thinking about being confined to a house for endless hours in the winter, with snow outside. That made me think about this book for some reason. I'd read it back in about 5th grade, but decided to revisit it.

I wasn't long into the book when I realized a personal connection to the book. We're in South Dakota (then Dakota Territory) in 1880. Well, my grandmother was living in Dakota Territory in 1880. In the summer of 1881, my great grandparents decided they'd had enough of the damn snow and headed south, hoping to make it to Texas. They didn't make it that far, ending up only in central Kansas. I don't know what Kansas winters were like in 1880—1900, but when I lived in Kansas in 1971—3, we had flowers in February, so no long winters by then. But then, of course, climate change had already been warming things up (although most of us didn't know about climate change in 1971—3).

Anyway, the Ingalls family, Ma and Pa, with Laura, Mary, Carrie and baby Grace, were living in De Smet, Dakota, a bit northwest from where my great grandparents were settled in Lincoln County. The snow came early and often, and dragged on until spring. So, people got shut in, the trains couldn't come to bring provisions, and essentials, like food and fuel, became scarce. So, basically, this is the story of how people coped back in the day. I wonder if any of my forebears would have had similar stories to tell, had I the sense to ask back when they were around (which they were when I was in 5th grade, but aren't any longer). Of course, even quizzing my grandmother might not have helped much. She was only 2 during the winter of 1880. FWIW, I believe Laura Ingalls was 14.
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  lgpiper | Jun 12, 2022 |
It is a detailed account about how the Ingalls family, in a small South Dakato town, survived a harsh winter in 1880. It made me appreciate my comparatively mild winter so much more. They had temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. They had only a cooking stove for source of heat. They had 2 or 3 day blizzards that went on for 7 months, with no more than 4 clear days in between the storm. When they went to bed (upstairs! Away from the downstair kitchen/dining table where the stove was!), they put out the fire in the stove and warm themselves only by their blankets. They gradually ran out of coal and flour, and twisted hay into sticks as their fuel source and used a coffee grinder the grind wheat into course wheat flour. They had to twist hay and grind wheat all day in order to produce sufficient fuel and food for that day. I couldn't stop listening to the story because I was amazed at how they managed it all. I think it's a great book to read in winter time. And it's based on a true event. Going through the Little House books again as an adult, I think this one is my favorite so far. ( )
  CathyChou | Mar 11, 2022 |
I think I must have read these books so many times as a child the pages turned to dust. Love Laura Ingalls Wilder and her stories of the American prairie. ( )
  KatKinney | Mar 3, 2022 |
I'm so happy I reread this.
  CMOBrien | Oct 18, 2021 |
This has been my favorite book of the series, aside from Farmer Boy. It’s a little surprising, perhaps, since most of the action involves the Ingalls family stuck inside during various blizzards between October and April of one winter season.

The story starts with Pa “making hay while the sun shines,” and Laura talking him into letting her work. She does the hard work and proves herself equal to the task. While Pa is in town one day, a Native American man gives an ominous warning, and while several men seem uncomfortable with him or dubious of his tidings, Pa Ingalls doesn’t hesitate to believe him or act on his words, and try to assuage his wife’s discomfort and hatred at the source of the warning. The Ingalls family moves to town, and the impending battle between man and nature begins.

Usually these books are filled with the daily life of a farm, the chores to be done, the entertainment available, the simplicity of life. But none of that is really available to them in town. Laura and Carrie go to school and find that they like it, but that ends abruptly when a blizzard kicks up while they’re in class, and they have to make their way back to town in the blinding storm.

The rest of the action consists mostly of the family working to stay warm, Pa and Ma having to be creative in how they provide food and heat and a little bit of fun to the house. Action outside their home tends to involve Almanzo and Roy Wilder, brothers and a new addition to the town. Almanzo especially gets to show off his grit and determination, and maybe a little foolhardiness, as he risks his life to provide food for the town so that he can hold onto his seed that he brought especially from Minnesota to plant in the spring.

This book really shows the author’s writing ability. She always has been plain spoken and clear, with a talent for instruction and hints of poetry, but her ability to grip her reader with a family pent up in a cold house is exceptional. I could feel Laura’s rising stress and frustration, the bleakness and tedium of the days, and especially toward the end when Laura didn’t want to eat or do much of anything proved that the mental burden of living on a homestead in newly settled part of the country was at least as heavy as the physical burden.



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1 vota Annrosenzweig | Oct 15, 2021 |

» Aggiungi altri autori (9 potenziali)

Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Laura Ingalls Wilderautore primariotutte le edizionicalcolato
Boyle, MildredIllustratoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Cazier, CatherineTraductionautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Hallqvist, Britt G.Traduttoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Jones, CherryNarratoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Orsot, CatherineTraductionautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Sewell, HelenIllustratoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Tholema, A.C.Traduttoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Westrup, Jadwiga P.Traduttoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Williams, GarthIllustratoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Williams, GarthImmagine di copertinaautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
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The mowing machine's whirring sounded cheerfully from the old buffalo wallow south of the claim shanty, where bluestem grass stood thick and tall and Pa was cutting it for hay.
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After an October blizzard, Laura's family moves from the claim shanty into town for the winter, a winter that an Indian has predicted will be seven months of bad weather.

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