These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Strap in, folks. This might be a long one, since it's my favorite book in the series.
We begin our story once again in the cold winter of the Dakota Territories. Laura has received her teaching certificate and begins teaching school to keep Mary in college. She dreads teaching, she doesn't want to leave home, but she pulls herself up by her bootstraps and puts on a brave face. The school is 12 long, cold miles from home. She's staying with the school board president's family, run by his awful wife who hates it out West. It's a long two months in the freezing cold, and the only way she stays sane is because of the wonderful Almanzo Wilder. He drives out there, regardless of the weather, and brings her home to her family. Every. Single. Weekend. Through blizzards and awkward conversations. Almanzo must have really loved her, because she is ridiculous sometimes and tells him she won't ride with him after she is back home. What? Girl, you are crazy. But he's the best, and continues to make sure she gets home safely. I have a real thing for strapping young farm boys who are good with horses and very kind and brave. Almanzo is my jam.
And then she is home, and she conveniently forgets that she wasn't going to go around with him anymore. Apparently strapping young farm boys are her jam, too. Laura, no judgment. He's rad. And he apparently gets you, big time. Secret Christmas gifts, buggy rides, and appears to be a strong partner in crime. You get to drive the horses and race across the prairie together. You break wild horses and go to singing school together. And at the end, a sweet proposal and a kiss, leading to a quick marriage. Well, I say quick, but he courted her for three patient years, so nothing quick about that, folks. I mean, she was eighteen when they got hitched. And he builds her a kick-ass pantry so you know he loves her.
I'm 99% sure my husband is Almanzo Wilder reincarnated, and this book directly shaped the kind of man I am find attractive. 5 stars. Love this series!
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