Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller

Reviewed by Teri Davis

CarolineMany of us have either read, heard, or watched Little House on the Prairie. These stories are told from Laura’s perspective. Did her mother, Caroline see things the same way? For author, Sarah Miller, her hours of research recreates the Little House experience, but from Caroline, not Laura.
Imagine moving in a horse-drawn covered wagon, likely carrying the equivalent of your entire household in a large car or van, along with two young girls, ages four and five, and being pregnant. Also, you probably can only move about fifteen miles a day. Any takers?

Their adventure begins in the Big Woods of Wisconsin during February of 1870 with her husband, Charles eager to sell his land and move his family to the Kansas Indian Territory. The reason for leaving in February is the hope that most of winter is over and opportunity for owning a large amount of land, even if far from their family and friends. The hope is that the sooner they arrive in Kansas territory, the sooner they can build a house, establish themselves in this unknown land and possibly even plant before the following winter.

Unfortunately, the family had no idea about the trials ahead on this journey. It seems that Caroline’s motivation is her love of Charles and her protection of her two daughters, Mary and Laura.
For Charles, his dreams are his motivation for his young family pursuing the prospect of completely owning his own land.

Will the family be able to live successfully here? Have they really planned for every possible challenge?

Included on both the inside covers at the beginning and end of the book is a map of the journey from Wisconsin to the unsettled Indian territory in the southeastern part of Kansas.

The author, Sarah Miller resides in Michigan. She is also has also written two historical fiction novels, Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller and The Lost Crown as well as the nonfiction book, The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century.

This novel inspires readers with Caroline’s devotion to her husband, her daughters, and her unborn child. The events from the sorrow of leaving her family, to constantly believing in her husband and his loyalty as well as the devotion is daunting compared to today’s society. With loneliness and somehow still being hopeful in almost every situation almost seemed unrealistic in today’s society.
Caroline excels in being a true picture of the people and the times of those first settlers.