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BOOK REVIEW: A PRAIRIE GIRL’S FAITH: THE SPIRITUAL LEGACY OF LAURA INGALLS WILDER BY STEPHEN W. HINES

Title: A Prairie Girl’s Faith – The Spiritual Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder

Author: Stephen W. Hines

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis:

A Prairie Girl’s Faith provides the first extended, in-depth discussion of the Christian faith of one of America’s most beloved pioneer women–Laura Ingalls Wilder. Although the faith of the Ingalls’ family pervades books in the Little House series, the more specific details of Laura’s faith have never been fully explored. It took extraordinary pluck for anyone to survive the harshness of frontier life–from the heartbreak of sudden crop losses to murderous storms to unrelenting loneliness. This book reveals how in surviving, the brave Laura drew not just on her character but found encouragement, strength, and hope in her relationship with God.

SHORT REVIEW

A Prairie Girl’s Faith: The Spiritual Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder is a gorgeous look at how faith and love carried the Wilder family through their struggles as an early pioneer family.

FULL REVIEW

I am a longtime fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her experience as an early pioneer woman.  I devoured the Little House series as a child, and I have only grown closer to the novels as an adult.  Laura’s faith and brilliance shine throughout her work, and I was so excited to get to know her more through A Prairie Girl’s Faith: The Spiritual Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Stephen W. Hines brilliantly captures Laura’s family throughout his novel, and I couldn’t have asked for a more thoroughly researched story of early pioneer faith.

A Prairie Girl’s Faith: The Spiritual Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder analyzes the Wilder family and how faith played a part in their strength and ability to create a homestead on the early American prairie.  Despite the Wilder’s family hardships with housing, food, and farming, their faith connected them to one another and their mission to make a life for themselves on the American prairie.  Hines’ book reads like a novel, and his use of pictures and explanations brought the Wilder’s story alive.  Even though this novel focuses on Christianity and how the Wilder family’s religion and faith strengthened their experience as a cohesive unit,  Prairie Girl’s Faith: The Spiritual Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder doesn’t have an agenda, and it presents Christianity in a way that will appeal to believers and nonbelievers alike.  I am a pioneer history buff, and I found enlightenment through Hines writing and his connection of faith to survival.

Prairie Girl’s Faith: The Spiritual Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder is a must read for Wilder fans, as well as fans of pioneer history.  I thoroughly enjoyed Hines’ explanation of faith and how it developed on the plains with pioneering settlers.  Seeing how faith connected the Wilder family to each other, as well as the other pioneer families around them, made me believe in community and kinship again.  I will be keeping  Prairie Girl’s Faith: The Spiritual Legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder in my library forever, and I am so excited to have read more on Laura Ingalls Wilder and her amazing experience on the early American prairie.

*I received an ARC of this novel from Blogging for Books for review.

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