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 The Martha/Charlotte/Caroline Years - My brief reviews

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Prairie Settler
Prairie Settler

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PostSubject: The Martha/Charlotte/Caroline Years - My brief reviews   Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:39 pm

I think I stated about a year ago that I was not only going to re-read all of the LH books by LIW but I was finally going to get around to the ones not written by her.  Well, with the way the year has gone, the only one that I re-read was Little House in the Big Woods, and I did manage to read the 3 series about Martha, Charlotte and Caroline.

I had some problems with these books.  Some may think my reviews on Goodreads were a little harsh, but I don't care.  They are my opinions and I am entitled to them, right?

I would like to state some of my feelings here, too.  I reviewed these books at the end of each series (I reviewed them in groups of 4 as Caroline's had 2 different authors).

I didn't really dislike these books.  They were OK.  But like I stated in my review, I can only take so much reading about fairies.  I know these books are for kids, but as a kid I had NO interest in fairies.  And I have even less interest now.  The best book, I thought, was definitely the final one.  But I think that had a lot to do with the fact that the book took place in Perth rather than the highlands, which I didn't have much interest in.  Anyway, this is how I rated them:
Little House in the Highland - 3/5
The Far Side of the Loch - 3/5
Down to the Bonny Glen - 3/5
Beyond the Heather Hills - 4/5
The entire series - 3/5

I REALLY LIKED the FIRST TWO books in this series.  I thought they were far superior to the entire Martha series.  I kind of think that I found them to be more interesting because of the facts that they were now going to be set in America and they involved the War of 1812.  The war doesn't really play that big of a part in the story other than how it affects the family's daily life, but that was enough to make it more interesting for me.  The third one was OK.  The 4th one was ridiculous.  It was a tolerable book to begin with but there is a moment in there that, as far as I am concerned, was absolutely absurd.  So I couldn't bring myself to rate it any higher because of that one moment.
Little House by Boston Bay - 4/5
On Tide Mill Lane - 4/5
The Road from Roxbury - 3/5
Across the Puddingstone Dam - 2/5
The entire series - 3/5

Charlotte - Part One
These first 4 books were written by Maria D. Wilkes.  When Little House in Brookfield was first published (I didn't even know about it at the time), my brother saw it in a store and came home with it.  Brookfield is a suburb of Milwaukee.  So this was of interest to me.  I LOVED this book.  I thought it was very similar in feeling to Laura's books.  And I know the Brookfield area fairly well.  So it was fun trying to imagine all the places, and where they would've been located, in the book.  I liked the next two well enough.  I am happy to finally get an idea of why the family moved to Concord because I never could quite understand why anyone would leave a place like Brookfield for a place like Concord (even in the 19th century it seemed to be a better place to live in).  I really liked her last book, though.  It was a lot like the first one.  And I appreciated that.  I just think it is such a MAJOR disappointment that the series wasn't continued by Wilkes.  They were such GOOD books.  The final 3 were a joke.  They are coming next!
Little House in Brookfield - 5/5
Little Town at the Crossroads - 3/5
Little Clearing in the Woods - 3/5
Ont Top of Concord Hill - 4/5
The entire series - 4/5

Charlotte - Part Two
These 3 were written by Celia Wilkins.  My review on Goodreads was more of a rant, I suppose, but I won't post it all here.  Although, I will probably say enough.  The first book was OK.  If nothing else it introduced Charles, but I couldn't stand the character that the author was turning Caroline into.  I figured that maybe it would change as she got older.  But all that author did was make me REALLY DISLIKE Caroline Quiner!  The book that I had been looking so forward to reading all these years was Little City By the Lake for obvious reasons.  It takes place in my hometown.  You know what?  It was one of the WORST books that I have ever read.  EVER!!  I only gave it 2 stars (it really only deserved one) for some of the historical points in it, but like I said, unless you come from Milwaukee, will you care THAT much about them??  And you know what?  By this book I think I completely hated Caroline.  She was ridiculous.  I got SO sick and tired of her criticsm and constant negativity of the city (the author couldn't have made it more plain how much SHE didn't like the city).  Concord is nothing to write home about!  I was so tired of reading about what her righteous mother might think of one thing or another.  The citizens of Milwaukee didn't go home after church and read their bibles.  The heathens!!  I could only take so much of the righteousness.  Please.  I don't want to hear from anyone that that was how people from small towns were then.  One part of my family came from small town USA and they were Catholic.  They were very religious, but they were NEVER righteous.  There is a difference.  The righteousness in this book got carried away (especially with Charlotte - she wasn't written that way before - why start now?).  On a different topic, the guy that was a little interested in Caroline romantically.  Heaven only knows why he would've been if she was really like that!  Anyway, the author REALLY left that open.  She never gave a conclusion to his character, which I thought was odd.  Personally, I didn't understand why she even brought him up at all.  He was quite pointless, actually.  The story, the negativity towards Milwaukee and how Caroline turned out was a HORRIBLE disappointment in this book.  Like I said, the only reason I gave it 2 stars was for the historical facts that I think I would be the only one to have any interest in.  And the last book, A Little House of Their Own.  That title is false advertisment.  The book is basicaly about Caroline's teaching career.  Every now and then she hangs out with Charles and friends/family, but she has absolutely NO interest in him romantically until, miracle of miracles, it hits her that she does care for him.  Whatever!  There was no real courtship, marriage or starting of a life together.  WHY WAS THE BOOK EVEN TITLED THAT?!?!
Across the Rolling River - 3/5
Little City By the Lake - 2/5
A Little House of Their Own - 2/5
The entire series - 2/5

Looking back at this, I may have to go back and give those last 2 books only 1 star.  I thought they were bad.  The series will get 2 only because one of the books I actually gave 3 stars to!

I don't really have any harsh feelings for the REAL Caroline.  I know the difference between the real person and the character.  And the character in the second half of this series wasn't likable at all.  If Laura didn't write her mother that way, why did this author think she could?  I cannot be the only one that feels this way.

As I said in my full review, if it wasn't for the fact that I need these books for the collection, those last two books are enough for me to throw those books away.  I hated them that much.

Also, as soon as I read Little House in the Big Woods I felt better.  Stories written with children in mind and they are so much better than those others.  I know the others are intended for children, but they aren't written with the same simplicity.  It is all so ridiculous.

The only thing those books did was make me search for places in the area.  I spent a day driving around.  I've been to Cocord a couple of times and it was interestig to see a couple of things match up to the books.

Yeah.  This is long, but I have been wanting to write this for some time on here.Smile

Who's going to do the cooking?!?!
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