On The Way Home by Laura Ingalls Wilder

We stopped and looked back at the scene and I wished for an artist’s hand or a poet’s brain or even to be able to tell in good plain prose how beautiful it was. If I had been the Indians I would have scalped more white folks before I ever would have left it.

This book is a trip diary written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, sandwiched between two story chapters written by Laura’s daughter, Rose Wilder Lane. It is a Sunday drive of a book that pleasantly but somewhat monotonously updates us on the Little House family.

Going by this book alone, it is a big stretch to believe that Laura wrote the Little House books and no stretch at all to believe they were actually the work of her daughter, Rose.



It was 1894 when Laura Ingalls Wilder, her husband, Almanzo, and their daughter, Rose, left their home in De Smet, South Dakota and traveled to Mansfield, Missouri. Seven years of too little rain had caused crop after crop to fail, and the prairie had turned to dust. The Wilders packed their wagon, said their goodbyes, and set out to begin a new life in Missouri. Laura recorded their journey in a diary, and it is those entries that fill these pages. Traveling was exciting, for they passed through cities buzzing with growth and countryside very different from De Smet. There were also times of danger and fear, full of unfamiliar faces, unpredictable roads, and inclement weather. Share Laura’s inner thoughts as she traveled with her family in search of their new home in Mansfield, where she and Almanzo would remain all the rest of their happy days together.