‘Caroline’ Ingalls Was One Strong Ma [REVIEW]

Little House on the Prairie side view with wagon

When the Ingalls family left the comfort of Wisconsin, this was the place Caroline had to look forward to calling home. (Photo by Sheila Scarborough, Flickr)

Who didn’t grow up reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books or watching the popular television series starring Melissa Gilbert, Michael Landon and Karen Grassle as Ma? For many of us, the Ingalls became such a part of our lives they almost became an extension of our own family. But in both the books and the show, the focus was almost always on the children. That’s why Sarah Miller’s new book, Caroline, is such a treat. Here, we finally get an insider’s look into the heart and mind of one of literature’s most beloved mothers. 

Sarah Miller's CAROLINE

William Morrow

In 1870, life is far from easy, especially by today’s standards. But for Caroline Ingalls, it is even more challenging. During one harsh February, pregnant with her third child, she packs up her life in Wisconsin where she is surrounded by family and the comforts of home to follow her husband’s dream of moving to Kansas where they will begin a new life in Indian Territory.

It isn’t the moving that bothers her. It is saying goodbye to her friends and family that tears at her heart, especially with a new baby on the way. But her love for Charles leads her on a journey across the country (in a covered wagon no less) to a place where there are no doctors or midwives, where women have to be exude strength and take life by the reins in order to survive.

Once the Ingalls arrive in Kansas, Charles transforms a rough log cabin into the family’s new home. Although Caroline agrees that this is beautiful country, she doesn’t know if she has what it takes to make it in her new environment. This new adventure tests her mettle unlike anything she has ever encountered. How will she survive? And is her love for her family strong enough to help them triumph over all the perilous hardships they will face? Find out in this glorious new addition to the cherished Little House series.

I have to take my hat off to author Sarah Miller. It takes courage and dedication to write convincing fan fiction that deftly captures the spirit of the original work. And although it isn’t a new concept to write a new book about a beloved character (think Alexandra Ripley’s Scarlett), with Caroline, Miller has actually gotten it right. Reading this new volume feels like fractured glass has finally been taken off an old picture frame to allow us to see the vivid details of an old family photo for the very first time.

Caroline comes alive in our imaginations like never before. Here, we don’t just see her as Charles’ wife and Laura’s mother, but as a vibrant woman whose anxieties are deftly described and whose love emanates off the page to envelopes the reader. Miller has breathed new life into a woman we have long admired, and we find ourselves by turns grieving and rejoicing with her through every moment. This is historical fiction as it is meant to be written. Caroline gives us the feels and reminds us that America isn’t just a nation built by our forefathers, but also by the strength of daring, indomitable women.


Sarah Miller

Sarah Miller
(Photo by LaLonde Photography)

Sarah Miller began writing her first novel at the age of ten, and has spent the last two decades working in libraries and bookstores.

She is the author of two previous historical novels, Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller and The Lost Crown. Her nonfiction debut, The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century, was hailed by the New York Times as “a historical version of Law & Order.”

She lives in Michigan. Visit her at her home on the Web at SarahMillerBooks.com, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

By Sarah Miller
384 pgs. William Morrow. $25.99

You may purchase Caroline at one of these fine online retailers: HarperCollins, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Caroline is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

Caroline Giveaway

Want to win a copy of Caroline for your personal library? Simply complete the form below and click submit to enter. Giveaway is limited to U.S. residents only. Contest ends October 19, 2017.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

3 Responses to ‘Caroline’ Ingalls Was One Strong Ma [REVIEW]

  1. Jathan Fink says:

    Reblogged this on Jadeworks Entertainment and commented:

    If you loved watching Little House on the Prairie as much as we did growing up, you’re going to love revisiting the Ingalls family in Sarah Miller’s new novel, Caroline.

  2. It is always interesting to me to see a family through the eyes of a child, and then later through the eyes of the adults – some things are the same, and some things are very different. Getting to see a new perspective on this family is a real treat!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

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