West from Home: Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder, San Francisco, 1915

by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Hardcover, 1974


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HarperCollins (1974), Edition: Reprint, 192 pages


A selection of letters by Laura Ingalls Wilder to her husband in which she describes the highlights of her visit to the west coast in 1915.

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User reviews

LibraryThing member t1bclasslibrary
This book contains a series of letters from Laura to Almanzo about her trip to visit Rose in San Francisco and her time there. She gives descriptions of both the city and the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition that really bring us back in time. The book also contains an article by Laura, a few
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letters from Rose, and a general introduction to San Francisco and the exhibition.
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LibraryThing member delphica
(#9 in the 2007 book challenge)

I liked this a lot more than I was anticipating. These letters were written by Laura to her husband, well before she wrote the Little House books, during a visit she made to their daughter in San Francisco. In addition to seeing her daughter, the other point of the
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trip was to see the Panama-Pacific Exposition, kind of like a World's Fair thing. It's a great look at San Francisco at this time, she does a lot of sight-seeing (at the Expo and elsewhere) and describes everything with a lot of charming details -- she always said she got into this habit because she had to be so deliberate when describing things to her blind sister. Laura and her husband had a farm in Missouri, and the letters also have a good deal of information about farm things, you can tell she really paid attention to this and adds all sorts of little tidbits about what the soil is like and the prices of farm goods.

Grade: B+
Recommended: To fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and people who like lots of details about daily life during this time period. If you are familiar with San Francisco, it would probably be especially interesting.
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LibraryThing member MrsLee
An interesting view of the west, and early San Francisco, in particular. Laura is all grown up and an aspiring writer and journalist.
LibraryThing member wordygirl39
Not a big fan, but this is kind of a sweet little journey story. And, since I love Laura and San Francisco, I enjoyed it enough.
LibraryThing member russelllindsey
I really enjoyed this book. It was an amazing insight into the early 20th century. I read it easily in one evening.
LibraryThing member cathyskye
First Line: Dearest Mama Bess-- I simply can't stand being so homesick for you any more.

When I was six, my mother handed me Little House in the Big Woods, and I never looked back. I still love Laura Ingalls Wilder's tales of her childhood and still get the giggles when I think of the mouse giving
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Pa a bald spot. When I ran across this book at Paperback Swap, I thought it was time for a Half Pint Fix.

Laura's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, became a journalist and moved to California. Rose became very homesick for her mother and finally saved up the money for Laura to board a train and come for a visit. Laura's visit coincided with San Francisco's World's Fair celebrating the opening of the Panama Canal. This book contains the letters Laura wrote home to her husband, Almanzo during her stay.

I loved this book for its glimpse into a San Francisco that had just rebuilt itself after the 1906 earthquake, and for its insights into Laura the adventurer, Laura the woman who was thinking about starting to write, Laura the mother, and Laura the wife who never stopped worrying about her husband alone on their farm in Missouri. This is a book for all those, like me, who have fond memories of Little Houses.
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LibraryThing member rainbowdarling
Laura Ingalls Wilder's books have been a part of my life since I was a child, so it probably comes as no surprise that I would be interested in some of the supplemental books that have been subsequently released. This one did not live up to expectations. I had thought that perhaps the letters would
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provide interesting perspective into the lives of the characters involved, but the things that Laura chose to write about and the things that I was expecting to read about did not often intersect. The writing style is familiar, and it's clear that her style in the letters written is more similar to that in her books than in her journals (From On the Way Home). The letters give a well-described picture of some aspects of the Exibition in San Francisco, but a lot of portions of the time she spent in the city is left unwritten which leaves gaping holes in not only the continuity but in the overall picture. The collection of letters is nice, but it leaves me feeling like something is missing, so I can't in good faith say that it's something that I will definitely re-read.
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LibraryThing member bookczuk
A wonderful collection of letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder to her husband when she went to visit their daughter, Rose, in San Francisco in 1915. It was the time of the the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, and thus provides a view of both the ordinary and the spectacular in that city where so
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many of us have left our hearts. As a history lover, I really liked the glimpses of the time. As a reader, I liked seeing one of my favorite childhood authors in a different light. As someone interested in writing and former journalist, I found the bits about Rose's career and the paths of writing at the time fascinating. Plus, there were pictures! One hundred twenty five pages of lovely.
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LibraryThing member Kiwiria
Great era-snapshop and description of the fair in San Fransisco, but honestly, I don't think I'd have been all that interested, if it hadn't been seen through the eyes of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I've always wanted to know "what happened next", and this gives a nice look into her curiosity, desire to
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learn and her relationship with Rose and Almanzo.

I was very interested in reading that she and Almanzo had considered moving to New Zealand at one point though. I wish they had - I would have LOVED to read her description of that!
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LibraryThing member AmphipodGirl
A pleasant side-piece to the Little House books, especially for someone who knows and loves San Francisco, as it is made up of letters Laura wrote to Almanzo when visiting the Pan Pacific International Exhibition, for which the Palace of Fine Arts was built.
LibraryThing member LadyoftheLodge
Letters written by Laura Ingalls Wilder from visiting her daughter Rose in California. I like collections of letters, and these gave a good view of the Exposition. Some were a bit repetitious, but that is real life.
LibraryThing member fuzzi
In 1915, long before her Little House books were written, Laura Ingalls Wilder went to visit her daughter Rose in San Francisco. Her vacation coincided with the massive Pan Pacific International Exposition, of which she wrote in letters sent to her husband. Within her writings we get a glimpse of
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the time, the place, and the various sights of a thriving city, garnished with her opinions of modern inventions.

I really enjoyed this read.
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Original publication date



0060241101 / 9780060241100
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