Book Reviews,  Cozy,  DIY,  Historical Fiction,  Self-Help

Book Review: Little House Life Hacks

Little House Life Hacks: Lessons for the Modern Pioneer from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s PrairieLittle House Life Hacks: Lessons for the Modern Pioneer from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Prairie by Angie Bailey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A few months back, I started noticing the hashtag #tradwife in various social medias. I became curious about what others considered to be a “traditional” wife and where this rediscovered ideal might intersect with my own experiences in cooking from scratch, growing and preserving much of our food, making what I can for the home rather than buying, nurturing my friendships and community groups… and I soon realized that the intersections weren’t strong.

These new ‘tradwives’ seem focused on housecleaning, dressing in ruffled housedresses, not working outside the home, and submission to husbands. I have no problem with women choosing this sort of lifestyle, but I’m concerned that the values being adopted may only go skin-deep.

Yes, I’m getting to the book. Bear with me a bit longer. Having grown up in a traditional values home, my experience with my ‘tradwife’ mom included so much more. She volunteered to lead my Camp Fire Girls group. She was an active member of the PTA. She opened our home to to the public as a voting station during national elections. On a more personal level, she made my friends feel welcome and cared for whenever they visited, and never hesitated to help out a neighbor in need.

Little House Life Hacks is filled with gentle, homespun advice based on fictional characters, to be sure, but these particular characters stand as examples of how very real people were back in ‘the day’.

Authors Angie Bailey and Susie Shubert take a deep-dive into the actions, ethics, and habits of the characters and unpack them for a modern audience. These ‘life hacks’ are sorted into ten sections. You may think that some of them don’t apply to your lifestyle. I know there’s a few that don’t match my life, but I still found them interesting, and having read them I might have a better capacity to understand and empathize with friends and neighbors who hold those values. The sections are:

Hack Your Family Life
Hack Your Community Life
Hack Your Faith
Hack Your Romantic Life
Hack Your Friendships
Hack Your Work Life
Hack Your Self-Care
Hack Your Resourcefulness
Hack Your Sustainability
Hack Your Gratitude

Finally, even though I’ve been taught to never judge a book by its cover – Let’s talk about the construction of the book! It’s smaller than most hardbacks at 5-1/2″ x 7-1/2″, a size that fits neatly into my hands as I read. It’s a true hardback with stitched binding, and nicely patterned endpapers inside each cover. The pages are thick white paper, perfect for the blue highlight color used throughout the book. Small illustrations and a lavish use of font styles really make the book feel special. The book is also available for Kindle. Pre-order now for a delivery date of August 22, 2023.

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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