It’s a nice continuation of the series. I’m glad to see that family finally put down roots somewhere. It was fun to see Laura and Mary interact with kids their own age. I love how excited/nervous they both are for things we take for granted: going to school, having parties with friends, socializing at church. It kind of reminded me of Anne and her excitement. I liked the new characters even though Nellie was a major brat. She definitely brought back memories of childhood and awful classmates that you’re forced to be nice to.This book helped me see things in my life quite a bit clearer. Everyone has been hit by the economy lately. Some are worse off than others but most people are having a tough time. Reading about the Ingalls and their struggles made me realize things aren’t that bad. We don’t have everything [money, debts, our house] riding on a wheat harvest that can be destroyed in a few days because of locust. We don’t have to walk 300 miles on foot to find work and spend months away from our families. I love that Laura was able to get me so emotionally invested in the book. I didn’t simply think “Oh, that’s unfortunate” when something happened to the family. No, my stomach dropped to the floor and I wanted to cry at the family’s misfortunes. I care about these people. I don’t want bad things to happen to them.The bottom line? Even though it’s not a terribly happy book, I enjoyed it.