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5 responses to “The First Four Years; Chapter 4: Section 11”

  1. Michelle

    When I first read TFFY, I was about 11 or so (this was the mid-70′s). I didn’t understand the expression “year of grace” or “grace period” – ie an extra period of time to allow something to happen, I thought it meant something along the lines of “a year when they were being blessed/graced by God” (like the graciousness of God) ie GOOD things happening – certainly that’s what Garth Williams’ illustration on the cover seemed to portend. I was sure wrong on that one, and for many years afterward wondered “why would she call that terrible year a year of GRACE?!?” And yes, more money being spent again – couldn’t they have rented the oxen, did they have to buy them? And why did they buy a binding machine, don’t you just cut the wheat, stook it, and wait for the threshing crew to come? Surely a binding machine didn’t make a lot of sense with such a small operation (if it was just the one quarter section, we are talking about 155 acres at best, leaving the last 5 acres for the house/barn/chickens/garden/pigsty – they didn’t seem to have a pig, though, did they?)

    I know what Melanie means about looking for the “familiar” Laura & Almanzo, by the time I read TFFY I had learned to juggle in my head the 2 or 3 different “Laura’s” that were out there – the Laura in the first 8 LH books, the Laura in TFFY, and the Laura on LHOTP on TV. All living in parallel universes…..

  2. Melanie

    Thanks for the comment, Michelle. What kinds of things did you notice about these different versions? I’m curious if they were similar…

  3. Becky Harris

    I remember being surprised by the arrival of Baby Boy Wilder as well. Also didn’t have any idea what she meant when, after one of the Rose stories, she talks about being exhausted just thinking about what was coming. Had no idea that this was reference to pregnancy, childbirth, and newborns.

  4. Carla

    In his book “The Good Old Days – They Were Terrible,” Otto L. Bettmann tells of “Hard Times” for farmers in the 1920s on pp. 57-58, and how 30% of them had to mortgage off their properties in those years.

  5. tomiko

    im 16 and the first time I read this book was two days ago, it was so amazing I could not stop reading it, now that I read every ones comments I really understand the meaning of “year of grace”. i do recommend this book to youngsters. :)

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