Love her or hate her, Alison Arngrim writes a mean memoire.
Let me start off by saying that I watched Little House on the Prairie for the first time just over a year ago. For some reason my mother wouldn’t allow me to see it as a kid and I was always curious about the show. Right from the start I could see why it was so popular. It was for this reason that I picked up this book at the library. It jumped out at me and I just had to read it. Not that Nellie Oleson was a likeable character, but there had to be something special about an actress to portray Nellie for so many years and manage to keep her sanity in check.
Her childhood was remarkable, growing up with an incredibly theatrical family, moving around from home to home. Ms. Arngrim goes briefly into the sexual abuse she survived by her famous (and somewhat crazy) brother, but didn’t allow herself to be a victim, working with a non-profit organization to change the laws in California on the incest exception rule.
The writing is exceptional and funny. It focuses primarily on her years acting on Little House with sidebars of trivia to give her fans an insider’s look into the show. Her acting was so good that even as an adult watching the show I didn’t care for Nellie. How Ms. Arngrim pulled that off and still manages to come across as a super regular, super amusing individual is impressive. The fact that she did such a good job upsetting viewers caused a lot of fans to act out towards her in weird ways, letting her know just how offended they were.
I really wish Netflix carried LHOP because I’d have myself a binge fest now that I’ve feasted on this excellent book.
Rating: 5 stars
Title: Confessions of a Prairie Bitch
Author: Alison Arngrim
Release Date: June 15, 2010