Little House in Brookfield, by Maria D. Wilkes, was published in 1996 by HarperCollins.
The Caroline Years, or, as my copy states, “The Brookfield Years,” were written before the Martha Years and the Charlotte Years. Having read the latter two first, which were written by a different author, the style of this one threw me off a bit, especially since the Charlotte is this book is so much different. I’d say that Wilkes is likely more historically accurate than Wiley in her portrayal, however, especially since she had more research from which to draw.
I’ve always enjoyed the Caroline Years the most,
probably because it spans the most amount of years, similarly to the original
Little House books. However, the beginning of the series is mediocre at best.
While it does a good job of depicting the struggles the family went through
after the death of their father, it’s simply not a very exciting book. It does
give glimmers into the personality of Caroline that we will see come out in the
Little House books, and I also enjoyed the farm life aspect it showed, as it
does a good job of explaining so that readers know how people did things back
I remember enjoying the Caroline Years more as the
books went on, especially once they move to Concord, but Little House in Brookfield gives the series a slow start. Both the
style and the voice threw me off, as I was used to that of the previous two
series, though that’s not necessarily the book’s fault (although I’m not fond
of that sort of style in general). There’s also a lack of excitement that makes
the book a little dry to read.