Friday, August 7, 2009

PRAIRIE TALE: Review and Giveaway

GIVEAWAY ENDED!
PRAIRIE TALE

BY MELISSA GILBERT

A GIVEAWAY AND REVIEW

ABOUT THE BOOK:(from Simon&Schuster)

A fascinating, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting tale of self-discovery from the beloved actress who earned a permanent place in the hearts of millions when she was just a child.

To fans of the hugely successful television series Little House on the Prairie, Melissa Gilbert grew up in a fantasy world with a larger-than-life father, friends and family she could count on, and plenty of animals to play with. Children across the country dreamed of the Ingalls' idyllic life -- and so did Melissa.

She was a natural on camera, but behind the scenes, life was more complicated. Adopted as a baby into a legendary show business family, Melissa wrestled with questions about her identity and struggled to maintain an image of perfection her mother created and enforced. Only after years of substance abuse, dysfunctional relationships, and made-for-television movies did she begin to figure out who she really was.

With candor and humor, the cherished actress traces her complicated journey from buck-toothed Laura "Half-pint" Ingalls to Hollywood starlet, wife, and mother. She partied with the Brat Pack, dated heartthrobs like Rob Lowe and bad boys like Billy Idol, and began a self-destructive pattern of addiction and codependence. Left in debt after her first marriage, and struggling to create some sense of stability, she eventually realized that her career on television had earned her popularity, admiration, and love from everyone but herself.

Through hard work, tenacity, sobriety, and the blessings of a solid marriage, Melissa has accepted her many different identities and learned to laugh, cry, and forgive in new ways. Women everywhere may have idolized her charming life on Little House on the Prairie, but Melissa's own unexpectedly honest, imperfect, and down-to-earth story is an inspiration.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MELISSA GILBERT

Melissa Gilbert starred as Laura Ingalls on the hit television show Little House on the Prairie. Post-Little House, Gilbert appeared in numerous Lifetime movies and recently served as president of the Screen Actors Guild for two terms. She currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Children's Hospice and and Palliative Care Coalition, where she works directly with chronically and terminally ill children to provide them with care and comfort. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, Bruce Boxleitner.


My Review of PRAIRIE TALE by MELISSA GILBERT

Melissa Gilbert admits that "To me, at forty-four years old, my book was a search for truth and identity." And I would have to say that after reading PRAIRIE TALE, I believe she accomplished that from what I could tell. There was certainly a lot of truth and I surely know Melissa Gilbert's identity much better than before I read her memoir. I found the book to be an easy and enjoyable read. As someone who not only watched Little House on the Prairie but read all of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books, as well as taught them in school to my students, I was excited to read about Melissa Gilbert, even though she has outgrown those pigtails.

I found that she wrote with humor, sincerity and from her heart with honesty. You might almost think she was "name dropping" as so many familiar celebrities are mentioned but one must remember she is telling about her 44 years living in the spotlight of Hollywood from a very young child! I found out so many things I never knew about her like that she was adopted. I also had forgotten that I somewhat knew she was a wild member of the "Brat Pack" that included Emilio Estevez and Tom Cruise as well as Rob Lowe who she had a very fiery and not so nice romance with, but wasn't aware of the drug use and a miscarriage with Lowe.

Gilbert touches on times during her Little House years but that is not the bulk of the book as one might think. I was not surprised at her relating how much she cared for and admired Michael Landon but didn't know she REALLY didn't get along with her onstage sister Melissa Sue Anderson and makes no attempt at covering her feelings about it. I think that is part of the appeal of the memoir is that Melissa tells it like it is but doesn't try to sensationalize it.

Her recounting the nightmare first marriage and divorce with Bo Brinkman after finding him in their home having sex with a prostitute was hard enough to read let alone live though. Melissa's subsequent romance and marriage to her now husband, Bruce Boxleitner, seemed to make up for it. Her tender moments with Michael Landon, dating his son for a while, her frank account of Shannen Doherty having an affair with her first husband, and Melissa's own addiction and even a supposed reaction to Johnny Depp asking to feel her breasts during a time she was lactating and her response for him to go ahead if he wanted to...all these things seem to be about another person than the one most of us know from the sweet Little House show and yet are told with such honesty and bravado, that you believe it all.

I think that Melissa told about her life in a way that many people can relate to. Sure, we mere mortals don't help Marlon Brando in his time of need like she did, but if you take away the "names", Melissa Gilbert lived a life that was real and she is still doing a great job at it. Her dealing with her faults, and while being aware of her strengths has obviously made her the strong and happy woman she is today. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't imagine anyone not reading it straight through as it was that interesting and well written. Kudos to "half-pint"...and best wishes to a lady I'd like to see stay active in the Hollywood community for a long time..she paid her dues and deserves whatever success and happiness comes her way.

THE GIVEAWAY
THANKS TO KRISTIN AT SIMON & SCHUSTER,
I HAVE TWO BRAND NEW HARDBACK COPIES
OF
THIS BESTSELLING MEMOIR TO GIVE AWAY.

SO HERE ARE THE RULES:
--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES, PLEASE
--PLEASE INCLUDE AN EMAIL
ADDRESS IN YOUR ENTRY

TO ENTER:
ONLY ONE COMMENT NEEDED!!
TELL ME IF YOU EVER READ ANY
LITTLE HOUSE BOOKS AND IF SO,
WHICH ONE DID YOU LIKE THE BEST.

*** THERE WILL BE A SECRET BONUS GIFT
TO THE PERSON WHO PICKS MY FAVORITE
...IF MORE THAN ONE PERSON PICKS IT,
I WILL CHOOSE A NUMBER AT RANDOM
FROM THOSE ELIGIBLE!

THAT'S IT!
ALL ENTRIES DUE BY
6 PM, EST, AUGUST 18

GOOD LUCK!

46 comments:

Debs Desk said...

Wow - It has been along time since we read the Little House on the Prairie books. My daughter is now 23 - She loved The Long Winter. I think that was the name of it. Please include me in your giveaway.
Thanks
Debbie
debdesk9(at)verizon.net

Susie said...

I would love to read this! What an excellant review!
For me, my favorite has always been "Little House In The Big Woods". It was the first I read, and I borrowed it from my best friend Billy who lived across the street!

Thanks!
Susie
myguiltypleasuresblog@gmail.com

rhapsodyinbooks said...

You don't have to enter me but I just wanted to comment: good review! And can you imagine - the Brinkman thing? Eueueueueue. Thanks for the good post!

bermudaonion said...

I think I read all of the Little House books as a young girl. Unfortunately that's been so long ago, I can't remember which one was my favorite. I'm going to guess that you liked These Happy Golden Years. milou2ster(at)gmail.com

holdenj said...

My favorite Little House book was The Long Winter!

JHolden955 (at) gmail (com)

Indigo said...

My favorite Little House on the Prarie book was, "Little House in the Woods." I loved that book. I used to watch Little House on the Prarie all the time on tv, growing up.

Thanks for the opportunity! Indigo

ravensquietscreams@gmail.com

Cindy said...

Don't count me into the contest as its US only just wanted to say great review this one is on my wish list of books to get. Huge fan of little house on the prairie.

Jake Lsewhere said...

I haven't read any of the Little house books. But this looks like a good book, please enter me into this drawing.

Thanks for hosting this giveaway.
jake.lsewhere[at]gmail.com

Renee G said...

I read all of the Little House books. My favorite was Little House in the Big Woods.

rsgrandinetti@yahoo(dot)com

sharon54220 said...

I read Little House in the Big Woods many many years ago. I would love to be entered in this. Memoirs are my most favorite genre to read.
Thanks for the chance

sharon54220@gmail.com

Mari said...

I have never read the Little House Books but I LOVED the show.

runningmatey at hotmail dot com

Janel said...

I loved The First Four Years. I really liked reading about Laura's life as an adult. Thanks for doing the giveaway!

jgbeads(at)gmail(dot)com

scottsgal said...

I read the whole series when I was younger - I loved Little House on the Prairie and Little House in the Big Woods. Great giveaway!

msboatgal at aol.com

Molly said...

I would love to be entered in the contest. While I only read "The Little House in the Big Woods" my son and I watched nearly every episode of Little House on the Prairie when he was in his pre-school years (and this was followed by MacGyver, which we also watched).

Thanks so much for hosting this giveaway.

Mstermind1 at gmail dot com

Debbie said...

We have read them all numerous times. My favorite is The Long Winter.
fourkidsrgreat(at)gmail(dot)com

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

I had read them all as a child and had them in a boxed set. If I remember right I sold them on a garage sale right after I was married.

I would love to have them back now....

Beth said...

I'm sure I read the series when I was quite young, but I don't remember them. I do remember the show though although I was never really into it.

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

Kaye said...

I never read them but my daughter loved them. I think she has all of them still. Hey, congrats on hitting over 300 followers. I knew you were special right from the beginning!

Please include me in the giveaway. Thanks, Karen

florida982002[at]yahoo[dot]com

Vicki said...

I've never read a Little House book, but would love to read Prairie Tale

lelou2 AT ymail DOT com

Shawna said...

Shawna Lewis
weloveourdogs@juino.com

I LOVE little House...I mean LOVE IT!!!! Laura was my all time fav. so to get this book would be almost heaven. So count me in for the winning number thanks Shawna ;o)

nfmgirl said...

I don't know the name of the book that I read when I was in elementary school. It covered the time that Laura or Mary went to be a school teacher in another town.

I LOVED the TV show, and actually own a couple of seasons on DVD.

Please count me in. Thank you!

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

MoziEsmé said...

Loved them all.. Probably These Happy Golden Years was my favorite...

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Alyce said...

I have been dying to get my hands on this book! (I've been on the hold list at the library for forever.) :)

I have read all of the Little House books many times, and my absolute favorite is The Long Winter.

Kristi said...

I loved these books and read them all. My favorite would also be These Happy Golden Years - I believe that is the one were "Manly" finally feels a spark for Laura too!

kherbrand at comcast dot net

Commchick said...

I really, honestly couldn't pick a favorite Little House book. I enjoyed all of them. I was adopted also, and have always admired Melissa Gilbert. Please enter me in your drawing.

Sharon
belchers@jccal.org

Brimful Curiosities said...

I think I've read nearly all of the original Little House Books (my mom bought the entire set when I was pretty small). I also remember our 4th grade teacher reading some of the books out loud to our class. "Little House in the Big Woods" is my favorite because it is set in Wisconsin. I watched Little House in the Prairie as a child and even had my own bonnet. My husband is related to Bruce Boxleitner so I've remained interested in Melissa Gilbert's life as an adult. Thanks for the giveaway.

Gwendolyn B. said...

I would love Love LOVE to read this book! Thanks for the chance to win a copy! I know I read the first couple of Little House books, but mostly I know the stories from the TV show. (And that's why I really want to read this!)

geebee.reads AT gmail DOT com

Leslie said...

I read all the Little House books when I was a kid and still have them for my daughter. My favorite is "These Happy Golden Years." When Laura teaches and meets Almanzo but I loved them all.

lgladnick(at)cox(dot)net

Tina said...

I read them all, Farmer Boy was my favorite. We read them to our daughter (even Dad read them!) and now have introduced granddaughter to them.

would love to win this.

tbranco (at) hughes (dot) net

Cindy said...

I have always liked Melissa Gilbert and would love to win a copy of this book!

I loved reading the Little House books! I loved all of the books starting with Little House in the Big Woods! I also especially enjoyed The Long Winter.

My favorite book was The Happy Golden Years! My guess is that it might be your favorite too!

Cindy
Socmom213@aol.com

Debbie F said...

I love Little House! My fav was The Long Winter. Thanks!
dcf_beth at verizon dot net

etirv said...

I've always been a fan of Little House on the Prairie, didn't miss an episode and even wrote to child actress Melissa Gilbert (she replied)! My favorite is Little Town on the Prairie because it's spring and Laura spends time with Almanzo Wilder!

delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

Brenda said...

I think I watched every Little House episode and I know I read every book, I'm 50 so it has been a really long long time. I think my favorite had to be Little House on The Prairie!

dancealert(at)aol(dot)com

Mermaid2x said...

OMG it's been years and years since I read the series. But I would have to say that The Long Winter nudges out the others as being a favorite. I would love to win Melissa's memoir!

rubymoonstone at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I recall loving The Long Winter, and Farmer Boy. I've always admired Melissa Gilbert as an actress. I'd love to red her memoir.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

dag888888 said...

"On the Banks of Plum Creek" is the book I remember the best because that's when the little house was built! Who can forget Pa Ingalls playing that fiddle!

dag888888(at)yahoo(dot)com

Glenn said...

Never read any, but we've given some to my Mom and we used to watch the show together when I was growing up - great series. Thanks for the giveaway.

glenn_pessano AT yahoo DOT com

Beth said...

I haven't read any of the Little House books but we used to watch the show on TV all the time. I'd love to read about Melissa Gilbert.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Marie said...

I read all the Little House books as a kid -- my favorite was Little House in the Big Woods.

marielay@gmail.com

Kim said...

I LOVE the Little House Books! I read the whole series over and over again when I was growing up. I read the whole series again about 3 years ago--the year my daughter was getting married. At that time, These Happy Golden Years became my favorite. The passages of her leaving her home to go live with Almanzo made me cry as I though of my own daughter leaving to live with her new husband.
Up until that most recent re-read, The Long Winter was always my favorite. (A very close second was On the Banks of Plum Creek)

I grew up watching the show on tv--loved Melissa Gilbert, but Ohhhh that Nellie! ;)

*Smiles*
Kim
kimmery4(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book...

I haven't read any of the Little House on the Praire books...but I have seen every episode on TV at least 10 times.

Please count me in.

thanks.

karen k
kmkuka(at)yahoo(dot)com

minishoes1 said...

I have been wanting to read this! I think the name of the book that I read was -Little house in the big Woods. Thanks!jacquecurl1@gmail.com

gahome2mom said...

The Little House books are my favorite. I loved reading them when we first began homeschooling. I think everyone should read all of them. I think my favorite is the first book. Thanks.

gahome2mom/at/gmail/dot/com

Rebecca Cox said...

I never had the pleasure of reading them. I am too old. They came out a long time after I was grown and I had all boys who were not interested in them. Oh well. I did watch all the tv shows though.
rebecca[dot]cox[at]charter[dot]net

Wrighty said...

I LOVED this series and read them more than once. I've watched every episode of the show too. I'm the same age as Melissa Gilbert so I was always fascinated but her life growing up but shocked by some of her past. I guess it's easy to think of her living the pure life of Half Pint. It does sound very interesting and when I saw her talking about it on TV she was very honest. Thanks for your giveaway!

It's so hard to pick a favorite but I enjoyed the early years the most. If I have to choose one (which I do!) I would say On the Banks of Plum Creek. Now I want to go back and read them again! :)

5wrights1[at]verizon[dot]net

heatherzilla said...

I read the books as a child and bought the set as an adult. I have read the collection several times.
My favorite is These Happy Golden Years.

heatherzilla(at)care2(dot)com

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