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Laura's Shadow

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Family Secrets Spill One Conversation at a Time   Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance. De Smet, South Dakota—1890  Young women growing up in De Smet live by two rules: don’t go out in a snowstorm and don’t give your heart to Cap Garland. Young Mariah Patter Family Secrets Spill One Conversation at a Time   Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance. De Smet, South Dakota—1890  Young women growing up in De Smet live by two rules: don’t go out in a snowstorm and don’t give your heart to Cap Garland. Young Mariah Patterson only managed to obey one. Orphaned and having devoted her youth to scrapping out a life with her brother Charles, Mariah finds herself with no option but to marry the devoted—but dull—Merrill Gowan. Throwing caution to the wind, she seizes an opportunity to lay her feelings at Cap’s feet, even though she knows Cap sees the world through the torch he carries for Laura Ingalls. Mariah is certain her love for Cap will be strong enough to break both bonds, and she’s willing to risk everything to prove it.    De Smet, South Dakota—1974   Trixie Gowan is the fourth generation of living Gowan women residing in the sprawling farmhouse on the outskirts of De Smet. Well, former resident. She’s recently acquired her own bachelor girl apartment in Minneapolis, where she works writing ads for a neighborhood paper. She might live and work in the city, but her co-workers still call her Prairie Girl. Thus the inspiration for her comic strip—"Lost Laura"—in which a bespectacled girl in a calico dress tries to make her way in the city. The name is a quiet rebellion having grown up in a household where she’d been forbidden to mention the name, Laura. But when her great-grandmother Mariah’s declining health brings Trixie home for a visit, two things might just keep her there: the bedside manner of Dr. Campbell Carter and the family secret that seems to be spilling from GG’s lips one conversation at a time.   


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Family Secrets Spill One Conversation at a Time   Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance. De Smet, South Dakota—1890  Young women growing up in De Smet live by two rules: don’t go out in a snowstorm and don’t give your heart to Cap Garland. Young Mariah Patter Family Secrets Spill One Conversation at a Time   Visit historic American landmarks through the Doors to the Past series. History and today collide in stories full of mystery, intrigue, faith, and romance. De Smet, South Dakota—1890  Young women growing up in De Smet live by two rules: don’t go out in a snowstorm and don’t give your heart to Cap Garland. Young Mariah Patterson only managed to obey one. Orphaned and having devoted her youth to scrapping out a life with her brother Charles, Mariah finds herself with no option but to marry the devoted—but dull—Merrill Gowan. Throwing caution to the wind, she seizes an opportunity to lay her feelings at Cap’s feet, even though she knows Cap sees the world through the torch he carries for Laura Ingalls. Mariah is certain her love for Cap will be strong enough to break both bonds, and she’s willing to risk everything to prove it.    De Smet, South Dakota—1974   Trixie Gowan is the fourth generation of living Gowan women residing in the sprawling farmhouse on the outskirts of De Smet. Well, former resident. She’s recently acquired her own bachelor girl apartment in Minneapolis, where she works writing ads for a neighborhood paper. She might live and work in the city, but her co-workers still call her Prairie Girl. Thus the inspiration for her comic strip—"Lost Laura"—in which a bespectacled girl in a calico dress tries to make her way in the city. The name is a quiet rebellion having grown up in a household where she’d been forbidden to mention the name, Laura. But when her great-grandmother Mariah’s declining health brings Trixie home for a visit, two things might just keep her there: the bedside manner of Dr. Campbell Carter and the family secret that seems to be spilling from GG’s lips one conversation at a time.   

30 review for Laura's Shadow

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Pretty perfect My thanks to the author, Allison Pittman, the publisher and to Goodreads Giveaways for my ebook of this wonderful story. Two timelines come together at the end with charm and warmth. There's a link to Little House on the Prairie for those fans. The best parts, though, are two stories of love, one happy and one sad, that warmed my heart. The characters have depth and are likeable. Very enjoyable! Pretty perfect My thanks to the author, Allison Pittman, the publisher and to Goodreads Giveaways for my ebook of this wonderful story. Two timelines come together at the end with charm and warmth. There's a link to Little House on the Prairie for those fans. The best parts, though, are two stories of love, one happy and one sad, that warmed my heart. The characters have depth and are likeable. Very enjoyable!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jocelyn Green

    Allison Pittman is one of those rare authors who shines with equal brilliance no matter the time period she writes. Laura’s Shadow is the perfect showcase for the gritty nineteenth-century historical on the South Dakota prairie, and the 1970s Twin Cities tale of an utterly lovable newspaper cartoonist on a quest to unlock her great-grandmother’s secrets. Pittman breathes life and love, hope and heartache into a minor character first penned by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and then surrounds her with her Allison Pittman is one of those rare authors who shines with equal brilliance no matter the time period she writes. Laura’s Shadow is the perfect showcase for the gritty nineteenth-century historical on the South Dakota prairie, and the 1970s Twin Cities tale of an utterly lovable newspaper cartoonist on a quest to unlock her great-grandmother’s secrets. Pittman breathes life and love, hope and heartache into a minor character first penned by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and then surrounds her with her own world, complete with generations to round her out. I couldn’t read this absorbing story fast enough.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anna Lee Huber

    Pittman’s novels have the ability to immerse and transport readers to the past, and her latest, Laura’s Shadow, is no exception. Rich prose, lush descriptions, and astute characterizations combine to weave a story wrought from minor characters in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved books, as well as a more modern counterpart. A nostalgic tale told with heart and insight.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin Miller

    3 ⭐️ While there were some aspects of Laura's Shadow that I did appreciate, one of them being the author's writing style and character development and another being the pacing of the story (especially considering this book is about 70-100 pages shorter than full-length novels, the pacing of events was very well done). However, this read wasn't for me, honestly. There was one scene that kept me from giving this book a higher rating, and I feel it's important to share this content warning. About h 3 ⭐️ While there were some aspects of Laura's Shadow that I did appreciate, one of them being the author's writing style and character development and another being the pacing of the story (especially considering this book is about 70-100 pages shorter than full-length novels, the pacing of events was very well done). However, this read wasn't for me, honestly. There was one scene that kept me from giving this book a higher rating, and I feel it's important to share this content warning. About halfway into the story, one of the main characters has sex outside of marriage with a man who already told her he doesn't love her nor would he marry her and ends up getting pregnant. The girl (Mariah) is doing this as a way to fill the sudden loneliness of her brother being married. Of course, if I were in Mariah's shoes, without parents and my only brother getting married, I, too, would have felt loneliness and struggled with that sudden change. However, in Christian fiction, I wish authors wouldn't include "fade-to-black scenes" when it comes to sex. Although the author kept this "clean" (only describing the moments leading up to it, Mariah needing Oscar's help unbuttoning her dress, and a few brief descriptions of words Oscar told her that night and how they held each other), I wish this had been handled differently. I believe that even in fiction, it's *so* important for authors to set good examples. I'm by no means saying having perfect characters who make perfect decisions because that's not realistic at all. What I'm saying is that I would have given this book a higher rating if Mariah had been tempted to spend a night in her bedroom with Oscar but not gone through with it. As I stated above, this scene didn't have explicit content, so if fade-to-black scenes don't bother you, then you'd probably give this book a higher rating and enjoy it more than I did! For me, personally, it just made me a bit uncomfortable reading it. Thank you to NetGalley and the author for an eARC of Laura's Shadow. A positive review was not required, only my honest opinion. All thoughts are expressly my own.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paula Shreckhise

    Ms. Pittman cleverly chose characters from a Laura Ingalls Wilder book to base this story on. She gave a different perspective on the story and life in S. Dakota in 1891. What I was uncomfortable with was the depiction of loose morals by more than one character and I thought the bedroom scene could have stopped a little shorter. That said, those circumstances were the basis for the rest of the story. I enjoyed the modern timeline with the use of humor between the generations of women.Tixie, with Ms. Pittman cleverly chose characters from a Laura Ingalls Wilder book to base this story on. She gave a different perspective on the story and life in S. Dakota in 1891. What I was uncomfortable with was the depiction of loose morals by more than one character and I thought the bedroom scene could have stopped a little shorter. That said, those circumstances were the basis for the rest of the story. I enjoyed the modern timeline with the use of humor between the generations of women.Tixie, with her cat, House, who came with her apartment, was a breath of fresh air. The comic strip that she wrote was cute and reminiscent of Laura Ingalls. Modern day hero Ron: “was unmissable, a burly, giant of a man who looked like he would be a safe bet in an ax-throwing competition and a nightmare in a bar fight but was actually a kind and gentle spirit stretched over six feet and encased in 250 pounds.” He was perfect for Trixie. The author has a way with descriptive prose: “I opened my eyes to a violet sky, the color that comes when there is not a trace of sunlight left but darkness has not yet settled its blanket.” This was not my favorite book by this author but I am enjoying this series of Doors to the Past. * I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour as part of their Review Crew. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.”

  6. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    1891 & 1974 South Dakota This time slip novels shine a fresh light on Laura Ingalls Wilder. The focus is on Mariah, a student in Laura's school. Mariah is jealous of Laura due to a love triangle for another student..Cap Garland. I was fully engaged in this 1891 story line and the details were revealed expertly. In the more current timeline, Mariah (GG) has a lot of spunk which I loved, but I didn't completely understand how things played out. Perhaps it was the author's intent to have readers fil 1891 & 1974 South Dakota This time slip novels shine a fresh light on Laura Ingalls Wilder. The focus is on Mariah, a student in Laura's school. Mariah is jealous of Laura due to a love triangle for another student..Cap Garland. I was fully engaged in this 1891 story line and the details were revealed expertly. In the more current timeline, Mariah (GG) has a lot of spunk which I loved, but I didn't completely understand how things played out. Perhaps it was the author's intent to have readers fill in the blanks. Loved the period details in the 1974 thread! So fun. GG's great granddaughter's story was a good one. My gratitude to the publisher Barbour and CelebrateLit for a complimentary copy of the novel. I was not required to post a review and all opinions expressed are my own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarita

    This was a very slow read. There was a lot of promise of great mysteries to be revealed but everything was discovered on a gradual pace. I also did not really caught on to why the name Laura was such a bad thing for Mariah. She made her choices knowing facts so I did not believe that what happened was a cause for such a severe reaction. There was a lot of mistakes made and opportunities for great redemption stories which I missed. I also would have like to have a bit more insight in Mariah and Meri This was a very slow read. There was a lot of promise of great mysteries to be revealed but everything was discovered on a gradual pace. I also did not really caught on to why the name Laura was such a bad thing for Mariah. She made her choices knowing facts so I did not believe that what happened was a cause for such a severe reaction. There was a lot of mistakes made and opportunities for great redemption stories which I missed. I also would have like to have a bit more insight in Mariah and Merill’s marriage. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.*

  8. 5 out of 5

    Milena Reads Romance❤️

    Laura’s Shadow is a split timeline from 1891 to 1974. Mariah is an orphan, living with her newly engaged brother. Trixie, a great daughter to Mariah, is a cartoonist with her “Lost Laura” cartoon. Ever since Laura Ingalls Wilder was briefly her teacher, Mariah Patterson has harbored resentment towards the woman. That resentment has grown over the years because the man Mariah is in love with secret pines for Laura, I really had a hard time liking her. The story: Not everyone loved Laura Ingalls W Laura’s Shadow is a split timeline from 1891 to 1974. Mariah is an orphan, living with her newly engaged brother. Trixie, a great daughter to Mariah, is a cartoonist with her “Lost Laura” cartoon. Ever since Laura Ingalls Wilder was briefly her teacher, Mariah Patterson has harbored resentment towards the woman. That resentment has grown over the years because the man Mariah is in love with secret pines for Laura, I really had a hard time liking her. The story: Not everyone loved Laura Ingalls Wilder. There was hardly a faith message in this story, I cannot classify it as a Christian fiction that Barbour Publishing is known to publish. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rachel McMillan

    I don't care a HANG about anything Wilder but I care EVERYTHING about Allison Pittman I don't care a HANG about anything Wilder but I care EVERYTHING about Allison Pittman

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ilaria 🌸

    This book is not what I was expecting and surprised me both ways positively and negatively I was expecting a re write of Laura or a sort of fictional biography and it wasn’t Well written well edited nevertheless parts are boring and too long descriptions of daily tasks dual POV is not for me but well done 3 stars I just reviewed Laura's Shadow by Allison Pittman. #LaurasShadow #NetGalley [NetGalley URL] Edit This book is not what I was expecting and surprised me both ways positively and negatively I was expecting a re write of Laura or a sort of fictional biography and it wasn’t Well written well edited nevertheless parts are boring and too long descriptions of daily tasks dual POV is not for me but well done 3 stars I just reviewed Laura's Shadow by Allison Pittman. #LaurasShadow #NetGalley [NetGalley URL] Edit

  11. 4 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    I am enjoying reading through the Doors to the Past series and when I saw this one has a backstory focus of Laura Ingalls Wilder I was all in. Growing up of course I've read the Little House on the Prairie books. The duel time line just flows effortlessly and is about Mariah, a student of Laura Ingalls in the historical time frame and we then see Mariah again in the later time frame of the 1970's as a woman over 100 years old requesting her great granddaughter Trixie Gowan visit her. The more Ma I am enjoying reading through the Doors to the Past series and when I saw this one has a backstory focus of Laura Ingalls Wilder I was all in. Growing up of course I've read the Little House on the Prairie books. The duel time line just flows effortlessly and is about Mariah, a student of Laura Ingalls in the historical time frame and we then see Mariah again in the later time frame of the 1970's as a woman over 100 years old requesting her great granddaughter Trixie Gowan visit her. The more Mariah tells Trixie the more secrets we hear revealed about her life. Interesting read. This one will hold your attention from the first page through the last. Pub Date 01 Aug 2022 I was given a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Laura's Shadow was not a book for me. I found myself bored while reading it and the characters were not favorites. I was surprised by certain content and that the characters didn't seem repentant of their actions. All in all, I just didn't like it. I'm not a fan of Laura Ingalls, so that aspect didn't really connect with me either. *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. Laura's Shadow was not a book for me. I found myself bored while reading it and the characters were not favorites. I was surprised by certain content and that the characters didn't seem repentant of their actions. All in all, I just didn't like it. I'm not a fan of Laura Ingalls, so that aspect didn't really connect with me either. *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*

  13. 4 out of 5

    Loraine

    Another split time read in the Doors to the Past series. This story focused on Trixie Gowan and her great grandmother, Mariah. It is set in DeMet, South Dakota. Mariah grew up in small town DeMet with Laura Ingalls who became her teacher in a one room school house. Laura was a beauty and pursued by the young man that Mariah had a crush on. Mariah made some mistakes in her life and found herself in a loveless marriage. Now Mariah at 102 has some last wishes only Trixie can fill. Meanwhile, Trixie Another split time read in the Doors to the Past series. This story focused on Trixie Gowan and her great grandmother, Mariah. It is set in DeMet, South Dakota. Mariah grew up in small town DeMet with Laura Ingalls who became her teacher in a one room school house. Laura was a beauty and pursued by the young man that Mariah had a crush on. Mariah made some mistakes in her life and found herself in a loveless marriage. Now Mariah at 102 has some last wishes only Trixie can fill. Meanwhile, Trixie is wondering if she will ever find the love of her life. I enjoyed the plot of this book, but the first part seemed to develop rather slowly. Also the first third of the book I had difficulty keeping the women straight with mom, grandmother, and great grandmother. Overall, a nice read and I enjoyed the use of the Little House books, but not among my favorites in this series. **I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tamara

    Laura’s Shadow is Allison Pittman’s take on what could’ve happened with Marthe(who has been renamed Mariah) and Charles Patterson. Mariah doesn’t like Laura Ingalls Wilder. This is the premise that Mariah was in love with Cap, who was, in turn, in love with Laura but he had nothing to offer Mariah. This is a dual-time story with Mariah’s great-granddaughter, Trixie’s story is in the other timeline. I didn’t connect with either Mariah or Trixie. I thought I wouldn’t be able to follow because I have Laura’s Shadow is Allison Pittman’s take on what could’ve happened with Marthe(who has been renamed Mariah) and Charles Patterson. Mariah doesn’t like Laura Ingalls Wilder. This is the premise that Mariah was in love with Cap, who was, in turn, in love with Laura but he had nothing to offer Mariah. This is a dual-time story with Mariah’s great-granddaughter, Trixie’s story is in the other timeline. I didn’t connect with either Mariah or Trixie. I thought I wouldn’t be able to follow because I haven’t read Laura Ingalls Wilder but that wasn’t the case. It was just Mariah who had had a hard life and wasn’t a fan of Ms. Wilder. This was a case of cover love for me and that’s what initially got me hooked into wanting to read this. It just did not end up what I was hoping for or where I wanted it to go either. My gratitude to NetGalley and Barbour Books. All opinions expressed are mine. 2.5 stars

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lynda

    My blurb … Setting: De Smet, South Dakota 1890 & 1974. Remember Cap Garland, a friend of Almanzo Wilder, husband of Laura Ingalls Wilder? A novel based on Cap & a young Mariah (she was Martha in These Happy Golden Years). And in 1974, a young woman, Trixie Gowan, who is on the staff of the newspaper. She creates advertising art *and* a comic strip–“Lost Laura” loosely based on guess who? There is a connection between the women in the 1890 and the 1974 stories. My review … Okay. I was hooked from the My blurb … Setting: De Smet, South Dakota 1890 & 1974. Remember Cap Garland, a friend of Almanzo Wilder, husband of Laura Ingalls Wilder? A novel based on Cap & a young Mariah (she was Martha in These Happy Golden Years). And in 1974, a young woman, Trixie Gowan, who is on the staff of the newspaper. She creates advertising art *and* a comic strip–“Lost Laura” loosely based on guess who? There is a connection between the women in the 1890 and the 1974 stories. My review … Okay. I was hooked from the first phrase of "A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR" that begins Laura’s Shadow for the simple reason — she read Little House on the Prairie. I remember getting my first “Little House” book, Little House in the Big Woods, and read all of them as soon as I could. I’ve reread them since. So, if you enjoyed the “Little House” books, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll like this book. The books in the series, Doors to the Past, are all by different authors. Each book deals with a historic American landmark. In this case, it’s the town of De Smet, South Dakota. What if you aren’t a “Little House” fan? -- If you like a light mystery with a little romance … -- If you like a story with a touch of “real life” characters … -- Then Laura’s Shadow will be just right for you. I do believe “Little House” readers will enjoy the book a bit more, especially the 1890 segments. What else makes Laura’s Shadow special? Swapping eras (1890 to 1974) is not always handled well. The swap is hard to follow; sometimes you don’t know which period you are in. Not so for Laura’s Shadow. No awkwardness. No feeling of what? Am I in 1890 or 1974? [Inserted -- picture of The Real Cap Garland] I’d love to tell you more about how the girl in 1974, Trixie Gowan, is connected to the Mariah in 1890. But that would spoil one of the key elements of the plot. As does answering the question of where Cap Garland fits into Mariah’s story. Yes, I recommend this book — whether you loved Laura Ingalls Wilder or not. I received a complimentary e-ARC copy of Laura's Shadow via NetGalley from the publisher, Barbour Publishing, Barbour Fiction. A positive review was not required; the opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own. Rating: 5 stars #LaurasShadow #NetGalley #AllisonPittman< The image of Cap Garland is from the site "Laura Ingalls Wilder, Frontier Girl", along with a short bio. Series Doors to the Past #9 Genre Historical Fiction Pub. Date 1 Aug 2022 Pages 257 Publisher Barbour Publishing, Barbour Fiction Cover Love these "from behind" book covers. NOTE: My review on my blog (https://lyndapbookreviews.com/lauras-...) has an image of the "real" Cap Garland.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    3.5 stars "I wish I could say I developed an affection for him." Mariah Patterson knew her brother's machinations were well intended, but suffering through Thursday evening meals with a well established local bachelor held absolutely no appeal. Yes, she needed to think about her future; yes, her beloved brother was moving ahead with his own happily-ever-after; yes, there was one man who made her heart sing . . . . but unfortunately, to Cap Garland she was just another skirt. . . . for it seemed th 3.5 stars "I wish I could say I developed an affection for him." Mariah Patterson knew her brother's machinations were well intended, but suffering through Thursday evening meals with a well established local bachelor held absolutely no appeal. Yes, she needed to think about her future; yes, her beloved brother was moving ahead with his own happily-ever-after; yes, there was one man who made her heart sing . . . . but unfortunately, to Cap Garland she was just another skirt. . . . for it seemed that he would forever pine after Laura Ingalls. As the sunset of her life draws near, Mariah's finagles a way to summon her great granddaughter Trixie Gowan home. Assuming that her beloved "GG" is at death's door, imagine Trixie's surprise when she realizes that her crafty great-grand has actually staged the entire situation in order to share a tightly held secret without actually saying the words. As it turns out, the trip might even allow Trixie to discover the kind of love than her beloved "GG" had simply dreamed about. What a curious story. Its brilliance is in the actual idea; pulling what could have been, or might have been, away from the texture of a much beloved set of children's stories that have survived for decades. Sure, there are some carefully crafted "warm fuzzies" in this story, but it's also a reminder that life isn't always fair and that "sometimes first love exists as a foundation for new love".

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

    Laura’s Shadow is a split timeline from 1891 to 1974. Mariah had Laura Ingalls Wilder as a teacher. Trixie, a great daughter to Mariah, is a cartoonist with her “Lost Laura” cartoon and creative ads for a newspaper. I could picture Trixie’s drawings with the descriptive words about her character. The story was slow in places and not what I thought it would be in regards to Laura Ingalls Wilder. There was hardly a faith message in this story, thus I cannot classify it as a Christian fiction that Laura’s Shadow is a split timeline from 1891 to 1974. Mariah had Laura Ingalls Wilder as a teacher. Trixie, a great daughter to Mariah, is a cartoonist with her “Lost Laura” cartoon and creative ads for a newspaper. I could picture Trixie’s drawings with the descriptive words about her character. The story was slow in places and not what I thought it would be in regards to Laura Ingalls Wilder. There was hardly a faith message in this story, thus I cannot classify it as a Christian fiction that Barbour Publishing is known to publish. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing without any obligation to write a positive review. I have shared my own thoughts.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Missy

    Growing up, I LOVED Little House on the Prairie. My babysitter said I could be dead asleep and as soon as those first notes started the show I sprung up like a spring to watch. I can pretty much tell you what episode it is just by the title, or the first few seconds of the show. Old episodes, or new, I love them. I lived just south of Burr Oak for a couple of years and took my girls to Little House Days and they enjoyed it, though I can barely get them to watch an episode. This story went right Growing up, I LOVED Little House on the Prairie. My babysitter said I could be dead asleep and as soon as those first notes started the show I sprung up like a spring to watch. I can pretty much tell you what episode it is just by the title, or the first few seconds of the show. Old episodes, or new, I love them. I lived just south of Burr Oak for a couple of years and took my girls to Little House Days and they enjoyed it, though I can barely get them to watch an episode. This story went right to my heart. The story of GG and her history with Laura Ingalls. How Cap Garland in the book was the object of both their affection, only he had it for Laura. In present day, Trixie learns little until the end why GG had such an angst for Laura. With her comic strip Little Laura, Trixie brings Laura into modern day and makes something so simple in the 1800's so complex in modern times. The dynamic of Trixie, her mother, grandmother, and GG is one of strong women. If you can't tell, I enjoyed this story very much. One thing that I found interesting was that Ron said he hadn't heard of Laura Ingalls while growing up in Wisconsin, considering that is where she was born. And were answering machines all that popular in 1974? Other than those, I enjoyed the story past and present equally.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Unfortunately I struggled getting into this dual timeline novel. It seemed to be a little slower paced than I typically prefer. I did enjoy the mentions of Laura Ingalls Wilder and it brought back sweet memories from my childhood when reading the Little House books. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Meagan

    3.5 stars, rounded up to 4. I've read every book in the _Doors to the Past_ series (and really enjoyed them). This one is no exception! Pittman is a talented author, quite skilled at crafting believable, interesting dual-time novels. I wasn't immediately sold on the 1891 storyline, but appreciated it by the end. (I also entirely overlooked the Laura Ingalls Wilder connection when requesting the book at NetGalley, so that discovery defo added another layer of interest; I did, after all, grow up dur 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4. I've read every book in the _Doors to the Past_ series (and really enjoyed them). This one is no exception! Pittman is a talented author, quite skilled at crafting believable, interesting dual-time novels. I wasn't immediately sold on the 1891 storyline, but appreciated it by the end. (I also entirely overlooked the Laura Ingalls Wilder connection when requesting the book at NetGalley, so that discovery defo added another layer of interest; I did, after all, grow up during the 80s/90s, and caught reruns of the TV series at my cousins' house!) I haven't read much fiction set in the 1970s, and thought it was great. How things have changed since then, lol--even since the 80s! (And yet, sometimes, nothing has changed, amirite?) This book really brought the decade to life for me, and its South Dakota setting reminded me not only of Wilder's books--which I need to reread now--but also Willa Cather's. I listened to _My Antonia_ earlier this year and have a newfound + deeper appreciation for Midwest settlers and their experiences. The epilogue in particular stood out to me as a highlight of this read. The fangirling over Michael Landon made me literally LOL (because again, child of the 80s/90s ... and female at that. What female hasn't swooned over him at least once?) I will note, there is a fade-to-black romantic scene in _Laura's Shadow_. Thankfully it is a one-off both in the "Doors to the Past" series and Pittman's books...I was glad it didn't go further than it did, but felt it could have been handled...better? Differently? Not sure. It was disappointing, though, and a bit jarring/unexpected. The only reason this gets 3.5 stars and not a full 4. I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sunnie

    I enjoyed this dual time book very well, especially because one of the characters lived in both time periods! Pretty cool how that was done. I loved the impact of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who's books were a big part of my Minnesota upbringing. I found it interesting that Mariah had certain feelings about Laura as they knew each other in early life and that meshed so well into the story of her life as time went on. The book has happy and sad times in the life of the main character as well as real-l I enjoyed this dual time book very well, especially because one of the characters lived in both time periods! Pretty cool how that was done. I loved the impact of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who's books were a big part of my Minnesota upbringing. I found it interesting that Mariah had certain feelings about Laura as they knew each other in early life and that meshed so well into the story of her life as time went on. The book has happy and sad times in the life of the main character as well as real-life experiences that changed the path of her life. Well worth the time to read this one! This book was very well developed. Enjoyed it so much! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Susan F

    At times I can read a book for pure enjoyment. I'm not immersed in facts, historically or otherwise. I simply find a compelling story and I sink into it. Laura's Shadow is that kind of book for me. I didn't read any of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books until I was in my early twenties so I didn't have the childlike devotion to the wonderful stories others have had including Trixie Gowan. I don't care for dual timeline stories but I cared for the two main characters, Mariah and Trixie so much that tha At times I can read a book for pure enjoyment. I'm not immersed in facts, historically or otherwise. I simply find a compelling story and I sink into it. Laura's Shadow is that kind of book for me. I didn't read any of Laura Ingalls Wilder's books until I was in my early twenties so I didn't have the childlike devotion to the wonderful stories others have had including Trixie Gowan. I don't care for dual timeline stories but I cared for the two main characters, Mariah and Trixie so much that that dislike melted away as I journeyed back and forth with their stories. I won't delve into them, I'd say, read the book! This, to me, is one of the best what if storylines I have ever read and I love that the author let herself go there. What if Almanzo Wilder's friend and fellow hero, Oscar "Cap" Garland, was also in love with Laura Ingalls? What if one of her students, close in age, saw her very differently than her later years readers did? What if that girl, Mariah was drawn to Oscar? Oh the what if's are great in the story, right down to Mariah's great granddaughter. Trixie has surprises in store when she travels home to her 104 year old GG's bedside. The book is well written with such an interesting take. I don't want to give any spoilers. The book is that good for my imagination and I want other readers to make their own discoveries. I thank the publisher and NetGalley for my advanced reader's copy. This is my own personal opinion. I rarely read a book twice because there are so many out there but, I can see myself reading this one again.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    Her life will no longer be in Laura's Shadow... Since Little House In The Big Woods the world has been fascinated by the life and fictionalized adventures of Laura Ingalls Wilder. We've read the books, watched the TV show, made our own cornhusk dolls and snow candy...but what if there was a girl who, by circumstance and by choice, was lost in Laura's Shadow? What would it be like to always be eclipsed by your young schoolteacher even long after she were dead... Like millions of little girls before Her life will no longer be in Laura's Shadow... Since Little House In The Big Woods the world has been fascinated by the life and fictionalized adventures of Laura Ingalls Wilder. We've read the books, watched the TV show, made our own cornhusk dolls and snow candy...but what if there was a girl who, by circumstance and by choice, was lost in Laura's Shadow? What would it be like to always be eclipsed by your young schoolteacher even long after she were dead... Like millions of little girls before me in the last 90 years I grew up on the Little House books. My mom read them to me when I must have been 5 or 6 and it wasn't long before I read them all for myself. When I discovered that Doors To The Past series that I've been enjoying since book one would have a story set in Laura's world, well, I was excited and intrigued. What I got from Allison Pittman was much more interesting than I could have ever anticipated... Laura's Shadow untangles the lives and choices of 4 generations of women, from 1880s pioneer life on the prairie to the women's lib era of the 1970s. These women have loved, they have lost, and they have endured together as a family. I will date myself just a smidge by saying that I really liked Allison Pittman's daring change-up from the Doors To The Past series norm by setting her story in two separate historical eras – the late 1800s and the mid 1970s. It was different and it was fun to read. There are many things I could say about Laura's Shadow but I think this is one you are just better reading it for yourself. Allison Pittman's take on the story is not a light and fluffy historical romance which I felt lent some real authenticity to it. Life isn't always easy and the choices we make are not always the right ones but, like Mariah, and even Trixie, we still do the best we can with what we are given. So, if you are looking for a book with some real poignant moments and some great song references may I recommend this ninth Doors To The Past novel... (I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence from the prologue: The schoolhouse was nothing more than a shack, with sunlight and drifting snow blowing through the spaces between the thin, rough-cut slats. Laura's Shadow, the newest novel by Allison Pittman, has dual timelines: 1891 and 1974. One story (the 1974 story) focuses on Trixie Gowan, a young cartoonist (and ad writer), her cartoon "Lost Laura" may be on its way to becoming syndicated. It is about a "prairie girl" lost in the modern big city. The other story focuses First sentence from the prologue: The schoolhouse was nothing more than a shack, with sunlight and drifting snow blowing through the spaces between the thin, rough-cut slats. Laura's Shadow, the newest novel by Allison Pittman, has dual timelines: 1891 and 1974. One story (the 1974 story) focuses on Trixie Gowan, a young cartoonist (and ad writer), her cartoon "Lost Laura" may be on its way to becoming syndicated. It is about a "prairie girl" lost in the modern big city. The other story focuses on Mariah Patterson, a devoted sister to Charles who's about to face some major personal challenges when she gives her heart (and body) away to the super dashing yet elusive "Cap" Garland. The premise of this one is that Trixie's great grandmother (the 104 still very much living great-grandmother, GG Mariah) was one of Miss Ingalls' pupils. She was renamed Martha in These Happy Golden Years. And Mariah did NOT like how Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote about her teaching days. For as long as Trixie can remember, Mariah has hated Laura Ingalls Wilder. But is there more to this story than just how the pupils were depicted? Now that Mariah is dying (in 1974), she's trusting one woman--her great-grand-daughter, Trixie, with her closely held secret... She's not ready to reveal all to her daughter-in-law, Eugenie, or her granddaughter, Alma, just her great-grand-daughter, Trixie. Dual timelines, dual narrators, alternating chapters. Usually I hate, hate, hate this technique. But in this case, it worked for me. I actually was enjoying BOTH timelines equally. I loved Trixie going back to her family home in De Smet, South Dakota, and spending time with her great-grandmother. I loved Trixie's romance. I loved the family dynamics. I almost wanted *more* of the family dynamics. We *really* get to know two of the four generations. But I would have loved to see more of how Eugenie and Alma fit into the family's legacy. Another thing I loved was all the culture/music references. Pittman does a great job with bringing to life the 1974 setting. I especially love that the book ends with the whole family (minus one) watching the premiere of the television show Little House on the Prairie. I was enjoying Mariah's narrative...until I wasn't. I would say for 80% of her chapters I was like THIS IS SO GOOD. Mariah is 100% fictional. If there was a Charles and Martha (I can't remember if These Happy Golden Years gave them a last name) in history, they faded out of the records quickly. Perhaps they were composite characters. Maybe first and last names were changed. Because they are record-less, Pittman has taken full liberties with their characters, their stories. "Cap" Garland (Oscar Garland) is NOT fictional. He was a real person. There are real facts and details actually known about him. (Including HOW and WHEN he died.) For better or worse, I made the mistake of looking up Oscar "Cap" Garland about halfway through the book. It changed how I experienced the rest of the novel. On the one hand, I think it prepared me. On the other hand, I knew what was coming. For the faint of heart, I do recommend knowing before you get to the END. Side tangent: This is definitely published by a Christian publisher--Barbour--BUT I feel that 99.99% of this one could have been published by a secular publisher for a secular audience. Other than the fact that the 1891 characters go to church (mostly) every week, there's not one iota of this one that makes it Christian. This could be seen by readers as GREAT news or horrible news. On the one hand, there are hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of readers who wouldn't touch Christian fiction with a ten foot pole. They may have an interest in the subject--Laura Ingalls Wilder's friends and family (we see Pa Ingalls playing his fiddle at a couple of community events), but no interest in reading a "Christian" book...ever. On the other hand, Christian readers who actually read Christian fiction on purpose and know that Barbour is a Christian publisher who specializes in feel-good Christian romances, may be confused by the lack of Christian content or any actual moral. (Again the lack of a moral may be hooray!!! for some readers.) S P O I L E R A L E R T SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT I hated the liberties Pittman took with "Cap" Garland. She may have been in love with him since she was a girl reading the "yellow" books (aka Little House books), but that isn't a good enough excuse, in my humble opinion, to make him an immoral cad. It was like she was using her love for him as an excuse to write a "steamy" scene in a historical book. Quote from "The Wanderer" Oh well, I'm the type of guy Who will never settle down Where pretty girls are Well, you know that I'm around I kiss 'em and I love 'em 'Cause to me they're all the same I hug 'em and I squeeze 'em They don't even know my name Quote from "Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me" Girl, don't let your life Get tangled up with mine 'Cause I'll just leave you I can't take no clingin' vine Baby, baby, don't get hooked on me Baby, baby don't get hooked on me 'Cause I'll just use you then I'll set you free Baby, baby don't get hooked on me Quote from "Angel of the Morning" There'll be no strings to bind your hands Not if my love can't bind your heart. And there's no need to take a stand For it was I who chose to start. I think even with the turn that this one took--and it was a choice, to be sure--I think with a couple hundred more pages it could have been redeemed. Cap Garland may have met his end--dramatically and 100% true to life, but, it wouldn't have had to be end for Mariah's story. Again, a choice on Pittman's part. Personally, I would have loved to see Mariah's story REDEEMED by a second chance and a discovery of what love actually means (as opposed to lusty-lust and puppy love). We've had plenty of stories of women finding love again after disappointment or heartbreak or whatnot.

  25. 4 out of 5

    MJSH

    "Sometimes first love exists as a foundation for new love." This is not the first Allison Pittman book I have read but it feels very different from the ones I have read. I love dual timeline settings, I loved some of the books in this series, and I love the author's writing style so this book was a no-brainer for me to pick up. I really enjoyed that the 1890s timeline and 1970s timeline combined the great grandmother's story and the great granddaughter's. The author's beautiful prose is captivati "Sometimes first love exists as a foundation for new love." This is not the first Allison Pittman book I have read but it feels very different from the ones I have read. I love dual timeline settings, I loved some of the books in this series, and I love the author's writing style so this book was a no-brainer for me to pick up. I really enjoyed that the 1890s timeline and 1970s timeline combined the great grandmother's story and the great granddaughter's. The author's beautiful prose is captivating. Perhaps it's that I am not a huge fan of Little House books but I had a bit of difficulty connecting with the 1890s plotline - a plotline revolving around the minor characters in Laura Ingalls Wilder's These Happy Golden Years. Mariah, Trixie's great grandmother, is one of the students that Laura Ingalls taught and life in 1890s South Dakota is told in her first person narrative. Mariah, as a young woman, is hard to understand though her tender relationship with her older brother Charles is a shining moment in her wearied and battle-scarred life. 1970s Trixie tells her tale in third person narrative and she was easier to connect with; she has great and hilarious conversations with Ron, her boss and possible love interest. It was interesting to see Mariah in 1970s as a hundred plus year old woman, grounded by faith and life experiences but still harboring loss and deep regret. Though I didn't necessarily connect with all the characters, I did appreciate the clever and intricate plot, the bond among the generations of women in Trixie's family, and the author's lyrical writing style. I received the book from the publisher via Celebrate Lit Tours and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are my own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Anne Rightler

    Another good story in the Doors to the Past series. Dual time settings of the 1970s and 1890s. Family secrets are revealed as the story unfolds. I enjoy dual-time and historical fiction genres. Laura's Shadow was a good meld of the two. I listened to a library copy of the audiobook and Suzie Althens did a great job narrating Mariah and Trixie's stories. Another good story in the Doors to the Past series. Dual time settings of the 1970s and 1890s. Family secrets are revealed as the story unfolds. I enjoy dual-time and historical fiction genres. Laura's Shadow was a good meld of the two. I listened to a library copy of the audiobook and Suzie Althens did a great job narrating Mariah and Trixie's stories.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    *4.5 stars What a delightful surprise! I've loved Little House for a very long time, though I'll admit I haven't read the last few books in years (the story is still totally enjoyable and understandable without knowledge of them). In the other Doors to the Past books I've read, the "modern" storyline is indeed modern, set in 2022, but here, the book bounces between 1890 and 1974, and the vibes could not be more fun! That's really how I'd describe Trixie's storyline - fun. I smiled my way through *4.5 stars What a delightful surprise! I've loved Little House for a very long time, though I'll admit I haven't read the last few books in years (the story is still totally enjoyable and understandable without knowledge of them). In the other Doors to the Past books I've read, the "modern" storyline is indeed modern, set in 2022, but here, the book bounces between 1890 and 1974, and the vibes could not be more fun! That's really how I'd describe Trixie's storyline - fun. I smiled my way through her story, she's perfectly funny and quirky and confident, and her love story had me swooning. (and a certain conversation about the movie "Carousel" had me cackling) Mariah's storyline is much heavier, but the characters are ones that I cared deeply about instantly. I love a good sibling story, and the relationship between Mariah and Charles is beautiful. There's definitely more innuendo-laced jokes than I was expecting, and less faith content, but I had such a good time with Trixie peeling back the layers of Mariah's past. I couldn't put the book down. 4.5 stars from me! **I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. A positive review was not required. All opinions are my own.**

  28. 5 out of 5

    Faye

    A dual timeline novel that delves into the world of America's most beloved prairie girl. Written in Ms. Pittman's signature lush prose, with descriptions that make you want to pause and linger on the mental image, she brings to life briefly mentioned characters from the beloved Laura Ingalls Wilder novel. I was intrigued by the premise, though at times it was hard to read because I could see the wheels churning in Mariah's head leading up to a choice she made and couldn't stop her. I think that A dual timeline novel that delves into the world of America's most beloved prairie girl. Written in Ms. Pittman's signature lush prose, with descriptions that make you want to pause and linger on the mental image, she brings to life briefly mentioned characters from the beloved Laura Ingalls Wilder novel. I was intrigued by the premise, though at times it was hard to read because I could see the wheels churning in Mariah's head leading up to a choice she made and couldn't stop her. I think that readers should be warned that there is a fade to black sex scene, and I didn't find the way that it was dealt with in the aftermath satisfying for me personally. Oddly in this dual timeline story I actually enjoyed the more contemporary story better, as Trixie decides between the familiar and taking a chance on something new. I loved her friendship with Ron, and his quirky charm. Overall, I have really mixed feelings about this book. It definitely has a little of everything going on with forbidden love, love triangles, arranged marriages of convenience, Laura Ingalls, and family secrets revealed. Some things I really loved, and others I didn't. A story of love and longing, that does a great job bringing the South Dakota prairie to life. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sally Mander

    4 stars, Not everyone loved Laura Ingalls Wilder LAURA'S SHADOW (DOORS TO THE PAST # 9) by Allison Pittman This is a dual timeline, historical, Christian fiction novel. It is set in De Smet, South Dakota, the times are 1974 when Trixie Gowan is growing up in a multi-generational line of female relatives, and 1890 when Trixie's great grandmother Mariah Patterson, (whom Trixie calls GG) was a young woman, an orphan, living with her newly engaged brother. Everyone in their family knows that Mariah can 4 stars, Not everyone loved Laura Ingalls Wilder LAURA'S SHADOW (DOORS TO THE PAST # 9) by Allison Pittman This is a dual timeline, historical, Christian fiction novel. It is set in De Smet, South Dakota, the times are 1974 when Trixie Gowan is growing up in a multi-generational line of female relatives, and 1890 when Trixie's great grandmother Mariah Patterson, (whom Trixie calls GG) was a young woman, an orphan, living with her newly engaged brother. Everyone in their family knows that Mariah can't stand Laura Ingalls Wilder. There are family secrets and GG is ready to tell Trixie about her pain, through the years. This book has a loose description of a single man sleeping with a single woman, out of wedlock. It doesn't sound so out of the ordinary, in today's modern times, but in 1890, that is something that was simply not done. It may come as a shock to someone expecting a Christian historical fiction novel. My favorite character in this book is Merrill Gowan. He is a man with heart and the capability to love, much more than several of the other characters. I am thankful for the complimentary copy of #laurasshadow in the #doorstothepastseries I was under no obligation to post a review. #mystery #inspyfiction #historicalfiction #coverlove #allisonpittman #newrelease2022

  30. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    I have enjoyed Barbour Publishing's Doors to the Past series, but this particular addition to the series fell a little flat. I didn't dislike it, but neither did I ever feel fully engaged with the story or the characters. I had been excited by the author's note at the beginning of the book explaining how the book was inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie books, thinking it would make the perfect gift for our daughter-in-law. After reading Laura's Shadow I no longer antic I have enjoyed Barbour Publishing's Doors to the Past series, but this particular addition to the series fell a little flat. I didn't dislike it, but neither did I ever feel fully engaged with the story or the characters. I had been excited by the author's note at the beginning of the book explaining how the book was inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie books, thinking it would make the perfect gift for our daughter-in-law. After reading Laura's Shadow I no longer anticipate that she, a great fan of Ingall's books, would be delighted with this book. I also want to mention that I would classify the book more as clean fiction rather than Christian fiction. It is a dual-timeline tale. I do remain grateful to have received a complimentary copy of Laura's Shadow from Barbour Publishing via NetGalley without obligation. All opinions expressed here are my own.

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