I was looking over the ebooks available for free online through the library, and “Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated” by Alison Arngrim caught my eye. Being a person who cried over every episode of “Little House on the Prarie” I was very curious to get a behind the scenes take on Nellie Oelson.
Turns out I love her. She is hysterical and in fact, now does stand up comedy. While she had some disturbing things happen to her at the hands (and another body part) of her brother, also a child star who was really messed up. Really.
Alison does a great job of giving you a very realistic look at almost all of the characters on the show and you can kind of see who you would have liked and who, not so much. She did such a good job, that it almost satisfied my lifelong fantasy of being on one of the show as some nice and wonderful friend of Pa, who saves the day and he gives a big hug to. (Yeah, he was pretty hot back in the day and Bonanza was one of my favorite shows too.) I also would have liked a part where I kicked Nellie’s butt. I also want to be in an episode or two of the original “Rockford Files” knowing full well that it would be impossible, but I still do. But, back to “Confessions”.
This woman’s writing style is so entertaining. She writes with wit and class as she covers her seven years of work, and I mean work, on Little House. I say class because while Alison was, and is good friends with Melissa Gilbert, she didn’t recall her time spent on set with warm and fuzzies for Melissa Sue Anderson. This really got to me so I HAD to read her book. That was time pretty much wasted. Anderson is a stilted writer and you kind of get the impression that it is a reflection she can’t escape, like one in a mirror. Lots of name dropping, humble praise of her awards, blah, blah, blah. Totally boring and I actually had to BUY that book because the library didn’t have it for free – see where my curiosity gets me? This begs the question, “Will I read Melissa Gilbert’s book too?” It’s next on my list.
You will love “Confessions” though, and it is worth it even if you have to pay for it – it was so fun to read that I really couldn’t wait to get back to it. While Alison lets you see her take on the real people who played the wonderful characters on “Little House” in full color, she looks back with a loving touch and we can see that we too are real characters, just like the people who played those roles. Yeah, no body is perfect and a laugh here and there goes a long way.
In short, I liked this book a lot and recommend it as a “good read”. And I am not saying this because I am afraid that Nellie will make my life miserable if she would ever read this review. I could take her.