One of the staples of any good long-sunning television show is conflict, and Little House on the Prairie is no exception. Many a week did we tune in to find out what that hideous Nellie Oleson was planning to do to our beloved Ingalls family. But the character of Nellie could not have been as horrible if not for the acting chops of Alison Arngrim.
Arngrim’s snotty portrayal of the anti-Laura Ingalls was perfect in many ways. In fact, Arngrim lets readers of her memoir know that many people came up to her while she was playing Nellie and in the years after, telling us what a terrible person they really thought she was, and that’s putting it mildly.
Arngrim uses the book to talk about the personal struggles that helped her develop the thick skin needed to flourish under the pressure of being America’s ‘Prairie Bitch’, including years of abuse. She also talks fondly of her relationship with another Prairie Girl, Melissa Gilbert.
And finally, when you grow up being hated in homes across America, thanks to Network TV, where do you go? Alison Arngrim details her life after the series as well, including her in-depth research about the Ingalls family and her various other projects (one of which is a tour of the Los Angeles area, I think).
Overall, it’s a good, compelling celebrity read. There were some unexpected things as well as some expected things, but I really enjoyed reading the book and found a newer respect for the prairie girl I never really liked.
Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Surivived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated by Alison Arngrim
320 Pages, It Books
Hardcover: June 2010, Retail: $25.99