I almost hate to admit it, but I got myself a little confused reading Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen and had to go back and reread the book's description to figure out just what it was that I was reading. It's a novel, but the characters are so convincing that I started to feel like I was reading a non-fiction memoir.
Jobless with a PhD, Lee Lien returns home to her Chicago suburb from grad school, only to find herself contending with issues she’s evaded since college. But when her brother disappears, he leaves behind an object from their mother’s Vietnam past that stirs up a forgotten childhood dream: a gold-leaf brooch, abandoned by an American reporter in Saigon back in 1965, that might be an heirloom belonging to Laura Ingalls Wilder. As Lee explores the tenuous facts of this connection, she unearths more than expected—a trail of clues and enticements that lead her from the dusty stacks of library archives to hilarious prairie life reenactments and ultimately to San Francisco, where her findings will transform strangers’ lives as well as her own.
I've reread the Little House books as an adult, but it still amazes me how many details from those books are stuck so clearly in my memory. Reading this book made me want to revisit them. (There's actually a whole homeschooling curriculum built around the books. Maybe I should look at some of the Pinterest boards and see if there's anything that would appeal to my youngest two...)
If you're not already familiar with Rose Wilder Lane and her possible role in writing the Little House books, it's an interesting story. Those facts are woven in with Lee's pursuit of the truth behind her gold pin. I highly recommend this one.
For more pretty knitting projects to drool over, check out On the Needles at Patchwork Times and Work in Progress Wednesdays at Tami's Amis.
If you're looking for a free mystery for your Kindle, Death By Bourbon is a free download from Amazon right now. I haven't started this series yet, but it sounds interesting and the reviews are good.