The Three Faces of Nellie blog tour and giveaway

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About the Book

Book: The Three Faces of Nellie

Author: Robynne Elizabeth Miller

Genre: Non-fiction, Historical

Release Date: November, 2016

Publisher: Practical Pioneer Press

Whether you love her, hate her, or love to hate her, Nellie Oleson is one of the most recognizable literary figures of the 20th century. But Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the Little House on the Prairie series in which Nellie appears, had a secret. . .Nellie wasn’t a real person! Instead, she was a composite character created from three girls Laura knew in childhood: Nellie Owens, Genevieve Masters, and Estella Gilbert.

The Little House character of Nellie Oleson is one-dimensional: snobbish, selfish, and thoroughly unpleasant. But what about the real women behind Laura’s creation? They were an intriguing mix of the not-so-nice and the unexpectedly redeemable. In short, they were human.

Discovering the true stories behind Nellie, Genevieve, and Estella has been a fascinating journey. All three ended up on the West Coast at one point. . .true westward movement! One was widowed twice, one ended up divorced, and one died way too young. Two only had one child, and one had three, though she outlived her youngest by a very long time. There’s even some “Nellie-like” drama in there: Embezzlement. Lying on censuses. Shady land deals.

But there are some beautiful things, too. . .like the enduring love of a husband after his young wife died. Or the rare closeness of a mother and daughter who shared their lives as adults. Or the strength of a young widowed mother who not only cared for her son, but headed out west, in true pioneer fashion, while she did so.

Laura Ingalls Wilder did a masterful job of creating the character of Nellie Oleson. But the three real-life women behind that iconic character are, in my opinion, infinitely more intriguing.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Robynne Elizabeth Miller is a speaker, writing coach, and author of multiple books, articles, and essays. Her larger projects include From the Mouth of Ma, Pioneer Mixology, The Three Faces of Nellie, and Nonfiction, Memoir, or Fiction? Dissecting the Works of Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Robynne speaks nationally at writing and historical venues and teaches at writer’s workshops and conferences. She also serves as the Board President of Inspire Christian Writers, as well as their Director of Leadership, and leads two Northern California critique groups.

She holds an undergraduate degree in English Literature from Westmont College and a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction and Fiction from Ashland University.

She lives with her wonderful British husband and the youngest of their four cheeky children in the snowy woods of the Sierra Nevada mountains. When not writing, Robynne loves singing, felling trees, and making bacon from scratch.

 

My Review:

If you want to learn more about Nellie Oleson this is the book for you. The book explores how the character was actually made up from three persons. That was very interesting to learn but there was a little bit too much information for me. The author really gathers a lot of information. For this short book there was definitely a lot of research done. I really appreciate how much time the author put into this book. Has the history of each person, dates of their birth, marriage, death.
If you a fan of the Laura ingalls Wilder’s books, you may find this a very interesting book. I don’t remember reading much of the books, not sure why I didn’t because I love to read about that time in history. I did watch a lot of the TV show “little house on the prairie “ which was based on the books. I definitely remember how the character Nellie was on there.
I received an complementary copy of the book from the author through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write an positive review. This is my own opinion.

Guest Post from Robynne

Nasty Nellie Oleson. One of the most iconic literary characters in literature. Whether you loved her … or hated her … or loved to hate her, she probably left a lasting impression on you. At least if you were a fan of the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder like I was growing up!

As a young girl, I loved Wilder’s tales of wagons, prairies, and grand westward adventures. Strangely, growing up didn’t change my love for all things Little House one tiny bit. But I did become deeply curious about the real life people behind some of the more fascinating Little House characters.

Namely, Nellie Oleson.

As I began to research Nellie, I learned a ton of interesting things. She wasn’t one person, for example. Laura Ingalls Wilder wove three girls she knew in childhood into one composite character for her books. One of the first “Nellie’s,” Nellie Owens, did have a brother named Willy, but did you know that he went blind from two separate incidents, one in childhood and one in adulthood? And did you know that all three of the “Nellies” ended up on the west coast at one point? Talk about true westward movement! One married a man who eventually went to prison for embezzlement, one did some shady land deals, and one shouldn’t have been a “Nellie” at all.

I suppose I was hoping for a good, old-fashioned redemption story. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if the mean girl in Wilder’s stories grew up to work with orphans or rescue unwanted animals? Alas, that’s not exactly what happened. But the stories of these three women were fascinating all the same.

I hope you have as much fun discovering the real stories behind the famous Nellie Oleson as I did!

 

About the author

Comments

  1. This sounds like a great read, I always find it hard to find a book that I think I’ll like so I do love to have a lil look at blogs to see all the book reviews! Its so good as well when authors do a lot of research into their books! Great review, thanks for sharing.

    Chloe xx

  2. My husband LOVES little house. I think I have now seen every episode. I bet he would like to learn some more tidbits about the real Nellie.

  3. I loved watching Little House on the Prairie with much sisters. I always thought Nellie was a spoiled brat. It would be interesting to read this. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I didn’t know the interesting back story to Nellie Oleson and that she was based on three people. That character used to seriously scare me when I was young.

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