The fourth book in the Rose Year series, the story of the spirited daughter of the author of the beloved Little House series.
On The Other Side of the Hill continues the story of Rose, Laura, and Almanzo as the young Wilder family struggles to overcome a series of natural disasters that beset their little farm.
About the Author
Roger Lea MacBride, a close friend of Rose Wilder Lane's, was the author of the Rose Years novels.
Read an Excerpt
In the inky blackness just behind Rose Wilder, a foot stepped on a twig with a loud crack. She jammed her fingers in her ears, and her whole body cringed as she waited for the shotgun to bark and spit its tongue of fire. All around her, in the soft glow of turneddown lanterns, stirred the ghostly shadows of well-wishers from Abe and Effie's wedding.
But the explosion did not come. Rose heard only the faint whispers of the people, the soft endless chirping of crickets, and the fluttering of a bird startled from its sleep. A cool latesummer breeze sighed through the leaves, and a limb groaned a small complaint.
A little way off in a clearing, Rose could just make out the small log house, Its dark windows looked blankly out on the forest. No smoke curled from its chimney, Curing raccoon and rabbit pelts covered the walls, their legs spread as if hugging the logs.
That was the house where Abe and Effie were beginning their now life together. Tonight their friends and kinfolk were going to give them a proper house warming.
Abe Baird was the hired hand who helped Papa with his chores. Effie Stubbins was a big sister of Rose's best friend, Alva. The Stubbinses lived just a little way up Pry Creek from Rocky Ridge Farm, where Rose. and her Mama And Papa had come to live two years ago from South Dakota. They had come here to Missouri to start a new life In the Ozark Mountains.
Abe and Effie had been married this very night. After the wedding, and after a wonderful feast and hours of dancing in one of Mr. Stubbins' barns, Abe and Effie had ridden off to the little log house in the new wagon Mr. Stubbins had given them fora present. He had even given them their own team of matched bay mules to pull it.
Now the crowd of Abe and Effie's friends and family waited in the darkened forest to shivaree the new couple. Papa was there, too. Mama had gone home to rest after dancing almost every tune with Papa. I can scarcely keep my eyes open," she'd said through a big yawn. "You go on without me."
"What's shivaree?" Rose had asked Alva as they helped Mrs. Stubbins dry the feast dishes in the kitchen.
I ain't sure," Alva had said, brushing a strand of red hair from her face with the back of a wet hand. Her red ribbons had gotten lost in the dancing, and her braids had come undone. Rose and Alva had danced all night, too, although it was more jumping and stomping than dancing.
"I ain't never done no shivareeing," said Alva. "My papa says it's kindly a ruckus-making in the dark of night, like they do on Christmas.
It's to wake up and serenade them that's just got married, to bring 'em good luck."
"It's a plain passel of noise and fun," Mrs. Stubbins had said with a chuckle. "Mind that platter, Alva, or you'll chip it. I recollect the night me and Mr. Stubbins was shivareed. You never heared such a carrying-on as that."
When all the dishes had beendried and put away in the china safe, Mr. Stubbins had gathered the wedding party in his stock barn. As the curious horses peered with shining eyes through the stall rails, he handed out old pots and pans, some tin horns, and cowbells. Two men put a big stick through the hole in the middle of a round saw-blade to carry it.
Swiney, Abe's little brother, who was eight years old, picked a cowbell; and Alva, who was nine, the same age as Rose, took two rusty railroad spikes to clink together.
Last, Mr. Stubbins brought out a drum. At least Rose thought it looked like a drum. It was an empty molasses keg with a groundhog skin stretched over one end, and the other end open. But in the middle of the skin was a holewith a long string through it, and a button on the end of that string.
"What is it?" Rose wanted to know.
"This here's a dumb bull," Mr. Stubbins said, "and it makes a racket that'll put the hair up on top of your head."
Rose laughed and touched the top of her head. She couldn't wait to hear it. Would her hair really stand up? Would it look like a rooster's crown?
When everyone had picked a noisemaker, they set out, some in wagons and others following on foot, down the dark road under the setting moon. Abe's little sharecropper's cabin sat on twenty acres of land that Rose's papa and mama had just bought from another family. That family had given up farming in the Ozarks because it was too hard. They had moved away.
Now Abe and Effie were going to live on Rocky Ridge Farm, not very far from the little house where Rose lived with Papa and Mama.
Rose had loved Abe almost from the moment she met him, after he had come to apologize when Papa caught his little brother Swiney stealing eggs from Mama's henhouse. Abe played the fiddle and told wonderful stories about olden days in the Ozarks.
Abe was just a young man, and Swiney was a wild little boy in shabby clothes. Their mother and father had died, and they were alone in the world with hardly enough to eat.
But now Abe worked with Papa on the farm, helping with the crops, timbering trees into fence rails and railroad cross-ties. Mama had gentled Swiney some with proper clothes, good food, and even teaching him his lessons.
Now that Abe and Effie were married, they would all live and work and play together on Rocky Ridge, just like family. It was a wonderful cozy feeling for Rose. She was an only child, and all her other family, Grandma and Grandpa Ingalls and all her aunts, still lived in South Dakota. Before Abe and Swiney had come to Rocky Ridge, Rose had used to get so lonesome.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
(For some reason the Rainmakers' song "The Other Side of the World" has been running through my head ever since I picked up this book.) This is the fourth book of The Rocky Ridge Years series, chronicling the life of Rose Wilder in the 1890's. It's another book that's enjoyable to read, though not compelling. It's good waiting room material. Reading a straightforward biography of Rose Wilder Lane might be quicker than reading through this series, but I think this way is a lot more fun.
One exciting thing after another happens at Rocky Ridge farm, but not all the excitement is good. A small cyclone does not cause much damage, nor does a fire, but they do cause Mama and Papa to realize that things will be tight if they stay on the farm. The family resolves that they will move to town and Papa will get a job while they wait for the apples to ripen.
I enjoyed reading about Rose's life. I would recommend this series to anyone interested in the Ingalls/Wilder series.
this was such a great book! every night before i go to bed my mom always reads me a few pages out the little house 'laura's' series and my moms mom read it to her when she was little too and we liked it so much that it was a huge disapointment when it was over but then my mom told me about these books, they were almmost as good as the other series. iwould recomend this book to any person that has a heart, a brain, and a soul. although little house was bettor this story is just as loveable and one of the best on this earth
I loved this book. I think others will like it too. :D I think it's a great book.
I COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN. THERE WAS ONE SURPRISE AFTER ANOTHER. I INTEND ON READING THE OTHER BOOKS OF THE ROSE YEARS.