Anna and Caleb live with their father out on the prairie. Their mother died while giving birth to Caleb. Their father puts an add in the paper for a bride. Sarah answers the add and comes to live with them on the prairie ... the story is familiar if you've seen the movie. I grew up loving this movie, it's one of my Mama's favorites. I think I also loved this movie because the siblings share the names of my older brother and me ... although I was happy to learn that in the book Anna is older then Caleb ... not the other way around as it was with me and my brother. *wink*
I just love this book, honestly I do. I'd never read it until just recently. It's a cozy, home-y, exciting, make you fall in love with all the characters kind of book. Read it, read it, read it!
This story is told by Anna, the oldest child who greatly misses her mother, but has to be strong (as the house chores all fall to her). Her little brother talks a lot and asks many things. He's a very curious child. Their father is strong, quite, reserved, and deeply misses his dead wife.
Sarah answers the add in the paper. She writes letters about herself to the family. She is, as she describes herself in a letter "strong and I work hard and I am willing to travel. But I am not mild mannered." She leaves out that she has a very strong will and is quite stubborn. She lives by and loves the sea but she says she was come to the prairie. She will come by train and will wear a yellow bonnet.
Sarah arrives, with her cat Seal. Many hardships await her as she becomes accustomed to the ways of the prairie ... death of farm animals, chickens for eating (not pets), no rain for months and months, no neighbors for miles and the hardest, no sea.
Anna doesn't want Sarah there because she's afraid she'll learn to love Sarah but Sarah will end up leaving because the prairie is too hard. Caleb loves her right away and is always looking for things that Sarah says that mean she'll stay.
In the end they all come to love her, but will she stay with them on the prairie or will she go back to her beloved, greatly missed sea?