Confessions Of A Prairie Bitch by Alison Arngrim


Ahhhh Nellie Oleson, the villain of Little House On The Prairie before villains were cool.


Little House On The Prairie was a tv series that ran from 1974 – 1983.  Alison Arngrim was called in to read for the part of Mary.  Then she was called back to read for the part of Laura.  Then finally she was called in to read for the part of Nellie Oleson, the arch-enemy of Laura Ingalls…

the rest is history.

So what was it like to play a villain type character in the 70’s?  Alison Arngrin soon learned that is takes a thick skin.  Fans of the show could not separate Alison from the Nellie role she played on tv.  Yelled at, swore at, and even kicked to the ground in public.

From her heartbreaking home life as a child, to the ins and outs of the hit series, the cast the crew and all the serious as well as funny happenings in between… Alison shares an incredible story in Confessions Of A Prairie Bitch.







So here is my story.  I grew up on Little House On The Prairie.  I was younger than both Melissa Gilbert and Alison Arngrim when the show aired in 1974 and I loved the episodes of family life in the Prairie.  I had read and loved the series of books and when I seen that Melissa Gilbert had written a book called Prairie Tale I jumped at the chance to get it.

But wait…. this review is about Confessions Of A Prairie Bitch!

Oh yeah… that….

So here is what happened.  I went on-line to purchase Prairie Life but on the same page I seen Confessions Of A Prairie Bitch and I snatched that one up instead.

What does that say about me?  😯

And here is what is true.  Confessions Of A Prairie Bitch starts out as a hard (emotionally) read.  Alison’s childhood was devastating.  When I started the book I found myself thinking, “I thought this was supposed to be funny?”  I will not go into detail about her childhood but I will say that it is amazing she came out the strong and emotionally secure person that she is. 

After Alison’s background story, once she gets to the role of Nellie, the books tempo picks up quite a bit.  Her amazing instant friendship with Melissa Gilbert, her odd non connecting with Melissa Anderson (who seemed to really connect with no one…) behind the scene happenings on the set, using her paycheck to buy her family’s food, the truth about Perceval her on-screen husband, and why she disappeared after the 7th season.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I read it over a weekend having trouble putting it down.  I enjoyed it so much that I ordered season one of Little House On The Prairie today as I want to watch the episodes again, the ones that Alison shares what is happening in the scene, so I can laugh again and remember my own childhood of watching those on The Prairie.

Little House On The Prairie lovers – this book is for you.  I am still gushing about this book a week later.

Fun fact – each of the main girls on LHOTP wrote a book… here they are:


I hope to read the other two books someday.

12 thoughts on “Confessions Of A Prairie Bitch by Alison Arngrim

  1. Did you know that Melissa Anderson lives here? (Meaning my town) I met her after her book came out and she is a very quiet person. It was nice to meet her because I was a huge fan of the show growing up and still love watching episodes when i come across them on tv.

    Hmm I might have to check out this book now

  2. I was already an adult for this series, but enjoyed watching it with my kids….and, I think I mentioned before, I was living in an older neighborhood, in an English Tudor house, and working nights (sometimes) at Planned Parenthood, in addition to my day job. So the show was a great family connecting time.

    I definitely want to read this book, because, like everyone, I couldn’t stand Nellie!

  3. Sheila,
    There is a fourth book by a Little House girl – Melissa Francis played Cassandra Ingalls (the little girl the Ingalls adopted during the last two years of the show) and she has a book out called “Diary of a Stage Mother’s Daughter. It’s really interesting too!

  4. I grew up watching Little House too and I absolutely loved it although I watched all the episodes in French because we did not have cable growing up. I live in Quebec…I also read the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder which were wonderful..

  5. I read this and laughed as well, after getting over the horror of her childhood. I hadn’t watched much of the show as a child, but of course I knew of it. I hadn’t seen the third book; I’ll see if I can find it.

  6. never saw the serial..not even on TV Land. The book title suggests a contemporary book, but it seems that this is an intense read.

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