A whole book where only a few months pass by is rather a departure for Laura Ingalls Wilder. Still, one can't complain because it really is riveting, if rather depressing. I can imagine that many people would have starved to death, if the weather didn't get them first. Of course, that kind of harsh reality isn't really appropriate for a children's book, so of course everyone survives in the book. I'd be surprised if that really happened. The idea of facing such a harsh environment with so little in the way of resources really does invoke admiration and a certain amount of thankfulness that I live when I do.