Sunday, June 8, 2014

Confessions Of A Prairie Bitch How I Survived Nellie Oleson And Learned To Love Being Hated by Alison Arngrim

After reading Wendy McClure’s hilarious The Wilder Life My Adventures In The Lost World of Little House On The Prairie I decided to stay in that world a little longer and read about the life of the actress who portrayed the blonde ringleted spoiled brat everyone loved to hate, Laura’s nemesis—Nellie Olsen.

All tv-viewing America seemed to hate scheming, bratty Nellie, but the girl who portrayed her learned to use that hate to her own personal advantage and become a better, and stronger person for it. Playing Nellie gave Alison everything she ever wanted—a memorable role in a long-running television series, the basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter, and, most importantly, it gave a shy, sexually abused little girl determination and a voice that was confident and assertive. Nellie Oleson saved Alison Arngrim from becoming another lost, defeated, drug and/or alcohol addicted, dead before their time, former child star. Nellie acted out and threw tantrums, she became Alison’s voice and outlet for her anger and frustration; the cast and crew of Little House gave Alison substitutes for her eccentric parents and the older brother who had sexually molested her; the series brought her friends from all over the world; as she grew older, Alison sought help, in therapy, and became an activist for AIDS victims and abused children.

Ms. Arngrim’s memoir in not your typical Hollywood child star memoir, yes there is sadness and ugliness in its pages, but it is also an inspiring portrait of a survivor.

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