Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Four of the autobiographical novels of Laura Ingalls Wilder served as the basic source material for this made-for-TV movie. Covering some of the same ground as the Wilder-inspired TV series Little House on the Prairie, the film stars Meredith Monroe as 19th-century teenager Laura Ingalls, who at the beginning of the story is still living on her South Dakota family farm with her father (Richard Thomas), mother (Lindsay Crouse), and three siblings. Acknowledging her dad's insistence that she has "the wandering strain," Laura yearns for life beyond the prairie, but is obliged to accept a nearby schoolteaching position to help support her loved ones. After her marriage to homesteader Almanzo Wilder (Walt Goggins), Laura endures the usual trials and tribulations of life as a farmer's wife, further complicated by the loss of a child and a raging diphtheria epidemic. Yet, somehow, Laura and Almanzo survive their many ordeals with renewed hope for the future. Tess Harper, cast as the "older" Laura, narrates the story. Originally broadcast by CBS on January 2, 2000, Beyond the Prairie: The True Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder was followed by a TV-movie sequel over two years later, on the same network.
diphtheria, family, schoolteacher, teenagers