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Ántonia, who, even as a grown woman somewhat downtrodden by circumstance and hard work, "had not lost the fire of life," lies at the center of almost every human condition that Cather's novel effortlessly untangles. She represents immigrant struggles with a foreign land and tongue, the restraints on women of the time (with which Cather was very much concerned), the more general desires for love, family, and companionship, and the great capacity for forbearance that marked the earliest settlers on the frontier.
As if all this humanity weren't enough, Cather paints her descriptions of the vastness of nature--the high, red grass, the road that "ran about like a wild thing," the endless wind on the plains--with strokes so vivid as to make us feel in our bones that we've just come in from a walk on that very terrain ourselves. As the story progresses, Jim goes off to the University in Lincoln to study Latin (later moving on to Harvard and eventually staying put on the East Coast in another neat encompassing of a stage in America's development) and learns Virgil's phrase "Optima dies ... prima fugit" that Cather uses as the novel's epigraph. "The best days are the first to flee"--this could be said equally of childhood and the earliest hours of this country in which the open land, much like My Ántonia, was nothing short of a rhapsody in prairie sky blue. --Melanie Rehak --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Very good descriptions. Lined the story interwoven with life at that time. Enjoyed the book. Good character development.Published 9 days ago by Diane
Reconnected to the spirit that discovered and made our country great, and the story of some of my family that came across the ocean with nothing but hope and hard work. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Mary F. Lewis
Beautifully written romantic character novel describing the hardships of pioneer life yet the strength of the human spirit. Read morePublished 10 days ago by southerngal
A slow start but all in all a very good read. Stay with it to the end.Published 10 days ago by Marjorie
Too beautiful and hard and true, and so many passages to rethink upon, lines to commit to memory.Published 12 days ago by myjoetogo
Well balanced, not sentimental, realistic. Interesting, compelling story of the struggles on the prairie through the eyes of a man who is dear friends with a young girl emigrating... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Dandelion
This is a classic, which I've been meaning to read for many years. The book paints a vivid picture of life in Nebraska in the early years. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Diane