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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.
A lovely, lyrical look at Nebraska in the early part of the twentieth century. A fine memoir through the eyes of a young man who grows up with Antonia. Read morePublished 13 hours ago by Mario
This was a book chosen by our book club to read. It was a very interesting and worthwhile read. I appreciated Willa Cather's writing from the perspective of a young man. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Joanne Bergen
Window on a different time and place. Gives an excellent feel of what it was like to live on the prairies.Published 9 days ago by Josh W.
Willa Cather is a fine writer of classics in American literature. This book gives the reader an experience and appreciation of the early pioneers in the Kansas/Nebraska area, the... Read morePublished 19 days ago by Martha Morrise
I loved every word!, I'm glad I finally read it. True American Classic. The characters are as real as they get.Published 1 month ago by Deanna E. Ritchie
Willa Cather is and always will be my lady. She brings Nebraska to life! She brings the life of the pioneer to the main audience. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Daphine