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My Antonia Paperback – December 13, 2012

8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Brown (December 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613823665
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613823668
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #789,940 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jenni M. Parks on September 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
Willa Cather's historical love story is achingly beautiful. Her gift with descriptive text is unmatched; I was able to pull myself easily into the Nebraskan landscape she gloriously describes.

This book will feed your soul. Buy it.

My favorite excerpts below:

"She threw her arms around me, and her dear face was all wet with tears. I stood watching their white dresses glimmer smaller and smaller down the sidewalk as they went away. I have had no other success that pulled at my heartstrings like that one."

"The windy springs and the blazing summers, one after another, had enriched and mellowed that flat tableland; all the human effort that had gone into it was coming back in long, sweeping lines of fertility."

"If there was a road, I could not make it out in the faint starlight. There was nothing but land: not a country at all, but the material out of which countries are made."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Digbee VINE VOICE on October 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
This is Willa Cather's first great novel, so really, what's not to like? It's best approached as historical fiction and much of its strengths are really those of good history - a good sense of place, with an emphasis on community and the social divisions within it. The narrator, Jim Burden (himself embedded in a weak frame), tends toward a very passive role that highlights the strength of the women at the center of the story.

It's modernist in its technique, consisting of anecdotes instead of a story line, and being willing to jump back and forth in time. It's certainly not a gripping story, but it's a very well written and moving depiction of time and place. If you'd like to spend some hours with Nebraska pioneers, this is your book.
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By CJA VINE VOICE on February 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is an impressive piece of writing. Cather is able to bring to life a series of unforgettable characters living on the Great Plains in early 20th Century America. She also writes impressively about the landscape. The reader comes to know and appreciate both that land and the characters. There is little drama or melodrama -- there are no showy plot twists. What Cather does is much harder.

The focus of the book is Antonia, the daughter of East European immigrants living a hand-to-mouth existence in rural Nebraska. The book is told from the perspective of a local boy, Jim, who grew up to become an east-coast corporation lawyer. Jim and Antonia have a long-term platonic love affair; in the 21st century vernacular, they never do hook up. This relationship is more interesting than if they had hooked up. Why they didn't has to do with the social distance between the two. Cather comments on this in many subtle and skillful ways. It's clear that the ambitious young WASP male being raised by an established farm family is not going to go slumming with the beautiful East European wench who is being raised by a largely unpleasant family. The mutual resentments of immigrants and WASPS are very well portrayed. On the other hand, Jim almost does hook up with another immigrant, which I find to be quite an interesting side-story. But he does not -- otherwise, he'd never achieve his amibitions.

One critical reviewer asks what's so special about Antonia? I, however, was taken with her character. She's a tragic figure in some ways -- hampered by a dysfunctional family and ethnicity that limits her ability to advance; unable to obtain the education she wants; and unlucky in love. Yet she is a physically and morally strong person who makes do with a bad situation. Ultimately it's for her children to advance to the next level. I found the novel to be a uniquely American story.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved the vivid picture the author painted of of Nebraska. The different immigrants and their hardiness. The history and development of the area. I couldn't put it down.
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