Saturday, March 27, 2010

My Ántonia

by Willa Cather

I groaned when I read the words "romantic novel" on the back of this book. I'll dutifully read all the kids' schoolbooks that I need to read, but I don't always like it. So I read. It wasn't that bad, really. Kind of like "Little House on the Prairie" for grown ups. It's the story of Jim Burden, a Virginia boy in the late 19th Century who is orphaned and sent out to live with his grandparents in Nebraska. Arriving in the area at the same time is an immigrant family from Bohemia, the Shimerdas. They become neighbors, of sorts, and Jim develops a special bond with the eldest daughter, Ántonia. What follows is a chronicle of the two growing to adulthood. Though that plot, it seems, takes a back seat to the setting and characters. I have a suspicion that Ms. Cather simply pulled together a number of real life Nebraskan anecdotes and weaved together a plot to string them together. If so, it's a plot that's uniquely and subtly woven.

Check it out. Seriously.
LibraryThing link


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