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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.
This is the first by Carther that I have read. I enjoyed it, could not spoil it by peeking at the last pages, and have selected several other of her books to read.Published 5 months ago by Tootnfiddle
My Antonia was full of interesting descriptions of pioneer life, the land, the people, the hardships, etc. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Eileen Knight
My Antonia is a wonderful read from a sadly neglected, great, American writer. Willa Cather deserves to be read and this is a prime example of why she should be. Read morePublished 10 months ago by productum
Not avery good story.There are fair better reads onthe market.I lent this book to one of my friends and they did not think it was agood story.Published 10 months ago by helen
I found this book to be very well written. It held my interest throughout. I enjoyed the details about life for the early settlers, and the story line was believable.Published 16 months ago by SoulFanGranny
This is a book I intended to read for years, and after listening to a radio review, I decided that 'now' is the right time. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Chris Olsen
Heard thm discuss this book on Sunday morning. It made me think of my mother's life
working out in the country in 1915 teaching in a one room school house and living with... Read more
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. What a hard and harsh country this family moved to, but with hard work, lots of fun and friendships formed it was a joy to read. Read morePublished 23 months ago by MERRYL SQUAIR
My sophomore English teacher strongly recommended that I read this book, and I must admit that I didn't. The title and book description just didn't sound interesting to me. Read morePublished on July 15 2006 by Donald Mitchell