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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.
Recommended by Michael Enright from CBC who suggested it was one of the best books he ever read. We agree. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Marion Landry
My Antonia was full of interesting descriptions of pioneer life, the land, the people, the hardships, etc. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Eileen Knight
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 16 months ago by helen
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 on July 6 2013 by Chris Olsen
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
A 35 page introduction on one persons thoughts on this book is 35 too long. I loved this book. Willa Cather was a genius of her time. Read morePublished on May 7 2004 by Meg
This is, quite simply, a beautiful novel. I plan on reading more novels by Cather. I particularly enjoyed her sweeping portrayal of early Nebraskan life.Published on Jan. 6 2004 by HardyBoy64