Sunday, September 13, 2009

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather~★★★

Author: Willa Cather
O Pioneers! (Part of Willa Cather: Three Complete Novels)
Release Date:
Originally released in 1913; this edition released 1992
Publisher: Gramercy Books

Book Jacket: "...O Pioneers! is the classic, moving tale of the frontier. When Alexandra Bergson's father dies she is left in charge of his unsuccessful farm and her younger brothers. The unyielding land of the Nebraska Divide would be challenging enough, but a violent passion shakes this courageous young woman to her core and changes her life forever..."

Taryn's Review: I actually went to the library in search of My Antonia by Willa Cather, but they don't carry it. I had seen part of the film O Pioneers! in a class and decided to give it a try instead.

The story was good and Willa Cather definitely had a gift for prose, but something was missing for me in this story. I can't put my finger on it at the moment, but no single character grabbedd me and pulled me deep into the story. While I liked Alexandra and Marie and Emil and the many others, I didn't find myself emotionally involved in their lives.

My other question in the story was why Emil was so infatuated with Marie. He had the world at his fingertips, but yet he yearned for a woman who was already married. I guess these are the reasons we have love stories in the first place, but Emil did not even appear to try to love anyone outside of Marie. And poor Alexandra, not realizing Emil's desires for her best friend.

I would recommend the story as Willa Cather has a lovely way of writing. It is also an American classic, highlighting the story of an immigrant man's family prospering in the United States, yet being prosperous wasn't a protection from the pains of life.

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