Friday, June 12, 2009

Review: My Antonia by Willa Cather

Book Info:
My Antonia by Willa Cather
Format: Audio CD
Publisher: Brilliance Audio (June 25, 2005)
ISBN-13: 9781597371391

Widely recognized as Willa Cather's greatest novel, My Ántonia is a soulful and rich portrait of a pioneer woman's simple yet heroic life. The spirited daughter of Bohemian immigrants, Ántonia must adapt to a hard existence on the desolate prairies of the Midwest. Enduring childhood poverty, teenage seduction, and family tragedy, she eventually becomes a wife and mother on a Nebraska farm. A fictional record of how women helped forge the communities that formed a nation, My Ántonia is also a hauntingly eloquent celebration of the strength, courage, and spirit of America's early pioneers.

I think I had to read some Willa Cather in school, but I couldn't tell you which one. If I did, it didn't really stick with me. My Ántonia started out very interesting. I loved the descriptions of the early pioneer life. The primitive houses and the hardships of farming really came alive for me. Near the middle of the book my interest fizzled a little. Once the Burden family moved to town the book didn't hold the same appeal.

I really liked the narrator of this audio version. He had a rich, smooth voice and I loved the Bohemian accents. They really helped bring some of the characters to life.

My Ántonia is a good example of how strong women helped shape the pioneer, but for me, the book lacked focus. It was an enjoyable listen, but it seemed to ramble at times and veer off to give updates of the different characters. It was good, but nothing amazing.


Schmendro said...

You should try Cather's Oh! Pioneers - I liked that one much more than My Ántonia.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

can you believe i never read this one?

Zibilee said...

I have not read this, but do own a copy. I am glad that you liked it, though parts were a bit slow, because I wasn't sure if it would hold my interest. I guess that is why I haven't yet gotten to it.

Cindy said...

Hmmm, I haven't read this, and although I've thought about it, I don't think I will either.

Amy Reads Good Books said...

Funny how we all react differently to books. I love My Antonia, mostly for the repressed crush Jim, the narrator, has for Antonia. It says so much about Cather's connection to the West and how she sees it has developed.

Zia said...

I have an award for you here:

Teddy Rose said...

Wonderful review! This classic is on my TBR. Maybe I'll see if I can get ahold of the audio version.