Wednesday, December 15, 2010

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather

Title: O Pioneers!
Author: Willa Cather
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Adult Fiction
Rating: Like
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: "When Alexandra Bergson's father dies she is left with the responsibility of raising her younger brothers on their father's unsuccessful farm. Alexandra is deeply involved with life as she meets the demands of laboring on the prairie farm, and wrestling with her conflicting emotions. The unyielding land of the Nebraska Divide would be challenge enough, but a violent passion shakes this courageous young woman to her core and changes her life forever." (King County Library System)
Opinions: I am not a huge Willa Cather fan. I previously had read My Antonia for book club and wasn't excited. Books about life on the farm in rural America really aren't my cup of tea. However, the book club I'm now in also decided to read Willa Cather's book O Pioneers! as it would make a great book for discussion. I do have to say that I like O Pioneers! much more than My Antonia. I love the strength of Alexandra. She is an amazing, intelligent woman with many difficulties in life to overcome. However, she trusts in her instincts and her abilities and grows greatly from what she learns. I found that I could relate to her and wished in someways that I had her strength. My second favorite character was Ivar who lives his life in his own way, no matter what most people think about him. I found him unique and extremely loveable.

Keeping in mind that I've only read two Willa Cather books, it seems to me that she focuses on intense struggles of individuals fighting against nature and people in order to grow their farms and themselves. Some of the struggles she writes about leave me feeling depressed and some of her characters simply drive me nuts. Personally, in this book I would love to strangle Lou and Oscar (two of Alexandra's brothers). To understand why you will have to read the book so that I don't give too much away. Overall I would have to say that I did like reading this book (though now I could use some ice cream and hugs to recover). ;-)

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