Saturday, January 5, 2013

"My Antonia" by Willa Cather

Because the holiday season is simply ridiculously busy, my book club always skips the December meeting.  I got "My Antonia" in November and we'll discuss it at our January meeting.  I only finished the book last week.  I could have been a really fast read, but, as I've stated, the holiday season is ridiculously busy, so I had to pace myself.  But I finally finished!

The book is an American classic, and I looked forward to reading it because I've never read Willa Cather.  I'd say her books are sort of "Little House"-ish in the genre.  "Antonia" is narrated by a young male character, Jim, who goes to Nebraska to live with his grandparents the same time Antonia and her family move from Bohemia.  There are many anecdotes about farm life and growing up in a small country town, as well as Jim's friendships with Atonia (Toni) and other immigrant girls.

I liked the open and honest writing style.  The story isn't very complicated, and the characters are genuinely developed.  But I was disappointed when I finished because there was no great climax, no grand finalé.  The story has a nice beginning, middle, and end, but none of it was particularly engaging.  I wouldn't call it boring,  because I was curious how the story wrapped up.  It was just a very mild ride.

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