O Pioneers! by Willa Cather

220px-OPioneersOur neighborhood book group decided not to read this for next time, but I was intrigued by the “pitch” and so got it from the library. It is a good, solid, novel: not much to talk about in terms of literary style unless you are really into the poetry of the prairie, which is not my thing. But the portrait of small-town Nebraska in the 1800s, with the Swedish and Bohemian and French immigrants, and the struggle to establish a prosperous farm, and the sociology of being a semi-independent woman, is quite interesting. Cather is most interesting with her matter of fact descriptions of daily routines or special events, like the fairs.  The story arc is rather melodramatic.

I would definitely recommend to anyone interested in American history. And by the way, some of them read a lot of books in their spare time. O Readers!

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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