Monday, May 5, 2014

REVIEW--My Antonia

Happy Monday, readers and fashionistas!  I hope you had a fantastic weekend!  Normally I have pretty good weekends, but they're usually filled with chores and errands.  This past weekend, though, was so super--I visited my parents in my hometown, did some awesome yard-saling, and had my first Tropical Snos of the year.  Yes, a fine weekend indeed!

I recently finished coaching my season for my high school Academic Superbowl team.  This year's theme was "Westward Expansion," and my English team was assigned to read My Antonia by Willa Cather.  Since I don't talk much about classics on this blog, I thought I'd review the book...basically just to prove that I do read more than just YA fiction!

  • Standalone novel
  • Classics (Historical fiction)
 The Gist:
Young boy Jim Burden is sent out West to live with his grandparents in Nebraska after his parents die.  Here he learns about both life on a farm and life in town, but it is his relationship with Bohemian Antonia that truly shapes him as a man.  As they grow up and experience Western life together, the pair always seem to find their way back to each other.

What I Loved:
  • A very sweet and even humorous look at times of life out West.  The connection of neighbors and farmhands, the scenery, and Jim's reflections on his childhood gave the book a soft, sweet character.
  • The characters--especially Antonia's family.  They were so diverse in personalities and behaviors, which often left them a bit unpredictable.
  • The Burden family...Jim's grandparents took him in with some compassion and comfort, and they treated their hired farmhands as extended family members.  I would have wanted to live with them!
What I Didn't Love:
  • For a boy living out West, Jim sure didn't have to do much.  Here his neighbors were being worked dawn to dusk and he just helped his grandmother in the kitchen.  Even though he had grown up in the East, I expected his grandparents to get him helping in the fields.
  • The ending disappointed me.  I was left feeling like the characters all just grew up and went their separate ways.  I wanted surprise marriages, shocking accidents...something to validate all of the reading I'd just done. 
Overall a nice read, but not necessarily a page-turner.  Great for fans of classic books or those who just like to read about nice scenery and country life.

I'll be designing an outfit based off this book--check back tomorrow to see it!

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