Tuesday, August 1, 2017

O Pioneers

O Pioneers!
Willa Cather
FTC Library Loan

Goodreads Description

O Pioneers!, Willa Cather's first great novel, is the classic American story of pioneer life as embodied by one remarkable woman and her singular devotion to the land. Alexandra Bergson arrives on the wind-blasted prairie of Nebraska as a young girl and grows up to turn it into a prosperous farm. In this unforgettable story,Cather conveys both the physical realities of the landscape, as well as the mythic sweep of the transformation of the frontier, more faithfully and perhaps more fully than any other work of fiction.

This is my book clubs author read for the month of August. I started  and finished it today. It  is  beautifully written.

My Thoughts

Life on the divide is tough, We know  this as it is written, " The records of the plow was insignificant, like the feeble scratches of time left by prehistoric races, so indeterminate that they may, after all, be only the markings of glaciers, and not a record of human strivings.

John Bergson is dying and he tells his daughter Alexandra he wants her to run the farm when he is gone. She has 3 brothers Emil, Lou and Oscar but everyone knows that it is Alexandra who expresses herself best in soil.  John passes on and the family farm prospers for three years after his death but then hard times come. 

Families around them are selling out and leaving the divide, but Alexandra goes down south to look at land and she comes back and talks her brothers into mortgaging the farm, so they can buy up more land. Sixteen years after Johns death, his wife dies. The farms are now prosperous so the inheritance is divided among the 4 children. 

Sadly, the coveting expressed in childhood extends into adulthood and ends in tragedy. And, the story comes full circle as Carl is there at the end to help Alexandra, just as he was in the beginning.

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