Customer Reviews for

My Antonia

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Top 10 American novel published during 20th century

Since contemporary novels seldom draw me in and retain my interest past the first 60 pages, I sometimes pursue the bookstore for quality classic literature that I have yet to read. Thanks B&N for including Willa Cather's My Antonia in your Classic Series. Although relat...
Since contemporary novels seldom draw me in and retain my interest past the first 60 pages, I sometimes pursue the bookstore for quality classic literature that I have yet to read. Thanks B&N for including Willa Cather's My Antonia in your Classic Series. Although relatively well-educated and well-read, I discovered this novel when browsing in-store. Cather's story-telling style and vivid descriptions transported me to a different time and place while her character development prompted me to continue reading. The quality of the story made it a page-turner and one of the two novels I have enjoyed reading most in the last 10 years.

posted by JSAlex000 on June 26, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

My Antonia

A young Jim Burden is sent west in the early 1900's to live with his grandparents. On the train to his new house meets a young girl a couple of years older than he is. Although he doesn't know it, this is the beginning of a long-lasting friendship. After settling int...
A young Jim Burden is sent west in the early 1900's to live with his grandparents. On the train to his new house meets a young girl a couple of years older than he is. Although he doesn't know it, this is the beginning of a long-lasting friendship. After settling into his house on the plains of Nebraska, he ventures out to greet his new neighbor. Antonia Shimerda is her name and her family had immigrated from Bohemia. As Jim grows up he has many experiences with Antonia. When Jim is twelve, he and his family move into the nearby town, Black Hawk. Antonia also goes into town to find work. Because they belong to separate 'classes' they start to separate. As Jim settles down and continues his education, Antonia goes wild and goes to every town dance possible. After a failed marriage and an unwanted baby, Antonia moves back into the country to help her family's farm. Jim, meanwhile, transfers from the Lincoln University to Harvard. Forty years later Jim revisits Antonia to find her happily married and living a farm life full of content. Even though Antonia isn't as successful as Jim she seems to get more out of life. My Antonia is a wonderful piece of literature that shows the true meaning of happiness and the life and times of the early 1900's.

posted by Anonymous on April 3, 2005

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A So-not-that-depressing realist work

    My Antonia by Willa Cather is about the friendship between a boy, Jim, and an immigrant girl, Antonia. Willa Cather's novel deals with issues such as immigration, suicide, prejudice, and unrequited love. My Antonia is a charming coming-of-age story set in the late 19th c. The characters are realistically written. The story is narrated by Jim and is a compilation of memories from his childhood and young adult life.
    To be honest, I did not want to read this book-mostly because it is a realist work. I'm not a huge fan of realism-I find it quite depressing. I still wonder why I decided to take a class on American Literature that concentrated on Realist works. I had to read and write a paper on this novel. So, of course, I was dreading it. But it truly surprised me. I did not expect to like it at all. I recommend you read this if you like classic American Literature. Even if you don't, it's still a good read; and by far my favorite of all the books/short stories I had to read for that class.

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  • Posted January 23, 2011

    An Escape Into the Past

    My Antonia by Willa Cather is a story about the life of young Jim Burden. The book is a flashback written by Jim mainly about his life with his old childhood friend, Antonia. His flashback is written in manuscript form and begins with when he first laid eyes on Antonia on a train on their way to Nebraska. The story revolves around the idea of how Jim and Antonia grew up and how they got through their troubles and lives together. Some other main characters in this book are Antonia's family, Jim's grandparents (who he grew up with) and Lena Lingard. Antonia's Bohemian family grow close to Jim and his grandparents on their farms because they were new to this country and knew no one else. Lena Lingard is a character that both Jim and Antonia meet later in their lives and grow very close to. The main conflict in this story is an internal conflict: Character vs. Self. One specific event that leads up to the main conflict is when Jim and Antonia experience a death early in their childhood lives. Another event is when Jim and his grandparents decide to move to a different city; which means not being able to be Antonia's neighbor any more.

    I liked this book because it was written in a way in which it holds your attention without giving away too many details. Like, in the introduction chapter you know that the book is going to be written about Antonia, but you don't know exactly how the flashback is going to be written. You expect the book to be like any old re-written story about somebody's childhood but, Willa Cather was able to write a flashback story without making any of the details too confusing. One reason I disliked this book is because the introduction chapter is dialogue between Jim and another person but, it is difficult to find out who the other person really was. This is a way of adding suspense to the story ; it is a very good literary device to use. But, it kind of leaves you questioning the story and it makes you wonder why the story was specifically written. The conflicts that Jim and Antonia experience together give you a sense of friendship and love and make My Antonia a story that you will not soon forget. I recommend this book to anyone who likes reading classics because of its themes of adventure, love, and sorrow.

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  • Posted October 28, 2010

    excellent

    many great stories inside one great story

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2010

    Great introduction to pioneer women and their life...

    This is a great story to provide an introduction to strong women and their struggles in creating a life during the early days of the settlors. It is truly moving and a story every young lady should read...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2010

    Enjoyable reading

    Willa Cather, who is from Virginia, has a pleasant writing style that pulled me into the story. My heart went out to Antonia's family and the life she led. I really enjoyed this book with the historical setting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    This is a Great Novel

    This book is a wonderful recolection of a man's memories of when he was a boy. This book is filled with great characters which you cant help but like. Willa Cather has a way of which keeps you entertained but doesn't give too much information at once. This novel is filled with love and disapointment. Ihave recommended this book to my friends and would recommed it to anyone who like stories about pioneers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2009

    um um, bad for book reports.

    OK, so ! read this book for a book report, and I was required to find 4 reviews about my book from reliable sources. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. I could not find one other than the one already printed on the front cover of this book. It is a good read, don't get me wrong, but it's a bad book for reports.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2009

    Not Worth It

    This book was not worth it what so ever. The only reason I read it in the first place was for school. Details in a book is good but TOO many details is bad. The main character sometimes describes something way too much, so much that your mind naturally starts to wonder. And when you come back to your senses you're like "What did i just read? Wow that must have been so boring i wasn't even paying attention." If you don't remember it being boring, it must have been reallllllyyyy boring. The characters were dull and there were too many to remember them all. I honestly hate this book with a passion.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    My Antonia a must read!

    I didn't really know what to expect as I had never read anything from Cather before, but I just loved My Antonia. She is a terrific storyteller and there are a lot of interesting stories to be told in the book. The word pictures she draws of the pioneer Nebraska landscape are hauntingly beautiful and the characters are believable and unforgettable. After reading My Antonio, I immediately ordered Death Comes for the Archbishop.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    a little disappointed

    I picked My Antonia mainly because the back of the book called it a romantic novel. Although this book was not bad, it was certainly not a romantic novel. I was disappointed with the book because I felt like the author could have done more with the story and should have made the story a little more exciting. There are no parts that have you on the edge of your seat, that's for sure. The story was kind of touching and sentimental, but like I said there was no excitement. I like books that are 'page turners' that make you laugh out loud and cry. This book definitely did not fit that criteria. Its a classic, so therefore I do not regret reading it. It's a very short book, so I guess that it's worth it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2008

    Overcoming Struggles

    This book beautifully portrays how life was in ninteenth century America. It follows the story of a young man who grew up with an immigrant girl, Antonia. Her spunk and determination to succeed is truly the American dream, even though she does not become some glorious first lady or anything. But she is happy! There is only one downer for me in the end, so if you want to remain unspoiled stop reading here. What made me sad was that Jim did not end up with Antonia-she had settled down with someone else. I really wanted them to end up together, but alas it was not to be.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2008

    A Satisfying Read

    I really like My Antonia. The novel is very heart-warming. I never really thought I would be interested in the book until after I've read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2008

    Heartfelt

    Jim, a prosperous New York Lawyer contructs a memoir of his childhood freind, Antonia, as he travels by train to the town where they were raised in Nebraska. When Jim's last parent passed away at the age of ten, he was left to move onto his grandparents farm in rural Nebraska. While growing up in the small populated country side he creates an unbreakable bond with his neighbors the most special being with a girl close to his age, Antonia. He teaches Antonia, an imigrant, the ways of life in America. As the years pass they grow closer as well as farther apart with time. Jim leaves for college as Antonia struggles with hardships back on the farm. When Jim gets a job in New York he seems farthest from Antonia. This wonderful memoir tells the story of an unbroken bond between life long freinds and how remembering the little things in life can be more important than anything. Reflecting on life and the relationships you have, make you think what the true meaning of life is really about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2008

    A classic!

    How anyone can pan this book is beyond me! This is a true classic in literature for ALL ages! Willa Cather is a Pulitzer prize winning AMERICAN FEMALE novelist. This novel is a MUST for any collector passionate about American litterature.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2008

    A reviewer

    It has and hopefully with be the worst book I tried to read. Take my advise and don't read this. Badly written and boring. could not finish it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2008

    A True Novel?

    Written in 1918, Cather reveals what it is like to spend one's childhood in a Nebraska town, buried in wheat and corn and extremes in climate. A friend, Jim Burden, a lawyer, writes the manuscript for the story and Cather edits and publishes it, according to the introduction, although it is classed as a novel. It is centered around a Behemian girl, Antonia, they both knew and admired, and to them represented the country, the conditions, the whole childhood adventure. Jim periodically renews his friendship with Antonia who married another Bohemian immigrant and together reared a dozen children. It is a story about the hardships of the era and an indomitable woman, triumphing over life. Trish New, author of The Thrill of Hope, South State Street Journal, and Memory Flatlined.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2007

    Boring

    I choose My Antonia, for a book report in my history class. I thought it would be a great book to read. In this novel there was no introduction, climax, or resolution and it also was a slow book. I would have liked this book if had some suspense in it, but it didn't. I usually finish a book in a couple of days but this novel took 4 times as long to finish. I usually understand why the book was like it was, but this book didn't make much sense. I would recommend this book to people who like history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2007

    A Waste of Time

    I chose this novel for a book report in my history class. Because this novel is a classic, I thought that it would be a spectacular read. After reading the first section however, it was clear that My Antonia was one of the most boring and unamusing books I have ever read in my life. I somewhat expected a boring introduction, but it seemed as if the intro never ended. The climax seemed non-existent, as well as the conclusion. The plot consisted of the main character, Jim, recalling his life with Antonia. Their life on farms in Nebraska was not the least bit interesting. The only interesting parts of the novel were when I was able to put the book down. I am usually a very fast and understanding reader, but this novel took my four times as long to finish because I had to re-read sections that I had fallen asleep during. I read this book before I went to sleep in order to put me to sleep.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2007

    I LOVE My Antonia!

    This book is no doubt my absolutely favorite book! It so heartwarming and gratifying that I could not put it down! An absolute classic! Though kind of simple, I assure you that this book will leave you satisfied and feeling good inside. I recommend this book to everyone of all ages either male or female.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2006

    My Antonia

    To me, the book was okayish/outstanding read. However in my opinion, Part One was BORING! It was hard to follow along in part one and it never kept my attention. BUT it got better as you read on because you get to see the young characters develop into adults. I especially liked Lena. I do agree with the people on this page that it has no set plot though. Recommend it? Yes, but good luck with part one. Have fun discovering it!

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