Classics Club, Books #13, 14, and 15: Willa Cather’s Prairie Trilogy (from January-March, 2015)

This is my first post about 2015’s books for The Classics Club.  I’ll be reading one classic book a month through 2018.  Track what I’m reading for the Classics Club here.  I’ll try not to include too many spoilers in my review but I may need to discuss some in order to fully review the book. I’ll warn you if I’m going to mention one.  

O Pioneers! ; The Song of the Lark; My Antonia all by Willa Cather

IMG_0613 (800x600)O Pioneers! (Photo credit: Ellie)

I’m including all three books in this review, so you aren’t overwhelmed with Willa Cather.

  • Year Published: 1913, 1915, 1918
  • Reread? Or new to me?:  all were new to me
  • Number of Pages: 210, 417, 252
  • Date Finished: 1/12/15, 2/21/15, sometime near the end of March
  • Number of Days it took me to read it: 3 days, 7 days, 4 days
  • Page/Day ratio:  70:1, 60/1, 62:1
  • Will I reread this?: Probably not for all three of them.


Having heard these three books called, “The Prairie Trilogy” I thought that they were going to be related to each other.  They’re not, at all, except for their geographic location; even that isn’t totally true because The Song of the Lark is set in Colorado and the other two are set in Nebraska. They do have some similar literary themes as well but certainly the plot lines are not related.

I enjoyed reading O Pioneers! although the ending was certainly terribly depressing and fairly predictable.  I didn’t love My Antonia, primarily because it just wasn’t even that much about Antonia! I was disappointed by the false advertising. The narrator, Jim, told his whole life story, ostensibly while telling Antonia’s story.  There were long stretches of the book without any mention of her.

IMG_0743 (800x533)

My favorite of the three was The Song of the Lark. I wouldn’t have told you that while I was reading it because it is a SLOG to get through. There were long stretches of descriptive narrative that made me what to poke my eyes out with boredom and even other longer stretches when nothing seemed to happen.  However, I was surprisingly overcome with sadness by the end.  I don’t know that I’ve ever been passionate enough about anything to make the sacrifices like what Thea did for her music.  I don’t know that I want to be that passionate about something if it means sacrificing in the ways that she did.

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Since I read it, I’ve been thinking about how the decisions we make, some large, some small, can lead us down paths we never would have purposely chosen.  I didn’t intend to live in the East Coast for forever when I moved here almost 13 years ago.  It was just for fun for a couple years.  And now I’m planted here. [SPOILER] Would Thea have chosen to go to Chicago for her initial training if she knew that ultimately she would have to forsake her family, including refusing her dying mother’s plea to come home to say goodbye?  She didn’t belong in her small Colorado town and so perhaps she would have chosen to leave. I do still wonder if she would have made those decisions again.

How about you? Have you read any (or all) of these books?  If so, I’m curious to hear your thoughts!


Would you like to join me in reading Les Miserables in April/May?  I’m attempting to read 20 pages a day and am basically on track right now.  At 1200 pages, there’s no way even me, the crazy speed reader, could read that in a month without my house and family falling apart!

IMG_0615 (800x581)“Ellie! Give me my phone back!”

006 (800x533)one book Mark really likes to read

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3 Responses to Classics Club, Books #13, 14, and 15: Willa Cather’s Prairie Trilogy (from January-March, 2015)

  1. Pingback: I Promise My Sourdough Recipes Taste Better Than This | Salmon and Souvlaki

  2. Karisma says:

    The pictures of you reading with your son are so wonderful! He is getting such a great model for reading for pleasure. =) I have been trying to read while my son is awake for five – ten minutes so he can see me model it for him. I have a basket of his own books that he can look at right next to me and often times he will sit for a few minutes and manipulate the pages in his book while I read. I oh so want him to be exposed to the wonders of reading… =) Thank you for sharing!

    • Laura says:

      That’s the best way to acquire a love of learning for sure! The Read-Aloud Revival podcast is one that I’ve really been enjoying – lots of inspiration about building a family culture around books!

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