Classics Club Book #11: O Pioneers! by Willa Cather

The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman.

O Pioneers by Willa CatherO Pioneers! deserves more, but this is going to be a short review, because I’m catching up on reviewing books I read this summer. Willa Cather’s novel of the Nebraska prairie reminded me of Llewellyn’s How Green Was My Valley, which I read earlier this year. Both novels are beautifully written stories drawn from their authors’ childhood memories. In the case of O Pioneers!, the memories are of life on the plains of Nebraska, where Alexandra Bergson tries to keep her family farm from suffering the fate of many of her neighbors who have to sell. Alexandra is the center of the novel, and the strength of her character is what kept me reading the most. While it is not my favorite of the Classics Club books I’ve read over the last year, it was still a worthwhile read and I’m glad I finished it.

For a more thorough review and appreciation of the novel, see “Happy Birthday, O Pioneers!” by Joan Acocella in The New Yorker.

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
First Edition Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1913
Kindle Edition Open Road Media, 2014
Print length: 182 pages

Deacon Nick

Nick Senger is a husband, a father of four, and a Catholic school teacher, vice principal and technology coordinator. He taught junior high literature and writing for over 25 years, and has been a Catholic school educator since 1990. In 2001 he was named a Distinguished Teacher of the Year by the National Catholic Education Association.

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