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I haven't tried Willa Cather yet and while I think this does sound good, i dn't think I'll choose it as my first. I'd rather read O Pioneers or My Antonia, or the other one you reviewed- The Professor's House.


I really liked what you said in your spoiler section. It does come on a bit heavy handed, doesn't it? All that instability and crumbling. Though I thought it was interesting that Bartley was ultimately pulled down by others. First novel though this may be, it is still really impressive how well done it is. Thanks for inviting me to read along!

Jean | Delightful Repast

What a great review, Dani! I've only ever read O Pioneers and My Antonia, so this was new to me. Always interesting, I think, to compare a writer's first work to her later. Sounds like the symbolism might indeed be a bit heavy handed, but still a good read.


I love Willa Cather and I suspect you are going to like her very much, too! I think The Professor's House is one of her best books--I thought it was excellent, so you might start there. My own favorite is My Antonia and I liked O Pioneers a lot, too. I think I will read The Song of the Lark next.


And thanks for reading with me! It's always fun to read books in tandem--sharing the experience even if from a distance. I probably overthink things--there just seemed to be so much symbolism--still Cather is always impressive in her writing. He was literally pulled down by others, you're right. Do you think in the end, he just let go and let himself be dragged down/drowned?


Thanks Jean. I love both of those books--really must reread them. It's especially been a long time since O Pioneers, and now your mentioning it makes me want to go and pick the book up! I think Cather is always good--I've liked everything by her that I've read. And I have always wanted to pick an author and read their books in the order they were written in order to see how their style developed, but I have yet to do so--who ever would I choose?!


I don't think he allowed himself to be dragged down. He was so relieved to be alive after jumping and he thought he was going to be ok. And when the mob grabbed him he tried to get loose but I got the impression there were too many of them and he went down unwillingly.


I love Willa Cather, so it's been a real treat to have both you and Stefanie review this book. Not that I've read it myself, but I would like to get through her entire works. It must be interesting to see her right at the start of her career, and to note what's in place and what isn't. I love it that her framing device is already at work - that's so Cather! But yes, the ending sounds more heavy-handed than she would write in later years. I really must read that Lee biography!


Isn't Cather wonderful? I think she is sort of underappreciated, but maybe I am wrong? I have been eyeing her other books, but I am trying to resist starting anything new. There is some trademark Cather style to the story, but it doesn't have quite the feel that her other later books do--maybe it lacks the confidence of later years? I want to read the Lee bio, too!

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