Passages from Favorite Books – Audio #1

My Ántonia by Willa Cather

I fell in love with this book as a young teen. Ántonia’s strength helped me get through very rough teenage years. I believed that I could make it through my life and in the end still retain my essence. As I look back now I see that I’ve been able to do just that. I am no longer a carefree, young woman, but like Ántonia, I know my true heart shines through and that is worth any struggle I’ve had to endure. I can only be who I am.

This great American novel tells the story of several immigrant families who move to rural Nebraska. Ántonia is the eldest daughter of the Shimerdas and is a bold and free-hearted young woman who becomes the center of narrator Jim Burden’s attention. The story has many elements but clearly documents the struggles of the hard-working immigrants that homesteaded the prairies, and does a particularly fine job covering the hardships that women faced in that difficult environment. My Ántonia also provides Willa Cather with a platform to make some comments on women’s rights while weaving a story where romantic interests are ultimately bandied about by the uncontrolled changes that occur in people’s lives. The final book of Willa Cather’s prairie trilogy, My Ántonia, is considered her greatest accomplishment. My Antonia was first published in 1918. (http://americanliterature.com/author/willa-cather/book/my-antonia/summary)

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11 thoughts on “Passages from Favorite Books – Audio #1

  1. Oh, Ellle — beautiful voice, Thank You for sharing. I have never heard of these books and I thought myself a voracious reader as a child and young adult. I will be taking a look for the Trilogy (I hate reading books out of order). XO

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    • Thank you. You really must read her. Growing up in NY the Midwest prairie seemed like a foreign land to me. I had an itch to see beyond my borders. This book in particular struck a chord in me. I just bought my daughter Willa Cather’s complete works.

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      • Not as worthy as your books – but your saying growing up in NY and learning about the Prairie made me smile. Years ago, I went to the movies to see Wayne’s World with a friend from Rego Park. She was completely befuddled and I kept saying, “I know these guys!”….”I grew up with them!” It’s all in our data sets.

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  2. I’ve never heard of this story but damn if you don’t have a talent for reading them.

    Funny how we can relate to a character even so many years removed. A great reminder that human nature will always be no matter the time or distance.

    xo

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    • Thank you for enjoying my reading.

      The narrator in the story, Jim, describes Antonia in such a way you long to have someone in your life see into you with those kinds of eyes. No matter what you’ve been through or how you look, he sees who and what you really are and still recognizes your spirit.

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  3. I loved hearing you read this.
    I imagined your voice to be much deeper, for one reason or another. Thank you for this snippet into yourself.
    I’ll try and find time to read these books. Even though I may be quite busy in the coming months.
    I’ll see!
    XO

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  4. Lovely voice, Elle! You should do voice overs! A favorite novel of mine, Willa Cather definitely made a statement! I had always wondered about the pronunciation I’d always heard for Antonia (AN-to-NE-ah), I suppose it has to do with the Eastern European immigrants (can recall where they were from)?

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  5. Amazing voice, Elle! Oh you will do wonderful voice overs. So crisp, clear, you have such a gift, put it to great use Elle. Now I want to go read this novel. Thanks for sharing it with me!

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