O Pioneers!

O Pioneers!

eBook - 2008
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A story of the immigrants who came to America to build new lives for themselves. Struggling against poverty, ignorance, drought, and storm, they came to love and understand the land, until it rewarded them with a richness exceeding all imaginings. The Bergsons are a family of strong-willed Swedish immigrants who have come to make a living on the great prairie. When the father, John, dies, worn out by disease and debt, his eldest daughter, Alexandra, becomes the head of the family. This is the story of her love affair with the land; an American Midwest that is vast and golden.
Publisher: Salt Lake City : Project Gutenberg Literary Archive Foundation, 2008
ISBN: 9781470399214
Branch Call Number: DOWNLOADABLE eBOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource : multiple file formats
Additional Contributors: Recorded Books, LLC.
Project Gutenberg


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Oct 10, 2019

Strong and clever older sister keeps the farm and holds true in the face of public disapproval.

Mar 27, 2018

Was a bit misleading based upon the title. Although the characters are “pioneers,” the story is more about their personal experiences in a pioneering area. About a quarter though the book, the family faces a financial crisis, and the main character suggests a fix in half a page. The next chapter opens up twenty years later with the problem solved and financial success. Three quarters though the book, a tragic event hit and takes off on the consequences of it.
I expected to learn about the details of the family struggling though the pioneering of the land, the ups and downs and insights. Because of the success reported without the doubts that the solution was correct along the way, it makes it seem too easy. The quality of the writing and descriptive power is very good, as is Willa Cather’s other novels, but this one was more like a traditional novel than an epic about people settling a land.

SPPL_János Mar 12, 2018

The moral of the story is: love your land, not your neighbor.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 04, 2016

O Pioneers is poetic and intelligent without losing focus on the story. That said, this story was a tad dry at times. I loved the language, and I liked the characters (though they were slightly formulaic), but I'd like to have seen a little more movement, a little more ambition.

JCLJoyceM Jun 19, 2015

This was the first Willa Cather book I ever read and was so charmed by her descriptions of the climate, the people, the perils they faced. We read it aloud as a family and all enjoyed it, even my teen daughter, who tried to read it previously. I told her she had to give it a second try.

Jun 16, 2015

Written in a quiet tone which is kept steady throughout the book, the story itself is written as of there are two chapters missing after every chapter, giving the impression of a series of brief narrative glances over the course of about forty years.

Jan 13, 2015

This is my favorite book of all time.

Jun 02, 2012

Oh , I was certain that "My Antonia" was Cather's best - probably so - but this truly was good . The white mulberry tree chapter was an excellent example of Cather's best writing .

hermlou May 18, 2011

Cather published this book in 1913, so it is a true picture of Nebraska at that time. Pioneers had a lot of trials from injury, disease, and crop failure, and Cather tells it all honestly. Alexandra is the oldest of her family and has an ability to manage the farm, which her brothers contribute to with manual labor. I enjoyed Cather's lyric descriptions of the land and her references to baseball and law school in Ann Arbor. Most of all I liked the fact that this was not written in 2011 about 1913, with possible anachronisms.


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SPPL_János Mar 22, 2018

"We come and go, but the land is always here. And the people who love it and understand it are the people who own it – for a little while."

SPPL_János Mar 22, 2018

"Isn’t it queer: there are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before; like the larks in this country, that have been singing the same five notes over for thousands of years."

SPPL_János Mar 22, 2018

"Of all the bewildering things about a new country, the absence of human landmarks is one of the most depressing and disheartening."


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FavouriteFiction Oct 03, 2009

Alexandra Bergson's devotion to the land turns an empty prairie into a prosperous farm.

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