Pleasant enough and not at all what I expected. The others that I've read by Cather have been the prairie novels with all manner of doom and gloom and hard times but this was more like a fireside reminiscence. The narrator is telling what seems to be a family story of what happened back in 1856 and the years before the Civil War and there is no terrible tragedy or hardship- just the common personal tragedies of that era and place. The storyteller feel was made even stronger by the occasional aside where the narrator comments on how things are "today" compared to back then. This was written in 1940 and was Cather's last novel and is supposedly based on her own family stories.