Mayda's Reviews > O Pioneers!

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather
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5054798
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Mar 18, 11

bookshelves: romance, historical-fiction
Read from March 14 to 17, 2011

** spoiler alert ** This book would have made a very good first draft, but as a finished product, it comes up lacking. For the most part, the characters are not well developed. Willa Cather tells us, rather than shows us, what their personalities are like. While some aspects of the book are detailed, other details are sorely missing. She describes the prairie and the inherent problems in farming, but she tells us little of the parents' deaths and how that affected the family, other than that they died and that the father puts Alexandra in charge. The author jumps ahead three years, and then sixteen years, and we know little of what happened during those periods, other than the boys married and had children, and Alexandra did not. "The boys" will be dropped from the storyline with little explanation, except that they had a disagreement with Alexandra. She does little to explain how Alexandra finally fell in love. The attraction between Emil and Marie was way too obvious to the reader, but evidently invisible to the characters in the book. Frank was destined to be the bad guy who, after a day of drinking, has a breakdown of sorts, and goes on a murdering rampage. And yet, Alexandra does not blame him, and wants to help him get paroled. I never really got to know Alexandra, so I don't know if this is out of character for her or not. To sum it up, I never felt that I got to know any of the characters. If you like easy reads with an interesting setting and an uncomplicated storyline, this is the book for you. If you are looking for a compelling novel with in-depth descriptions and characters, look elsewhere.
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