My Antonia is difficult to summarize for several reasons. It is not plot-driven by any means. It is, rather, a portrait; or many portraits.
It is the portrait of a lovely, strong, young immigrant girl as she grows into a strong Midwest farm woman. Her story is told through the eyes of Jim, a younger boy who reveres her.
It is also the coming-of-age story of Jim, himnself, as he grows and moves on from farm, to town, to university.
The main character, though, is the Nebraska prairie. It is as vital a part of the characters as the lungs with which they breathed in the pure country air in their youth.
I loved My Antonia. It immediately became a favorite of mine.
The writing was stunning. The language was clear and simple, yet masterfully conveyed an exquisite portrait of a beautiful landscape, and the strength, courage and simplicity of the people who ventured to wrest a living from that landscape.