Book Review: Song of the Lark

Song of the Lark

by Willa Cather

Setting: Moonstone, Colorado late 19th – early 20th century

Source: book club book

Themes: the artist’s process, music, family, women’s roles

Story: Thea Kronberg is the odd one out in her close knit Swedish American family. Fortunately, she has enough support to get her the early musical training she needs to achieve her dreams. It takes a lot of work, but with helpful teachers she is able to achieve her dreams.

Pros: Cather has a gift for making her characters come to life. Thea especially well described – I felt like I would know her. I loved the way she described all the Kronbergs and their relationships. They just come to life.

Cons: This book, like most of Cather’s books, are character driven. That means the plots meander along their merry way, taking lots of side tracks to get to the point. Maybe it was partly because I started this when I wasn’t feeling well, but I didn’t exactly feel compelled to finish.

This is definitely not my favorite of Cather’s books, but I liked it well enough. For me, the best part was before Thea left town for Denver, when she was still figuring out what she wanted and how to get it.

I would cautiously recommend it. It’s an old-fashioned sort of feel, but I wish more people would read Cather. She is an important American female writer who broke new ground. I wouldn’t start here, but with O Pioneers! or My Antonia. 3.2 stars for this one.



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