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May 25, 2015

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Pick of the Day: O Pioneers! | Audio

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O PioneersCather, Willa. O Pioneers! 5 CDs. 5:34 hrs. Dreamscape Media. 2013. $39.99. ISBN 9781629230764. MP3-CD.
Gr 8 Up–This work, written in 1913, was the first in Cather’s “Great Plains” trilogy, and it was followed by The Song of the Lark and My Antonia. Strong-willed, intelligent Alexandra Bergson is the daughter of Swedish immigrants. She inherits her father’s farmland instead of it being left to her brothers, Emil, Oscar, and Lou, because she had the vision and foresight to try new crops, buy additional lands, and take risks in order to reap future rewards. Cather’s poetic and lyrical writing captures the Nebraska prairie and rolling hills. Using a variety of voices and capturing the dialects of the various immigrants who inhabit the novel, reader Betsy Bronson is impeccable. Her melodic voice imbues Cather’s words with the sentiments of love, envy, jealousy, and peace that drive the story. This recording is delightful and leaves one with the understanding and appreciation that the land is always there for those who take time to truly see and appreciate it.–Patricia Ann Owens, formerly with Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, Mt. Carmel

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