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The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather

The Song of the Lark (1915)

by Willa Cather

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1,488337,629 (3.88)275

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Sometimes it’s a real pleasure to read an undemanding old-fashioned novel and I don’t mean that in a dismissive way. There’s plenty to think about in The Song of the Lark and the writing is beautiful but there are no complex plot structures to sort out and everything is tidily chronological. Perfect for leisurely reading in the lazy aftermath of Christmas!

Set near the turn of the 20th century, The Song of the Lark tells the story of Thea Kronborg and her quest to transcend humble beginnings in small town (fictional) Moonstone in Colorado to become a singer of opera. This coming-of-age story is said to be semi-autobiographical because it traces a life not unlike Cather’s own, but its themes of ambition and alienation are perhaps not unusual to anyone in pursuit of life as an artist of any kind. Thea begins the story as a thoroughly likeable child, a bit of a loner in a large family, but good-hearted, generous, and comfortable with people different to herself. But as opportunities come her way and her ambition grows, she becomes judgemental and condescending to others if they fail to meet her standards. Scornful of other singers around her, she doesn’t even like her New York audiences, who prefer popular artistes of mediocre talent because unlike their sophisticated European counterparts, they don’t recognise great talent when they hear it.

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2018/12/31/the-song-of-the-lark-by-willa-cather/ ( )
  anzlitlovers | Dec 30, 2018 |
The Song of the Lark is the story of the making of an artist. Thea Kronborg is transformed from a minister's daughter living in a small Colorado town to a world renowned opera singer. Cather's protagonists tend to be strong, industrious women and Thea is no exception. Once Thea recognizes that her voice (not her piano playing) is a gift and that she has the stuff that artists are made of, there is no stopping her. Thea is fortunate to have the support of several good men in her life (Ray, Dr. Archie and Frank) who encourage her and provide her with the means to pursue her dream. I did not like this book as well as O Pioneers or My Antonia but I still enjoyed it. ( )
  KatherineGregg | Apr 14, 2018 |
Theo was one of 8 children from a religious family in Colorado during the last of the 19th Century. She was the brightest and very headstrong. She developed into a highly successful singer and pianist. Her life was mired in her profession and her personal life. ( )
  pgabj | Oct 24, 2017 |
I was disappointed in this second of Willa Cather's Prairie Trilogy. While the writing is very good, I disliked Thea, the main character. There is a richness in the description of life in Colorado and New York during those times and the characters are very well drawn. The story takes a fairly long time to unfold and I sometimes found my attention wandering and decided the story itself just didn't grip me as much as it might have. I will go on to read the third and final book in the series, My Antonia. ( )
  Zumbanista | Sep 12, 2017 |
Cather is an interesting storyteller. This story leaves you wondering what else will happen. ( )
  mahallett | Jan 1, 2017 |
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"It was a wond'rous lovely storm that drove me!" - Lenau's Don Juan
To Isabelle McClung
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Doctor Howard Archie had just come up from a game of pool with the Jewish clothier and two travelling men who happened to be staying overnight in Moonstone.
The Song of the Lark tells a tale familiar in frontier history, a tale of struggle and courage in which a determined protagonist forges a self equal to a wild and outsized land. (Introduction)
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A story of a young woman's awakening as an artist and her struggle to escape the constraints of a small town in Colorado.

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