By American author, Willa Cather, this is a story about an orphan named Jim and daughter of a Bohemian family named Antonia who are taken to Nebraska to become pioneers. The time they spend there is very influential in their lives. It was published in 1918 and takes the genre of historical fiction.
A Quick View of the Synopsis
The book begins with the introduction of our unnamed narrator. He tells about his friend called Jim Burden, who currently practices law. Jim was a close childhood ally to the narrator. The two got to know a girl by the name Antonia, who had just relocated with her family to stay as Jim’s neighbors. The story is Jim’s memoir from when he agrees with the narrator that he knew her better. He names it ‘My Antonia.’
Jim is only ten when he becomes an orphan. He relocates to Nebraska to live with the grandparents. A family relocating from Bohemia was also moving there. They move to Jim’s grandparents’ neighborhood.
This family has two parents and also two kids, Antonia, and Ambrosch, who was older. Antonia’s mother requests that Jim teaches Antonia some English. Jim and Antonia develop a friendship. Jim held Antonia in high regard.
The family experiences a rough winter season since they did not have many friends in this new home. The grandparents of Jim make attempts to provide help. However, Antonia’s father commits suicide due to loss of hope. This leaves Antonia with more responsibilities in the field. She cannot join Jim at school, and circumstances force her to toil with her brother at their farm.
Jim reaches high-school, and his family decides to relocate to a neighboring town. Antonia also relocates with her kin to Harlings, and she becomes a cook alongside other immigrants. Antonia’s beauty starts showing and gets much attention from the opposite gender. Jim still has not admitted his feelings for Antonia. He becomes attracted to Lena, one of her immigrant friends, but Antonia does not approve of this and tells him to stay away from Lena.
Jim joins college and soon moves away from Black Hawk. Lena joins him later on in the town of Lincoln where earns a living in dressmaking. They start a relationship, and Jim’s grades start suffering. He gets a tutor and goes to live in Harvard, leaving Lena.
Jim completes college, goes back to his grandparents` home. He comes to learn that Antonia got betrothed who misused her earnings and left with a pregnancy. She had returned to their farm. Jim marvels at her determined nature.
Jim leaves to go to law school and stays away for twenty years. On returning, he sees that Antonia got married and has several children. They catch up and share about their lives and their memorable past.