The first novel in Willa Cather’s Great Plains trilogy tells the story of the Bergsons, a family of immigrants trying to survive as farmers in Nebraska at the turn of the nineteenth century. Alexandra, the eldest child of Bergson patriarch John, inherits the family farm when her father dies. Left to raise her father’s three sons and somehow turn a struggling farm around, Alexandra is tasked with pulling her family up by its bootstraps.
Unfortunately, her brothers aren’t made of the same strong pioneer stock as she is. When drought, depression, and other agricultural disasters hit, it’s up to Alexandra to pull the family through. Along the way, the neighbor boy, Carl Linstrum, catches her eye. But when families begin lighting out for greener pastures in the West, the Bergsons’ fortunes take a turn. Can the family survive the brutal Midwest hardships, or worse—the Bergson brothers’ frivolous nature? Will Alexandra, emotional lodestone and embodiment of the
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