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The Song of the Lark

Willa Sibert Cather

Book Overview: 

Set in the 1890s in Moonstone, a fictional place supposedly located in Colorado, The Song of the Lark is the self-portrait of an artist in the making. The story revolves around an ambitious young heroine, Thea Kronborg, who leaves her hometown to go to the big city to fulfill her dream of becoming a famous opera star. The novel captures Thea's independent-mindedness, her strong work ethic, and her ascent to her highest achievement. At each step along the way, her realization of the mediocrity of her peers propels her to greater levels of accomplishment, but in the course of her ascent she must discard those relationships which no longer serve her. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Fritz reached her side before she had got her breath again, and poked his head out beside hers. There, in the faint starlight, they saw a bulky man, barefoot, half dressed, chopping away at the white post that formed the pedestal of the dove-house. The startled pigeons were croaking and flying about his head, even beating their wings in his face, so that he struck at them furiously with the axe. In a few seconds there was a crash, and Wunsch had actually felled the dove-house.

"Oh, if only it is not the trees next!" prayed Paulina. "The dove-house you can make new again, but not DIE BAUME."

They watched breathlessly. In the garden below Wunsch stood in the attitude of a woodman, contemplating the fallen cote. Suddenly he threw the axe over his shoulder and went out of the front gate toward the town.

"The poor soul, he will meet his death!" Mrs. Kohler wailed. She ran back to her feather bed and hid her face in the pillow.

Fritz. . . Read More

Community Reviews

At some point in this novel, I imagined a subtitle for it: "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman," especially as I'm convinced (without any facts to back it up) that it contains many autobiographical elements. I imagined that Thea's being different from the rest of her family, and from the o...more

3.5 stars.
Not often for me does a book's main character go from endearing at the beginning, to tiresome by the end of the book. I adored the young Thea Kronberg, even if playing piano and professional singing interest me not one iota. She was a bright, ambitious little thing and you knew she wou...more

In this second of Willa Cather’s Great Plains Trilogy, we are taken on an adventure of a different kind. For those who are interested in how the creative process grows within a person from young childhood through to adulthood, this book is perfect.

Thea Kronborg is born in Moonstone, Colorado and...more

3.5 stars

I love how this book portrays an empowered woman who achieves success as a singer though her talent, work ethnic, and independence. This type of coming-of-age story often only occurs with boys and men. Cather, however, follows her protagonist Thea throughout her childhood in eastern Colo...more

The Song of the Lark (Great Plains Trilogy #2), Willa Cather
The Song of the Lark, Willa Cather, with introduction by Sharon O'Brien, New York: A Signet Classic, 1991, 457p. ISBN: 0451525337
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز سی ام ماه آوریل سال 1994 میلادی
سه گانه چمنزار: کتاب نخست: اوه!، پیشگامان! (1913)؛ ک...more

Even though The Song of the Lark is the second installment in “The Prairie Trilogy”, I consider Thea, its strong minded protagonist, the culminating embodiment of the rest of Cather’s feisty heroines, the point where they end up converging to glow in full radiance.

(view spoiler)[As much as Ántonia warmed my wis... (hide spoiler)]

We first meet Thea Kronborg through Dr Archie, the young doctor of Moonstone, Colorado. He would become the first of many to have hopes for Thea, Thea the outsider, who just didn't fit somehow in this small town or in the family of a pastor. Sometimes she didn't feel she fit in her own body.

The s...more

Thea Kronborg, daughter of a minister in a small Colorado town, is discovered by the music teacher, a drunken German fellow, to have a rare gift. Sponsored by Archie, the town doctor and family friend, and Ray, a railroad man who intends to marry her but is killed, she travels to Chicago, then Ne...more

Most mornings I wake to the songs of larks, so when Christmas Eve found us stuck inside of our home because of flooding (my front and back yards were pines in ponds), I chose to hear The Song of the Lark in words. This is my third Cather book this year and after having been introduced to her work...more

4.5 stars

"She used to drag her mattress beside her low window and lie awake for a long while, vibrating with excitement, as a machine vibrates from speed. Life rushed in upon her through that window - or so it seemed. In reality, of course, life rushes from within, not from without. There is no w...more

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