A Pulitzer Prize-winning novel celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2013, this is a tale of people struggling to carve out a life in the wilderness while battling ever-duplicitous human nature
Alexandra Bergson's father, John, is dying. He entrusts his farmstead on a desolate stretch of plain to her, rather than to her brothers. Faced with the rigors of frontier living, droughts, and penury, Alexandra only becomes more determined to carry on her father's legacy and battles through remortgaging the farm and adopting new techniques. Fast forward 16 years, her hard work has paid off, her brothers Lou and Oscar have both created prosperous farms, and under Alexandra's management the original farm has thrived. When childhood friend Carl Linstrum returns from traveling it appears that romance is on the cards, but Lou and Oscar drive him out of town, fearing that their sister's marriage would disinherit their own children. The community begins to unravel as jealousy spills out into murder. Although born in Virginia, Willa Cather's family moved to Nebraska and her writing reflects her upbringing in the prairie lands steeped in history.