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[[ Download E-pub ]] ⛎ The Song of the Lark õ Perhaps Willa Cather S Most Autobiographical Work, The Song Of The Lark Charts The Story Of A Young Woman S Awakening As An Artist Against The Backdrop Of The Western Landscape Thea Kronborg, An Aspiring Singer, Struggles To Escape From The Confines Her Small Colorado Town To The World Of Possibility In The Metropolitan Opera House In Classic Cather Style, The Song Of The Lark Is The Beautiful, Unforgettable Story Of American Determination And Its Inextricable Connection To The Land The Time Will Come When She Ll Be Ranked Above Hemingway Leon Edel 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 would make something of herself with those wonderful secondary characters to support and encourage her But her inner drive and work ethic was what she, in the end, credits her success to and her personality becomes almost diva like I still liked this book a lot, but it was slow in many parts It did keep me guessing if she d ever find love and true happiness Not everyone or every woman, specifically, requires the same things to be happy Not everyone is capable of the give and take of a relationship some can only take. 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 is part of a large Swedish family of seven children and an Aunt who helps their mother maintain some semblance of order in their tiny, over crowded home It is her Aunt Tillie who first declares Thea to be something special Thea s mother also senses this daughter s higher destiny but has six other children she must also encourage toward fulfillment.Dr Howard Archie is young and trapped in a bad marriage where he struggles to maintain dignity and the respect of the townspeople by putting the best face on it Dr Archie is one of Thea s first friends outside of the family who can also see something interesting in young Thea, although he cannot put a name to it.Thea s calling and her inner torments in achieving what she feels driven to achieve are central to this marvelous story Along the way, there is a sojourn in New Mexico where she goes to recover herself at one point, and the descriptions and writing soar into and throughout the canyons like birds catching a thermal Sunrises, sunsets, storms, hot days, cool nights, the cliffs with deserted homes built along both sides of the canyons like long, suspended city streets all are so vividly painted, they are palatable to the senses.Eventually, when Thea recovers her equilibrium and her renewed strong will and determination drive her onward once , Thea goes to Germany to hone her craft One of her teachers says to her,When people, serious people, believe in you, they give you some of their best, so take care of it, Miss Kronborg Thea takes this to heart and although she continues to meet people who do have that belief in her, she struggles with letting go of the people who could only hold her back, even without meaning to There is one internal engine, however, that keeps pushing her toward her goals, and only those who recognize it for what it is will continue to share her journey.You may or may not be surprised to learn what it is that ensures her success where so many others fail, and there are also some surprises in discovering which people will always be part of her life and lifestyle.I enjoyed this book a great deal as I could relate to so much of it personally, even though I know very little about the world of Opera I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys music on any level and or is interested in or curious about the nurturing and development of the creative process within. 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 asntonia warmed my wistful heart in My ntonia, her development as an independent human being was finally curtailed by the solemn aura of her femininity because it ended trapping her in the role of ultimate incarnation as some kind of earth mother Contrarily, Thea renounces to her personal life and sacrifices having a family because she has a dream to pursue, which is also a heavy burden and an enormous responsibility, regardless of the consequences of taking the path that leads her to the art she believes to be locked inside herself, ebullient to flare up if the right igniter flashes the desired, needed spark.In O Pioneers , free spirited Alexandra proves she is worth her weight in gold when it comes to stating her position as a successful entrepreneur without the shadow of a male presence to influence her decisions, but she proves to be severe and rushed to judge illicit love within the framework of social convention of a highly questionable morality.In contrast, Thea doesn t renounce to her self respect but at the same time her open mindedness allows her to accept, and even empathize with people of dubious propriety, for she challenges the generally accepted norm and forms an opinion based on her personal experience alone hide spoiler 4.5 starsShe 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 work of art so big or so beautiful that it was not once all contained in some youthful body, like this one which lay on the floor in the moonlight, pulsing with ardour and anticipation With exquisite prose, Willa Cather conveys what it means to be an artist and the journey one takes to realize a dream Using the backdrop of the immense plains and the awe inspiring canyons, Cather likens the power of the artist s progress to the quest of the early pioneers into the awesome vastness of the West The descriptions of the landscape of Colorado and the Southwest are simply breathtaking The drive of the artist, the despair, the struggles, the sacrifices, and the triumphs are compelling.Daughter of a minister, Thea Kronborg is born into a large family and from an early age one recognizes her individuality and her spirit Thea begins her musical journey by taking piano lessons from a down and out musician, Wunsch, who wandered into town on the heels of the local vagrant, Spanish Johnny She befriends those much older than herself, including the aforementioned eccentrics as well as the resident physician, Doctor Archie, and a railway man, Ray Kennedy Her talent is steadfastly supported by her mother and admired by her somewhat flighty, spinster aunt I adored the young Thea her openness, her freedom, her youthful earnestness, and her vitality A poignant turn of events gives Thea the opportunity she needs to make the next step in her early career Traveling to Chicago, she continues her piano training until her voice is eventually discovered to be her true calling On the brink of grasping what it really means to be an artist and a singer, Thea travels to Arizona upon the urging of a somewhat self indulgent and wealthy young man, Fred Ottenburg Communing with nature and the spirits of the ancient Native Americans, Thea undergoes another transformationPanther Canyon was the home of innumerable swallows They built nests in the wall far above the hollow groove in which Thea s own rock chamber lay They seldom ventured above the rim of the canyon, to the flat, wind swept tableland Their world was the blue air river between the canyon walls In that blue gulf the arrow shaped birds swam all day long, with only an occasional movement of the wings The only sad thing about them was their timidity the way in which they lived their lives between the echoing cliffs and never dared to rise out of the shadow of the canyon walls As they swam past her door, Thea often felt how easy it would be to dream one s life out in some cleft in the world The way in which Thea evolves as a true artist comes with a price Leaving behind family and friends not just physically but also emotionally, and lacking true companionship must one suffer this to reach the destination, to achieve fame Can these things be overcome What will ultimately become of Thea Must cherished memories be left behind or can one experience the joy of carefree days when there were endless possibilities I believe these questions are not exclusive to the artist perhaps these are questions pertinent to any human being that once had a dream What I loved most about this novel were the descriptions of the great outdoors the plains, the canyons, and the grandeur of the heavens I did not necessarily like the older Thea, although I continued to root for her She was thoroughly believable I cherished those persons that encouraged Thea and gave her the best of their own selves to help her along the way especially Doctor Archie Doctor Archie, he really did get itIt came over him now that the unexpected favours of fortune, no matter how dazzling, do not mean very much to us They may excite us or divert us for a time, but when we look back, the only things we cherish are those which in some way met our original want the desire which formed us in early youth, undirected, and of its own accord