Summary (from GoodReads): The story of Antonia Shimerda is told by one of her friends from childhood, Jim Burden, an orphaned boy from Virginia. Though he leaves the prairie, Jim never forgets the Bohemian girl who so profoundly influenced his life. An immigrant child of immigrant parents, Antonia's girlhood is spent working to help her parents wrest a living from the untamed land. Though in later years she suffers betrayal and desertion, through all the hardships of her life she preserves a valor of spirit that no hardship can daunt or break. When Jim Burden sees her again after many years, he finds her "a rich mine of life", a figure who has turned adversity into a particular kind of triumph in the true spirit of the pioneer.
Characters: The narrator, Jim, is a good guy. Not my usual cup of tea, but he was good in a way that felt natural instead of like he was being good to show that he was better than others. I was charmed by him and loved seeing the world through his eyes as he grew up. Antonia is an immigrant who is full of life. She is vibrant and real. Every time she appeared on the page it was like the sun came out and you felt more alive. Yeah... I know that's weird. All of the other characters, especially Lena Lingard and Antonia's brother, are very realistically drawn and every bit as interesting as Jim and Antonia.
Plot/Pacing: This is a very realistic book that follows Jim and his relationship with Antonia from the time he was twelve years old up to around his forties. Seriously, nothing actually happens that could in any way be called a plot, but we see lives unfold and cross paths and take unexpected turns. The novel feels like growing up and I found the entire thing fascinating.
Moments I Loved: Jim and Antonia are told a very creepy story about two brothers throwing a bride to the wolves in order to save themselves. This is a true story within the narrative and I found it haunting and creepy.
WTF Moments: Jim's grandmother cries over the fact that Jim has been sneaking out to go dancing. Even though it is not intentionally manipulative, it feels like a ridiculous reaction.
Overall: I had to read My Antonia for school and, honestly, I expected to hate it, but I was pleasantly surprised. Things happen, but there is no real conflict or plot, and for some reason, I found the entire thing charming.
My Antonia gets a FakeSteph rating of...