After Thomas raved about Shadows on the rock by Willa Cather, I was keen to read it. But that title has not yet passed through my hands. However, on my VMC TBR pile was another Willa Cather, so I thought I would try to compensate for not being able to read a book which had piqued my fancy with another one by the same author. Quite a chunky tome, and a Pulitzer Prize-winner no less, One of ours proved to be an excellent novel that stretched out over several days (I am getting better these days at pacing myself through long books and not either feeling overwhelmed by them or rushing through them...) (it is 459pp long).
It's a compelling story about values in the American midwest at the start of the twentieth century. Claude, around whom the story centres, lives on the family farm, and basically follows the path that is mapped out for him - he goes to college, he comes home to work on the farm, he gets married, but he finds the Nebraskan farming community increasingly materialistic and wants to find his own meaning of life. Of course, world views suddenly change with the advent of the First World War - Claude enlists, leaves the farm and finds himself in France. Quite literally finds himself in France. To say anymore would be to introduce a large spoiler, so I won't, but do seek this one out.
Of course, I am now interested in another Cather novel - Lucy Gayheart, which had a synopsis in the back of this volume, so I hope that both this and Shadows on the rock pass my way before too long.
This has been published three times; the copy that I acquired from Awesome books a little while ago is a creased original green edition at the top of this post which I think has a very stark and eye-catching cover picture which fits in with the WW1 theme.