If you find yourself looking back on your life and especially your childhood, you might consider reading this. There is no entertaining action and only a smattering of romance. The plot is virtually non-existent. The language is simple. The book essentially is about a young woman, Antonia Shimerda, (who signifies the American Prairie) and how she has influenced the lives around her. Told from the perspective of one of her childhood friends, Jim Burden, the book recounts events in Jim's life and what Antonia's friendship has meant to him.
As an epigraph to the novel, Cather quotes Virgil, "Optima dies...prima fugit" -- the best days are the first to fly. Memories, tinged with regret or longing, fill the book.