Review: The Professor’s House

By Willa Cather


I did not want this book to end. After the last book I read, it felt like I got this one finished in an afternoon. The story follows Professor St. Peter and his friendship with the mysterious Tom Outland. The story plays out on a few different levels. The professor is in the midst of a move from his old house in which his daughters grew up and a new house his wife had built from money they recently received upon publication of the professor’s life’s work. The professor doesn’t seem to want to let the old house go, and part of the story is unraveling this reluctance. Another level is discovering the connected mystery of Tom Outland and how the professor’s extended family has suddenly come into a sum of money.

The book is done in three parts: the two bookends follow the professor and the middle part follows Tom Outland. The story races quickly and beautifully to its conclusion. Outland’s section is especially delightful with descriptions of the southwest and an aura of day dream to it. This was one of those books which was a joy to get pulled into and lost in the story. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a quick and beautiful read that has a bit of mystery and depth to it.

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