Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

One of Ours

One of Ours by Willa Cather
By: (1873-1947)

This 1923 Pulitzer Prize winning novel was written by Willa Cather. This work had been inspired by reading her cousin G.P. Cather’s wartime letters home to his mother. He was the first officer from Nebraska killed in World War I. Claude Wheeler, the subject of the novel, is a young man growing up on a Nebraska farm. The son of well to do parents, Claude is troubled by his apparent inability to find purpose with his life. Everything he does seems to turn out wrong, at least in his own mind. Although he is a skilled farmer, Claude believes his destiny lies elsewhere. While attending a church-affiliated college his parents have selected for him, he befriends a German family (the Ehrlichs’) who open his eyes to other possibilities in life. When Claude’s father expands the Wheeler farming interests, Claude must leave college to return to his roots and operate the Wheeler farm. During this period, he marries a childhood friend, Enid, in what turns out to be a marriage of convenience rather than love. Enid tries to convert her new husband to her many other causes such as Prohibition in Nebraska. Eventually, Enid leaves Claude to care for her missionary sister who is ill in China, and Claude is somewhat relieved to see her go. During this period, Europe is ablaze with World War I. Claude and his mother fervently follow the events. Claude eventually enlists in the American Expeditionary Forces, becomes an officer, and travels to France to fight for the cause. Finally believing he has found purpose in his life, Claude revels in his new freedom and responsibilities. Despite an influenza epidemic and the continuing hardships of the battlefield, Claude has never felt as though he mattered more. His pursuit of vague notions of purpose and principle culminate in a ferocious front-line encounter with an overwhelming German onslaught.

First Page:

One of Ours

by Willa Cather

Book One: On Lovely Creek


Claude Wheeler opened his eyes before the sun was up and vigorously shook his younger brother, who lay in the other half of the same bed.

"Ralph, Ralph, get awake! Come down and help me wash the car."

"What for?"

"Why, aren't we going to the circus today?"

"Car's all right. Let me alone." The boy turned over and pulled the sheet up to his face, to shut out the light which was beginning to come through the curtainless windows.

Claude rose and dressed, a simple operation which took very little time. He crept down two flights of stairs, feeling his way in the dusk, his red hair standing up in peaks, like a cock's comb. He went through the kitchen into the adjoining washroom, which held two porcelain stands with running water. Everybody had washed before going to bed, apparently, and the bowls were ringed with a dark sediment which the hard, alkaline water had not dissolved. Shutting the door on this disorder, he turned back to the kitchen, took Mahailey's tin basin, doused his face and head in cold water, and began to plaster down his wet hair... Continue reading book >>

Stream audiobook and download chapters

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books