My Antonia

Why did Mrs. Harling like Antonia so much?

This answer can be found in Book 1 of My Antonia by Willa Carther.

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Mrs. Harling likes Ántonia and tells about how grumpy and demanding Ambrosch was. Ambrosch wanted all of Ántonia's wages to go directly to him, but Mrs. Harling mandates that a certain amount will be set aside for Ántonia's own use. Mrs. Harling comments on how pretty Ántonia is, and Jim and Grandmother are pleased at the praise. Grandmother then tells a brief history of the Shimerda family. I think Mrs. Harling liked Antonia's work ethic and felt sorry for the situation she was in with her brother.