Marian Forrester arrives in the prairie town of Sweet Water as a young bride – beautiful, aristocratic, and spirited. To Captain Daniel Forrester, her pioneer husband, she’s a precious jewel, and in the eyes of her new neighbor, young Niel Herbert, she’s the perfect lady. But like the burgeoning promise of the American frontier, Marian’s charms decline with the passing of time, and the world’s admiration curdles into pity and contempt. Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Willa Cather looked back from the perspective of the modern industrial world to an era when the American frontier offered an abundance of fresh possibilities. The country’s inevitable change is reflected in this bittersweet coming-of-age story, whose themes explore the passing of a proud pioneer spirit, the triumph of materialism, and the struggles of women in a patriarchal society. A Lost Lady brilliantly recaptures a specific chapter in American history and its evocation of loss and nostalgia remains recognizable to readers of every time and place.
Dover Publications, 2018 (1923)