Erin's Reviews > A Lost Lady

A Lost Lady by Willa Cather
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Mar 19, 12

really liked it
bookshelves: classics
Read from March 13 to 19, 2012

This was one of those books that I felt was only okay while I was reading it, but when I finished it and started analyzing it, I really appreciated and enjoyed it. Cather is really growing on me as an author. I like her understated prose, and I like that her characters can simultaneously be symbols, yet vibrant and complex people that defy simple descriptions.

Cather thought of this book as a character study, which is gutsy, as Marian is narrated almost entirely through other people (and men, at that). This isn't a book for people that have to love the hero/heroine. Marian is flawed, two-faced, and unfaithful to those who deserve her love the most. But she is vibrant, graceful, true (in her way, and when it matters most), and chooses to claim "life on any terms." She defies easy description, and I appreciate that in Cather.

I also liked the tensions between the old west and the new, and what is gained and what is lost in the change. Also, the captain was a great character.

Cather packs a lot of depth in a short number of pages. This isn't my favorite of hers (I LOVED Death Comes for the Archbishop), but it is a great classic for people that can't invest the time for a Tolstoy.
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