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A Lost Lady

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  4,380 ratings  ·  435 reviews
Marian Forrester is the symbolic flower of the Old American West. She draws her strength from that solid foundation, bringing delight and beauty to her elderly husband, to the small town of Sweet Water where they live, to the prairie land itself, and to the young narrator of her story, Neil Herbert. All are bewitched by her brilliance and grace, and all are ultimately betr ...more
Paperback, 167 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Virago (first published 1923)
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3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,380 ratings  ·  435 reviews

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Mar 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana

Barbara Staynwick è A Lost Lady nell’omonimo film del 1934.

Indimenticabile il racconto che Truman Capote fa del suo incontro con Willa Cather in “Musica per camaleonti”:
Un giorno di gennaio uscii dalla biblioteca al tramonto e mi trovai sotto una nevicata. La signora con gli occhi azzurri, che indossava un cappotto nero, di ottimo taglio, con il collo di ermellino, era in attesa sul marciapiede. Una mano era levata in aria, per chiamare un taxi, ma non c'era ombra di
Set in the fictional prairie town of Sweet Water, Nebraska. A Lost Lady is the story of Mrs. Marian Forrester and young Neil Herbert who adores her. The way she takes care of her husband, the stately manner she comports herself, is perfection in the eyes of Neil. But Marian is not perfect, and she begins her downfall in Neil's eyes when he discovers she is having an affair while her husband is away. Later in the story, after her husband has died, Marian has a relationship with the despised Ivy P ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Not for the romantics!
Shelves: read-in-2018
“A lost lady” was a big surprise for me. Hadn’t I known that Cather had written it, I would have never brought up her name. The slow decline of the seductive Mariane Forrester reminded me much more of Edith Wharton’s acerbic style or even of Flaubert’s aesthetic frivolities of his female protagonists.
Narrated in indirect style by Niel Herbert, an impressionable young man besotted with the irresistible charms of Mrs Forrester, the novel provides a tone, a lyric and an ethical vision of life that
Magrat Ajostiernos
Una novela corta pero muy interesante sobre la complejidad de las personas, el paso del tiempo, el desengaño...
Aunque no es de estas lecturas que te dejan verdadera huella, ha sido una historia que he disfrutado por lo bien que está narrada y los personajes tan realistas que describe.
Muy recomendable :)
Estoy deseando seguir con Willa ♥
Feb 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2010
Earlier this year, in the Fall, my family decided to go through all of my grandma's old books. She was a literature professor, so this was a pretty big task. My aunt boxed them all up and brought them in her van to the family reunion. My mom and her two sisters spent an entire morning going through the books, dividing them up like players in a fantasy football draft. I came in later and set a few aside for myself. I was looking at this book, A Lost Lady, when my cousin came in and told me how in ...more
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Four and a half.

The elegant, beautiful Marian Forrester captivates not only her older husband, Captain Forrester, an elderly railroad pioneer, but also everyone she meets. She has energy, spirit and a passionate nature which helps in her move to the small town of Sweet Water, but she is also reckless and vulnerable. Captain Forrester values his wife and basks in her glory. He makes allowances for her behaviour and accepts her with an open heart.

This slim novel is powerful and very moving. Beauti
un personaggio femminile immerso nel fluido dei facili costumi riceve e dà al romanzo una spinta verso l'alto pari al peso della reputazione spostata.
Connie G
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic, fiction, nebraska
Twelve-year-old Neil Herbert is charmed by Mrs Marian Forrester, the wife of the older Captain who was instrumental in bringing the railroad to the West. Set in a Nebraska town in the late 19th Century, Neil has his idealized view of the beautiful, gracious Mrs Forrester changed as he discovers some indiscretions. But Mrs Forrester is not the only lost lady. The American pioneering spirit is being replaced by exploitation by the bankers, industrialists, and other capitalists at the turn of the c ...more
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Willa Cather is the outstanding American writer of the 20thC. An insightful stylist, she penetrates the heart. Her themes : America gradually moves into the "modern world," and Americans painfully come to terms with life.

Niel Herbert gets to know Mrs Forrester when he's 12 and she is in her 20s, married to a much older, kindly gent. He's dazzled. The story criss-crosses their lives and changing America. She suffers setbacks; he grows up and begins to understand the heartbreak of adult lives. As
H.A. Leuschel
Apr 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marian Forrester ist die Hauptfigur dieses kurzen Romans, eine witzige, charmante und lebensbejahende Frau, die trotz Schicksalsschlägen und Fehlentscheidungen stets ihre belebende Energie und Zuversicht wiederfindet und vor neuen Abenteuern nicht zurückschreckt.
Wie Antonia Byatt passend formuliert haben soll, 'interessierte Willa Cather sich für Energie. Sie konnte Menschen fast als reine Energieformen darstellen.' Marion Forrester gibt die Autorin eine sprudelnde Energie, die sie grosszügig m
Tsvetelina Mareva
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: re-reads-2009
A young man grows up worshiping an older, gracious woman but he can't forgive her for choosing a vigorous, full life over his youthful, staid definition propriety. You can feel his angst over his puppy love for her battling the static vision he needs from her. She however, has her own longing to keep living and loving to her fullest ability. They both find a type of peace in the end.

Cather explores how well we can actually know and understand others. As a young woman the aging heroine married a
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-eua, 4e
Há livros em que me sinto perdida para dizer algo sobre eles. Este por exemplo...
Comprei-o por instinto numa qualquer feira do livro e, provavelmente, morreria sem o ler caso não deparasse, num outro livro, com a referência à genialidade de Willa Cather.
Embora este não seja considerado o seu melhor romance, a sua leitura é um prazer, quer pela escrita - delicada e cativante -, quer pela história que conta: a de Marian Forrester, uma mulher que não renuncia ao amor, mesmo indo contra as convençõ
Gertrude & Victoria
Apr 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A Lost Lady is both an outstanding portrait of transitional America as well as a character sketch of a pioneering woman in a small prairie town of the central plains: Mrs. Marian Forrester. Her husband is an aging older man, influential and wealthy, who made his fortune in the railroad business. She is a woman with charm, passion, and intelligence, admired by many in the rural town of Sweet Water. The story follows her life, a life seemingly of quiet satisfaction and steadfast loyalty, through t ...more
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Load up on details about landscape, and the weight takes the story down. I've been wedded to that view for a LONG time, but I recently got a divorce -- thanks to A Lost Lady. Well, maybe not a divorce, but I've agreed to a trial separation. The surprises in the plot of A Lost Lady are not the came-out-of-nowhere type. Cather's characters are fascinating. And her descriptions of the natural world are actually interesting. Who knew? Other readers, of course. And now I do. I should have read Cather ...more
Una dama extraviada es un relato sobre el cambio. Del paso de una era dominada por la nobleza terrateniente dadivosa, como si de reyes se trataran, a los especuladores sin escrúpulos hechos a sí mismos e hijos de una época donde el que no se espabila y no recurre a lo ilegal, no consigue nada. También es un relato sobre el paso de la adolescencia a la adultez, donde todo nos es revelado tal y como es, sin el tamiz que aporta la ingenuidad y la candidez típicas de la juventud; cambios que se refl ...more
Nina Draganova
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Със сигурност в съвременната литература най-много ми липсва красотата и богатството на езика, с който си служи Уила Катър.
Четейки мнения и коментари за книгата, разбрах че образа на главната героиня - г-жа Мариан Форестър , е вдъхновила Скот Фицджералд да сътвори своята Дейзи Бюканън във Великият Гетсби. И да , сега замисляйки се , намирам доста прилики.
„Дегенерацията“ на тази идеализирана от младия, обожаващ я Нийл Хърбърт жена, явно служи като предел на една романтична ера, която избледнява, к
Silvia Sirea
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un mese fa ero in vacanza a Bologna - città che mi ha piacevolmente stupita - e, in un mercatino di libri usati, ho trovato Una signora perduta. Non avevo mai letto nulla di Willa Cather, ma, ricordando qualche bella recensione sull'autrice che avevo letto qui su Goodreads, ho deciso di comprarlo senza esitazioni. E, a lettura ultimata, posso affermare di aver fatto la cosa giusta.

Le centoquaranta pagine di questo romanzo raccontano di una casa nel vecchio West e di una donna che lì vi dimora. E
Jacob Appel
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
And I am once again reminded that most of the time lit-fic is just not my thing. Willa Cather is good with words, but I just don't get her writing.

I chose this book as part of the Western challenge for Read Harder, and because I've owned it for years and years and years. It was a quick read, only 150 pages, and I read through it in a night. But I didn't get very much out of it.

A Lost Lady is about a woman who is idolized by our narrator, and as she grows older, the bloom begins to come off the r
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
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
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
The pity is that I was first introduced to Willa Cather while in grade school. She was force fed to me because, surprise-surprise, I grew up in Nebraska. It has taken me years to come back around and give her a fair shake.

And yet, I still don't like this novel. Its an easy read, most of her works are. Thats not to say they are simple, just very aesthetic. She is a minimalist in her writing, and can do in a few short words what it takes other authors pages to do. Its her style, and she is marvell
Laurie Notaro
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wonderful character study. Not a happy book, but a reminder that even the noblest among us can be reduced under circumstances, particularly in the eyes of someone who has created a vision of a person who never really existed.
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it
This is the first book I've read by Willa Cather. I liked most that every word counts, that Cather tells her story in a direct way. When I look at today's publications, I'm often mystified by 500+ page counts that seems to sale books. It's the quality that counts! And there must have been hundreds of thousands of American women during the "wild west" development with much the same story as in "A Lost Lady." . And how tough they were, how underestimated they were, how determined to survive and be ...more
David Stephens
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
A Lost Lady contains two prominent parallel narratives. The first is that of Niel Herbert, a young boy from Sweet Water, Nebraska whose vision of the world changes as he reaches his twenties. He initially has a romanticized view of Mrs. Forrester, a pretty young aristocrat in town, but eventually, his feelings toward her shift and become much more complex once he discovers her flaws.

Niel's narrative of disillusionment corresponds to the narrative of America. The country was still young throughou
Caitlin Granger
Aug 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
I had to read this book for AP English Lit.. I never heard of Willa Cather before this. The writing is very easy to read and dive into, which I enjoyed. However, I really did not care for any of the characters and frankly I felt like this book was enforcing traditional gender roles. Maybe I misinterpreted the book... but I'm sure my AP teacher will discuss this book when school rolls around. Until then, I'm not really sure how I feel about this book. I didn't really care for Mrs. Forrester... I ...more
Aug 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I continue to be amazed at the consistency of Willa Cather's work. As far as my favorite fiction writers go, only Flannery O'Connor comes close, but her published output is also significantly smaller than Cather's.

This is the sixth of Cather's books that I've read, and I honestly only picked this one because it's short and I needed something I could breeze through after slogging through Faulkner's The Unvanquished (which isn't especially long itself). Cather's also been a reliable bet, and A Los
sydney healey
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
fascinating to see cather’s particular brand of misogyny at work via her (male) narrator/protagonist; the moralistic overtones don’t age well but her descriptive prose remains among my favorites
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read, acob, classics
I am working on reading all of Cather with the help of Chris Wolak and the Book Club Bookstore in CT. This is not my favorite novel, I have liked others better. This is a pioneer, western front novel, told through Niel, a young man living with his uncle, the Judge in the small town. A railroad executive has built a beautiful house for his beautiful second wife, who seems to be the light of the town. Mrs. Forrester is younger than her second husband, but mostly devoted to him and their life toget ...more
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Wilella Sibert Cather was born in Back Creek Valley (Gore), Virginia, in December 7, 1873.

She grew up in Virginia and Nebraska. She then attended the University of Nebraska, initially planning to become a physician, but after writing an article for the Nebraska State Journal, she became a regular contributor to this journal. Because of this, she changed her major and graduated with a bachelor's d
“Her husband had archaic ideas about jewels; a man bought them for his wife in acknowledgement of things he could not gracefully utter.” 8 likes
“He came to be very glad that he had known her, and that she had had a hand in breaking him in to life. He has known pretty women and clever ones since then,-- but never one like her, as she was in her best days. Her eyes, when they laughed for a moment into one`s own, seemed to promise a wild delight that he has not found in life. "I know where it is," they seemed to say, "I could show you!” 7 likes
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