A Lost Lady [NOOK Book]


Thirty or forty years ago, in one of those grey towns along the
Burlington railroad, which are so much greyer today than they were
then, there was a house well known from Omaha to Denver for its
hospitality and for a certain charm of ...
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A Lost Lady

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Thirty or forty years ago, in one of those grey towns along the
Burlington railroad, which are so much greyer today than they were
then, there was a house well known from Omaha to Denver for its
hospitality and for a certain charm of atmosphere. Well known,
that is to say, to the railroad aristocracy of that time; men who
had to do with the railroad itself, or with one of the "land
companies" which were its by-products. In those days it was enough
to say of a man that he was "connected with the Burlington." There
were the directors, the general managers, vice-presidents,
superintendents, whose names we all knew; and their younger
brothers or nephews were auditors, freight agents, departmental
assistants. Everyone "connected" with the Road, even the large
cattle- and grain-shippers, had annual passes; they and their
families rode about over the line a great deal. There were then
two distinct social strata in the prairie States; the homesteaders
and hand-workers who were there to make a living, and the bankers
and gentlemen ranchers who came from the Atlantic seaboard to
invest money and to "develop our great West," as they used to tell

When the Burlington men were travelling back and forth on business
not very urgent, they found it agreeable to drop off the express
and spend a night in a pleasant house where their importance was
delicately recognized; and no house was pleasanter than that of
Captain Daniel Forrester, at Sweet Water. Captain Forrester was
himself a railroad man, a contractor, who had built hundreds of
miles of road for the Burlington,--over the sage brush and cattle
country, and on up into the Black Hills.

The Forrester place, as every one called it, was not at all
remarkable; the people who lived there made it seem much larger and
finer than it was. The house stood on a low round hill, nearly a
mile east of town; a white house with a wing, and sharp-sloping
roofs to shed the snow. It was encircled by porches, too narrow
for modern notions of comfort, supported by the fussy, fragile
pillars of that time, when every honest stick of timber was
tortured by the turning-lathe into something hideous. Stripped of
its vines and denuded of its shrubbery, the house would probably
have been ugly enough. It stood close into a fine cottonwood grove
that threw sheltering arms to left and right and grew all down the
hillside behind it. Thus placed on the hill, against its bristling
grove, it was the first thing one saw on coming into Sweet Water by
rail, and the last thing one saw on departing.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940013740563
  • Publisher: WDS Publishing
  • Publication date: 1/6/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,282,108
  • File size: 93 KB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012

    I Also Recommend:


    This is a simply written but thematically complex, metaphoric story, replete with subtle nuances. The events that transpire are seen primarily through the eyes of a boy who comes of age, a contrivance that the author successfully employed in her best selling classic, "My Antonia". Here, it is no less successful. Through the eyes of Neil Herbert, who lives in Sweet Water, a prospective railroad hub on the Western plains in one of the prairie states, the reader gets to know Marian Forrester. She is the much younger, envied wife of one of the town's more prominent and wealthier citizens, Captain Daniel Forrester, a former railroad contractor.

    As Neil grows into a man, his adoration of the lovely Mrs. Forrester undergoes a change. He sees her fall from the pedestal from where he and all the townspeople have placed her and sees her, really sees her, warts and all, for the first time, when he discovers her involved in an unexpected peccadillo. It comes as a shock to him that she may not be all that she seems to be. Still, his life is closely entwined with hers, as his uncle, with whom he lives, is Captain Forrester's personal attorney and of the same social standing in this socially circumscribed backwater.

    Just as Neil's perception of Mrs. Forrester begins to change in his eyes, so do the fortunes of the town and that of Captain Forrester. As Mrs. Forrester physically deteriorates under the strain of the vicissitudes of fate, so do the town and its surrounding environs. As she revives, leaving behind her old values and adopting new ones that are anathema to those who respect the traditional ones, her revival parallels changes in the town itself, as the old makes way for the new. These changes also parallel the shifts occurring on the American frontier, as social mores and personal values undergo a change, and those stalwart pioneer values give way to new ones.

    Beautifully descriptive of a bygone era and laconic in its pace, this is most certainly a novel to be savored. Fans of the author will especially enjoy it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2002

    A Great Novel

    Reading this book as really help me becomes familiar how really life was back in Willie Cather life. I can say that she was a little confused on her life situation. But A Lost Lady was a good novel by the author. I really enjoy reading a book that was interest about a pioneer. I can say that most pioneers were a little bold back in the days. I like the book, because it has a good plot to it which I can relate to. The characters in the book are funny and it seems to be like a movie when reading the book. So, I think you would not be disappointed in reading the book. Just remember that once you read the book, than you can see why I like it.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    Greatest Novel Ever

    There are no words to express how wonderful this novel is. I cling to every word with delight as I ponder Cather's brilliance.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted July 12, 2012

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    Posted January 11, 2014

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    Posted February 6, 2015

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    Posted July 10, 2013

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