Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Lost Lady--#76 finished

This is a Willa Cather book, one that I hadn't read before. It was interesting and I do enjoy her writing style for the most part. I like her characters and also the town and the surroundings where this story takes place. Cather is a very good writer that seems to present her stories in interesting and different ways. This is mostly about obviously the Lost Lady, Mrs. Forrester, who enchanted nearly everyone in town and especially Niel who tells the story. Being in a small town, the Forresters are almost the kind of royalty for the town and they host important out of town guests. Mr Forrester was already in diminished health being forced into retirement after being thrown from a horse and his health steadily got worse throughout the book till his death. Through the book it seemed as though Mrs. Forrester was being held back by her older and in poorer health husband but at the end we see it was really he who held their relationship together. Once Mr. Forrester passed away, Mrs. Forrester made several poor decisions before she was able to afford to leave the town altogether. Before leaving the town though she burned the relationships that she & her husband had long held with some townspeople including Niel.

Niel at the end of the book reflects back on this & sees this as the end of the pioneer in the passing of Mr. Forrester. After this it will be the next generation taking over that didn't build or appreciate the land as the pioneers had. In Mrs. Forrester he sees her as part of this new generation, and has contempt for her in that she moved easily from the older to the new generation. She became a person of the times, unlike her husband. I thought this was interesting perspective on this and can see how it does sort of fit in. The character of Mrs. Forrester is more complex than what is written in the story and that is kind of the genius to Cather for me, in that she does not spell out everything about her characters but instead forces the readers to think about them and come to their own conclusions. Like a said a good and interesting read. It makes me want to read some more Cather before long. Of course I also want to read some Sandoz books as well.

This book is a keeper so it will not be getting mailed off. I will put it with my other Cather books and hope my kids enjoy them someday.

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