In this short novel, Willa Cather paints a disturbing portrait of a woman caught in the social grip of her times. At once a fiercely independent, charming free spirit and an obedient member of the quietly patriarchal backbone of Victorian society, Marian "Maidie" Forrester elicits both derision and sympathy from today's readers, as she did from the young male narrator of her story. We wonder if we could have performed any better on the stage where Mrs. Forrester found herself. I would be willing to bet that few would.
This story is an insider's view, told in the language and attitudes of the late nineteenth century, and is highly recommended for students of Women's Studies and Social History.