My Mortal Enemy Cover

My Mortal Enemy

Book Club Resources

My Mortal Enemy (1926) is Cather’s eighth novel in which a young Myra Henshaw leaves her wealthy uncle’s household in order to marry a man he does not approve of. In doing so, she loses her inheritance, a bold choice that is recalled often in the town she grew up in as wildly romantic. However, as narrator Nellie Birdseye becomes closer to the couple now living an affluent lifestyle in New York City, she realizes that the relationship might not be as perfect as it seems. 

This novel is one of Cather’s shortest texts but it is a prime example of what she calls the “unfurnished” novel. The narration allows the reader to experience the distance Nellie feels from the people she grew up idolizing. My Mortal Enemy is a dark portrayal of commitment, regret, and domestic life.

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