Lost Ecstasy shows the Old West’s ugly underside

cowboy boots and woman's high heels beside bed on cover of Lost Ecstasy

Mary Roberts Rinehart’s Lost Ecstasy turns the romance of the Old West on its head.

Handsome cowboy Tom McNeil can ride, rope, and sing baritone. His only flaws—binge drinking, womanizing, and using paper napkins—aren’t enough to put off pretty, Eastern heiress Kay Dowling.


Lost Ecstasy by Mary Roberts Rinehart.
Doran, 1927. 372 pp.
1927 bestseller # 6. My Grade: B-.

She throws herself at Tom.

Kay leaves her fiance and family money for Tom, who at the time is working in a traveling Rodeo and Wild West Show .

When Tom is injured in the show and can no longer do cowboy stuff, Kay finagles a ranch for him to run by offering the local banker her pearls and a check from her aunt as security.

Tom is on the verge of making the ranch pay when Kay’s mother has a heart attack.

Kay goes home to care for her.

While she’s gone, a bad winter wipes out all Tom’s work. He ends up working the Wild West Show again.

When her mother dies, Kay must decide whether she loves Tom enough put up with his faults.

Kay and Tom are both stereotypes. The plot is hackneyed. Even the settings feel as if they were written on the back lot at Universal Studios.

The paper napkins, though, are a nice touch.

© 2017 Linda Gorton Aragoni

Published by

Linda Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. My program for turning teens and adults into competent writers is just eight sentences, 34 words.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.