The lady of the title lived in an Our Town named Fremond, Texas, whose inhabitants, including her own family, tell her story, in brief, alternating sections. The story is somewhat too slight, and too lacking in secrets to warrant this many-sided approach, particularly since Hannah never gets a chance to tell her side. She is dead when the novel opens. Recollections describe her lonely childhood; her adultery with a married man and subsequent marriage to him, which made the towns-people force her out of the church she loved; her eventual admission of sin; and her lifelong attempt at atonement, which destroyed her husband and two of her children, although she succeeded in making her eldest son a bishop. It is an interesting enough story, credible, readable, but the method of telling necessarily omits a crucial element: the obsessions and motivations behind this quasi-tragedy. A fictional bypass.