4 out of 4 stars.
Mattie Ross, a feminist before it existed!
In the winter of 1870s, Mattie Ross’ father is shot down, killed, and robbed, for no reason. She is only 14 years old but decides she absolutely needs to avenge her dad’s death and sets out to find Tom Chaney, the man guilty for this horrific act. Despite her mother’s plea to change her mind and stay home, Mattie refuses to listen and begins building her team of accomplices. There is U.S Marshall “Rooster” Cogburn that only has one eye and Texas Ranger La Boeuf (who pronounces it La Beef). It is easy to say that this is an odd group. What unfolds is a lot of hooting and hollering but also many strong female moments and acts of kindness from her rough and tumble teammates.
I picked this book up because it was assigned for my library’s book club. The reason I joined was for the specific reason I wanted to start choosing stories to read that I normally wouldn’t. True Grit is a perfect example of this. Honestly, do they even write westerns anymore? In my time of life, I can’t think of one new release so I had to go back to the classics and I am glad I did! I can 100 percent see why people loved these. Although it was violent at times, the storyline almost seemed wholesome in a way if that is possible. Sadly, my contemporary instincts were secretly screaming to Mattie, “don’t have two middle age male strangers in the sleeping bag next to you!” However, with Mattie feeling comfortable with a gun and her brave attitude, maybe that went without saying that she would be able to handle herself. Different times back then for sure as to what was a point of concern.
I read a lot of people comparing Mattie Ross to Huckleberry Finn but I beg the differ. Her spunk and go-getting nature to stand for the truth reminded me of Scout Finch of “To Kill a Mockingbird”. I hope when this book came out that she got the recognition she deserved as a wonderful protagonist to look up to. She is a real spit fire!
Highly recommend, quick read with a lot of great discussion points.