I saw this at The Written World--a blog I've been following for most of the time I've been blogging--and I thought I'd join in the fun. I believe the most recent recurrence of this is from Jenni Elyse's blog.
Today's prompt: A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could
leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father's blood but
it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen
Last week I reviewed The Virginian
by Owen Wister, this week I'm reviewing True Grit. Could it be that I'm
not as allergic to westerns as I thought? Or have I just found two
exceptions to the rule?!
What's the word that best describes our heroine, Mattie Ross? Spunky?
Stubborn? Strong-willed? No-nonsense? Independent? She's all those
things, it's true, but it goes deeper than that perhaps. She does not
back down. If Mattie has made up her mind, then there's no changing it.
There's no arguing with her...and winning. It just can't be done. She
may be a kid--a girl--but she can hold her own in a world of men.
When her father is murdered by Tom Chaney, a man her father had half-way
trusted--at least trusted enough to give him a job, a place to live,
and a "second" chance at life--then Mattie Ross decides then and there
that he will pay for his crime. She'll see that justice is done, even if
she has to pay for that justice herself.
Mattie hires a marshal with grit--Rooster Cogburn. The Fort Smith
sheriff tells Mattie that Rooster Cogburn "is a pitiless man,
double-tough, and fear don't enter into his thinking. He loves to pull a
cork" (23). She promises a $100 for a job well done. But she doesn't
tell him--at least not at first--that she has every intention in the
world of going with him on his search. Yes, this fourteen-year-old girl
is going to ride side by side with him on his dangerous mission--hunting
outlaws is always dangerous, you know. And then there is the third
companion, a Texas Ranger, LaBoeuf. He wants to find Chaney/Chelmsford
too. There's money to be find in bringing him to justice. While
LaBoeuf's motivation is more monetary, perhaps, for Mattie this is
And it was the fact that this was a personal story--though don't expect
it to be sentimental or weepy, Mattie is no Elsie Dinsmore--that touched
me the most. It is my connection with Mattie that made me love this
one. Her character, her personality, her strength as a narrator. I think
Mattie is unforgettable.
While I can't say that I loved every scene in this one--especially the
one with the poisonous snakes--I have to admit that I did enjoy this one
very much. I found it very compelling!
© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews