Author: Margaret A. Westlie
The following review was contrbuted by: Jennifer Brown : Click Here To View Jennifer Brown's Reviews
Nobody can tell you better than Mattie Cameron that growing up isn’t easy. Especially on Prince Edward Island in the 1800’s. But grow up, everyone must, and grow up Mattie does, whether she likes it or not.
MATTIE’S STORY is the story of a year in the life of Mattie Cameron, who thinks life is easy and fine until tragedy strikes her family and she is subsequently given away to marriage. Mattie, young, frightened, lonely, and angry, thinks life will never be good again. Can David, her new husband, get through to Mattie and give her a life as good as the one she left behind? A better one?
MATTIE’S STORY is a fictional account based on real-life characters, ancestors of author Margaret A. Westlie. Using poetic language that is typical of Westlie’s narrative style, and the passion of telling a story close to her own family’s heart, Westlie easily engages the reader into a time and land fascinating and foreign.
There are many strengths to this book, most notably the masterful use of old-country dialogue, bursting with old fashioned superstitions, warnings, and idioms. Westlie easily gets her characters into a talking rhythm that makes the reader feel as if she is sitting in a rocker by the fire with them, idly listening in while the rabbit stew boils on nearby.
Westlie also makes use of her strength in description, painting a picture of the countryside clearly and vividly; the reader can feel the seasons as they change on Mattie’s life. MATTIE’S STORY does not rely on grisly drama, tawdry sex, or foul language to tell her story, making it the perfect read for a young adult, especially one who enjoys reading about life and times “way back when.”
The one and only weakness that I saw in this book was that it ended rather abruptly, although not before resolving all of Mattie’s (and others’) conflicts. I would suspect that the feeling of abruptness came from my being absorbed into the book more than anything, which can hardly be called a flaw.
Overall, I’d recommend MATTIE’S STORY, a quick and easy read – a great by-the-fire read for the whole family.