Grew Up… as a farm hand on her Pa’s ranch. Though she’s learned a lot through working around the ranch, she’s still only 14, and still has some growing up to do.
Living… in Yell County, Arkansas with her mother and two younger siblings on their ranch.
Visiting… Fort Smith, the nearest outpost, in order to identify her father’s body. He was murdered by Tom Chaney, a farm hand who’s skipped town.
Profession… managing the ranch and taking care of her late father’s affairs.
Interests… ranching, shooting, and other Western adventures. Most men doubt her because of her age. When asked about her father’s pistol, which she carries in town, she responds, “He carried it bravely in the war, and I intend to kill Tom Chaney with it if the law fails to do so.”
Relationship Status… single. You don’t meet many boys out on a ranch in Yell County.
Challenge… hunting down and killing Tom Chaney. Things aren’t easy on the frontier for a young woman, even one as accomplished as Mattie. She has to rely on her own gumption and determination to get her way, convincing others to assist her in the pursuit of her father’s killer. After assembling a posse, they embark on a rugged journey that will test Mattie’s emotional and physical limits.
Personality… stubborn and precocious. Mattie was raised tough and doesn’t put up with being talked down to. Used to being belittled for being a woman, Mattie is bold and upfront when meeting new people, and only reveals her more childish characteristics after establishing a clear friendship. A strong sense of right and wrong compels her to search for her father’s killer, hoping to personally effect vengeance upon Tom Chaney. As strong as she is, there are moments when Mattie finds herself in situations that she simply isn’t old enough to handle, which leaves her feeling embarrassed and helpless.
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