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Mattie Paperback – January 1, 1997
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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From Library Journal
Inspired by the life of the first woman doctor in Nebraska, though not based on it, this first novel was written by a former president of the Western Writers of America. Dr. Mattie herself narrates in the informal style of an 80-year-old woman looking back on good days and bad in a long life. In 1885 she became the first woman student in the Omaha Medical College. That took courage, a quality Mattie never lacked as she struggled for years to gain recognition as a competent and progressive doctor. Her career proved more successful than her personal life, which was marred by an unfortunate marriage that ended in divorce. Troubles and all, Mattie is worth reading about in this very pleasant book. Sister Avila, Acad. of Holy Angels, Minneapolis
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Most of the book deals with the travails of such a life, ie: the long travels across open prairie, the hard existence of dwellers on the frontier, the triumphs and sorrows of everyday life for those who chose to live outside of an established city/town. It is told in first person dialogue by Mattie herself.
Judy Alter's MATTIE features a woman who in many ways resembles today's youth. Mattie is merely dressed in frontier clothing and turned loose in a pioneer setting. In Judy Alter's hands Mattie will do much more than have adventures. In overcoming gender barriers, the girl becomes a young female doctor who discovers the gifts of her mind, apprentices to people who teach her and steps into maturity knowing who she is and what she wants without letting "life" get in her way.
Even though this is a fairly good book, I do not enjoy spending 1-2 hours on a single chapter. This book has only 5 chapters and an epilogue. I know of very few authors that write such long chapters. Most of them I have never read again. But if you enjoy VERY lengthy chapters, then this book is right up your alley. Only 3 stars from me though.
Mattie Armstrong is a plain ,but determined and intelligent child labouring under the twin disdvantages of poverty and illegitimacy but she becomes the protege of the local doctor and when her mother and brother move West she remains behind and becomes a resident in his household as companion to his young daughter and nurse to his mentally ailing wife
On the death of his wife the doctor proposes marriage and following her refusal Mattie travels West to take up a post as the one and only doctor for miles around
The bulk of the book deals with the travails and pleasures of such a life----the long travels across open prairie,the hardscrabble existence of dwellers on the frontier,the triumphs and sorrows.There is an unsuitable marriage to a feckless and abusive husband,a manipulative minx of a daughter and finally the reflections on a life turned full circle as she becomes the patron of an aspiring doctor,born ,like Mattie before him,in less than propitious circumstances
Its an unsentimental and deeply felt book that I recommend unhesitatingly and is amomg the few I could have wished longer as it does feel slightly rushed at times.I did wonder if publisher pressure had resulted in some cutting down of the book so as to conform to the then norm for the genre
The early sections ,which closely parallel"Jane Eyre"are the best but the whole enterprise is executed with polish and professionalism
Even if the Western is not your customary cup of literary tea I suggest you track it down and try an honest,non-formulaic example of the genre
The chronicle of a life well lived ,and based on an actual character,its a positive and rewarding experience even genre avoiders will find appealing
Most recent customer reviews
Enjoyed character development.
It was an unusual journey in a young girl's life & following her through her dreams to become a doctor in a small town while raising her own...Read more