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While working at the local hotel, the drowned body of a young woman washes onto the shore and gets Mattie thinking again of the loss of her mother, her familys struggles, and her unhappy life in her small community, but when she reads the girls letters, Mattie is inspired and becomes determined to follow her dream of moving to New York City to become a writer. 50,000 first printing. *Author: Donnelly, Jennifer *Series Title: Michael L Printz Honor Book (Awards) *Publication Date: 2003/04/01 *Number of Pages: 396 *Binding Type: Hardbound *Grade Level: 10-12 *Language: English *Depth: 1.25 *Width: 5.75 *Height: 8.50
"Jennifer Donnelly has populated her first young-adult novel with a community of distinctive characters who ring rich and true, and grounded it in often horrific realties of rural life a century ago. We don't just root for Mattie; we come to understand and cherish her."
"[A]n absorbing story that will appeal strongly to the growing number of historical fiction fans."
From the Publisher
Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey has always dreamed of becoming a writer and forever escaping from life on the family farm. However, Mattie feels tied to the farm because she promised her dying mother that she would never leave her father and siblings. Mattie is, therefore, pleasantly surprised when her father agrees to let her take a summer job at Moose Lake, a nearby vacation resort. While there, Mattie meets Grace Brown, a mysterious woman who one day hands Mattie a packet of letters and says "burn them." Before Mattie has a chance to carry out this request, Grace drowns. But was her death an accident? When she discovers that the letters Grace gave her hold the key to the mystery of Grace's death, Mattie gains new insights into her own life--insights that help her set the path for her future. Although many of the characters in this novel are fictional, Grace Brown was a real woman who was killed by her boyfriend in 1906; her story became the inspiration for Theodore Dreiser's AN AMERICAN TRAGEDY and the film A PLACE IN THE SUN.
When summer comes to the North Woods, time slows down.
Mattie Gokey has a word for everything. She collects words, stores them up as a way of fending off the hard truths of her life, the truths that she can't write down in stories.|The fresh pain of her mother's death. The burden of raising her sisters while her father struggles over his brokeback farm. The mad welter of feelings Mattie has for handsome but dull Royal Loomis, who says he wants to marry her. And the secret dreams that keep her going--visions of finishing high school, going to college in New York City, becoming a writer.|Yet when the drowned body of a young woman turns up at the hotel where Mattie works, all her words are useless. But in the dead woman's letters, Mattie again finds her voice, and a determination to live her own life.|Set in 1906 against the backdrop of the murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, this coming-of-age novel effortlessly weaves romance, history, and a murder mystery into something moving, and real, and wholly original.|