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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Diary of Mattie Spenser...Review

About the book:
No one is more surprised than Mattie Spenser herself when Luke Spenser, considered the great catch of their small Iowa town, asks her to marry him. Less than a month later, they are off in a covered wagon to build a home on the Colerado frontier. Mattie's only company is a slightly mysterious husband and her private journal, where she records the joys and frustrations not just of frontier life, but also of a new marriage to a handsome but distant stranger. As she and Luke make life together on the harsh and beautiful plains, Mattie learns some bitter truths about her husband and the girl he lieft behind and finds love where she least expects it. Dramatic and suspenseful, this is an unforgettable story of hardship, friendship and survival.

This book was one that I had a hard time putting down. It was compelling. Mattie's voice rings true. She is someone you like. The story is set in the pioneer days. Mattie and her husband Luke head to the Colorado frontier to build a home and farm. Mattie records her journey, thoughts and life in a journal. Her story is told through this journal.

So often the journals and stories of pioneer women are softened and the difficult times glossed over in favor of espousing faith and hope. While there is nothing wrong with this sentiment, it is refreshing to see that Sandra Dallas hasn't glossed over every difficulty of frontier life, but has still managed to show that faith and hope were an everyday occurrence, and that people managed to form churches and meet together.

At times the novel is raw and uncomfortable. There is no softening of the difficulties and hard times that these frontier women suffered. Unattended childbirth, the death of infants and children, disease, Indian raids, murder and even spousal abuse and betrayal. But, through it all, Mattie's is a stalwart. Though her marriage is, at first, one of convenience and she and Luke are practically strangers, ultimately she finds friendship and love where she least expected it.

Read 3/08

* * *
3/5 Stars


  1. i have been reading "These is my Words" I can't think of who it is by right off the top of my head. But it is sounds similar to this book and it is really good. I am having a hard time putting it down but since I have school work I've had to.

    The other book I really want you to read is "Left to Tell" it is a story that is about the Rwanda genocide. It is a horrible topic, but the faith and power of the author is amazing. The book leaves you uplifted, it is a very powerful book. (Everyone I've recommended this book to has loved it.)

  2. I really enjoyed the Diary of Mattie Spencer. You will have to add These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner to your list. It is very similar so you might want to wait a month or two but it is another excellent choice.