Left with Aunt Mattie and uncle Sheriff Cade in the North Carolina mountains, nine-year-old June becomes "Mattie's Girl" when Cade is killed at the home of her best friend, PeeDee. In stories deeply rooted in 1940s Appalachia, June chronicles the years between meeting the irrepressible PeeDee and losing her. She struggles to understand her mother's indifference, her father's divided love, her grandmother's sudden death, and her grandfather's being institutionalized.
"Mattie's Girl is superbly written and narrated."
With unflinching honesty and a survivor's grace and humor, young Sarranda chronicles her life during the pre- and post-Civil War years in isolated western North Carolina's Greene Valley. From childhood when her father leaves for California gold fields through a youthful marriage, motherhood, and the turbulent losses the war brings, she endures deprivation, hunger, emotional losses, and the lawlessness of marauding outliers with courage and determination.