This book is about Mattie, a fictional girl who lives in the North Woods of New York (the Adirondacks) in the early 20th century. It is the time of the murder of Grace Brown by Chester Gillette, which is a real and factual murder case. In the book, Mattie is given Grace's letters, which were the most important piece of evidence in the trial against Gillette. That is the basis for Donnelly telling Mattie's story. The story of a young girl living in a time when the only real outlet for young women was to get married and settle on a farm. Mattie, however, want to be something different. Through the backdrop of the Grace Brown murder, she learns how to stand up against the odds, and get what she wants for herself. I enjoyed the characters in this book, they were very colorful and appropriate to their time and circumstances. I think my favorite character of all was Uncle Fifty, the French Canadian logman who comes to visit Mattie and her sisters. I also liked the word duels that Mattie and Weaver played. All in all a good, satisfying read.