True Grit

Howdy y’all !51ecVhv3ltL._AA160_

Every year, in April, Dallas Public Library promote the reading of one book, the same for everybody. This year, it is « True Grit », and I was given one book. I wrote a report for my reading club for English as a second language speaker. It has already been published on their blog ( Because I’m sometimes a bit lazy, here it is.

When I asked my husband what means “grit”, he looked at me, showed me his teeth and made a sound like “Argh”. I asked that question before reading the book, and the answer was surprising, and not very much enlightening.

“People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father’s blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day.” This is the beginning of the novel. A long and dry sentence, like several parts of the book.

Mattie Ross, the fourteen-year-old girl, is chasing Tom Chaney, her father’s murderer, through Arkansas and Texas. She’s looking for somebody with true grit to go with her. I had a hard time to begin the book, because the story goes very slow … Find someone with true grit, then meet him at the court (after retranscribing a long part of one trial…), discussing the price to go, finding a horse …

But at one point, they ride on their horses and the real story begins. Guns fire at every riverbank or every hill, toward different bandits. Bandit seems to be a job, with values, but very mortal… Then, it was hard to leave the book until the end, the suspense was important.

I had a journey through the Wild West, on a black pony. First Mattie sounds like a naive girl, but with no fear… Progressively, her character gets more profound, more intense. She eventually become human when she shows her fears at the end, even if that doesn’t stop her to go on… With justice.

After reading the book, we watched the movie (the original one, with John Wayne). And that confirms that I’m not fond with the “cow boys movies” as we say in French… But despite that, that book trapped me. A classic, indeed.

I hope that my next book report will be about « sound reporting » … I hope there are things coming. I’ll you soon.

A bientôt,

The Frog…