Cannonball Read #16: Hattie Big Sky

YA lit, y'all. It keeps me motivated to read. Toss in some historical setting and a female protagonist and I'm beyond there. Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson is about a 16-year-old orphan who inherits a claim of land in eastern Montana from an erstwhile uncle. Anxious to start a life free of owing random relatives (especially her ice cold Aunt Ivy), she decides to move out Montana in 1918 and make her own life. Besides, her best friend Charlie has enlisted in the army and is trampling around Europe.

So she moves out there and it's scary. It's a different culture with people she doesn't know, she has to take care of herself and all the household chores, and most of all "prove" her claim by building fence and planting a certain acreage of land. Add on top of that the fact that her closest friends include a family with a German father who is constantly under scrutiny from the county defense league. And of course the leader of that league is the very handsome and somewhat charming Traft Martin. But she still has feelings for her soldier Charlie! What's a girl to do? The right thing of course!

Because it's the kind of novel that's in the spirit of Louisa May Alcott. It's about good girls growing up and learning lessons about being self-reliant and loving people who are good people first and foremost. It's cheesy as hell, but I eat this stuff up. While Hattie Big Sky starts to fall into a "could anything else possibly go wrong" territory, troubles are quickly over and we're never really in suspense of whether or not Hattie will make it through okay. On to the next book!

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