I think this book is a classic. It gives me Mattie Ross entire, from indomitable fifteen-year-old (boy, would the term 'teenager' be inappropriate) to indomitable forty-year-old independent woman of means, delivered in a monologue form that shows a strong ear for language and tone.
I understand Lillelara's comment about the pace of the story lagging at points but I am not dismayed by this. 'True Grit' isn't an adventure story or a thriller, it's a first person account of a young woman so focused on her goal and so certain of her success that she sees no adventure in her activities but rather an exercise of will that bends the men around her to her needs and objectives. To her, the negotiation on the price of ponies is as important a part of her quest as firing a gun at her father's murderer.
I feel like I have been immersed in a mind quite alien to my own but for whom I feel a reluctant empathy. Through her eyes, I've been given a window in a period in American history that has since been graffittied over by self-serving myths and legends.