Not unlike today, life for women in the nineteenth century served up hearty challenges on a daily basis, though the burdens of 100 years ago certainly were of a different flavor. Mattie: A Woman's Journey West offers a taste of that life through he story of Martha "Mattie" Shipley Culver, whose life passage took her from her childhood in industrial New England and work in the New York textile Industry to her role as the wife of a winter caretaker in Yellowstone National Park, where she died and was buried in 1889, at the age of 32. After discovering Mattie's grave, between Nez Perce Creek and the Firehole River, author Nan Weber followed her own curiosities through four years of research to trace the steps of this mystery woman's spirited life. The result is the inspiring story of a strong woman trying to better her life during difficult times- and leaving her mark along the way, whether she knew it or not. Mattie's story is one of both hope and despair, of joy and sorrow. But most important, it is a reminder that ordinary individuals do affect the lives of others, and that each us is part of a bigger picture.