Mattie Rigsbee is 78 years old, lives alone, and says she is “slowin’ down just a bit”. Wesley Benfield is a juvenile offender who breaks out of the local detention center. Mattie simply knows him as the nephew of her dogcatcher, a young man without parents, a person that needs love. So she does her best to feed him, clothe him, and help him learn about God.
We’ve all had times when we felt like Wesley – doing things that are just plain wrong, feeling guilty, not knowing how to make things right, and feeling trapped by our choices. That’s when God sends someone into our life to lead us back to the right path, someone like Mattie.
The novel was made into a movie in 1999 (PG-13), which was just as good as the book. Ellen Burstyn plays the part of Mattie perfectly, and Jonathan Taylor Thomas plays the part of Wesley. Mark Hamill assumes the role of Wesley’s uncle. The humorous parts of the book keep the movie from being too heavy in nature. You will enjoy both the book and the movie!