Study Guide

A Northern Light Chapter 40

By Jennifer Donnelly

Chapter 40

ideal

  • The day after the Fourth of July celebration is the exact opposite of ideal, Mattie's word of the day. It's her birthday, but no one has mentioned it, and she's remembering the fight she had with Royal the night before.
  • During the fight, Royal said he wants the land because it's good land and because he wants to get rid of Emmie Hubbard; apparently everyone's known about the situation between Emmie Hubbard and Frank Loomis except Mattie. When Mattie asked how Royal can do this to a widow and seven kids, especially when some of the kids might be his siblings, Royal asked her what she would think if it was her father who was cheating on his wife, and then he walked off.
  • Musing about the fight, Mattie goes into the kitchen and is surprised by her hotel friends and a big birthday cake. It's a surprise party. Yay.
  • After the party, Mrs. Morrison gives Mattie a bag from Pa that holds a painting of Mattie's house by Emmie Hubbard, a homemade card, some candy, and a brand new composition book from her father.
  • Royal shows up, and he brings Mattie a book as a gift. Mattie gets super excited, but when she opens it, she realizes it's a cookbook, and a used one at that. Even so, she smiles and thanks Royal.

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