What is the summary of the last chapter of Hattie Big Sky?

The summary of the last chapter of Hattie Big Sky, Chapter 23, includes a letter from Hattie to Charlie, Hattie's last conversation with Leafie, and a recounting of what Hattie did with her belongings. It ends with Hattie on the train to Great Falls. The chapter hints that Hattie and Charlie will reunite, possibly in Seattle. As Hattie contemplates her year as a homesteader, she realizes that, although the prairie won't be her permanent home, it helped her find herself.

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In the final chapter of Hattie Big Sky, Kirby Larson must wrap up the story by telling readers what Hattie will do now that she has failed to prove up on her claim. Readers may have been surprised and disappointed that Hattie didn't achieve her goal. This chapter gives readers insight into Hattie's feelings about leaving the prairie and hints at what her future will hold.

The chapter begins with a letter, as do many of the chapters. This is a letter to Charlie from Hattie. The previous chapter ended with a letter from Charlie to her revealing that he has been "sweet on" Hattie since before he left to fight in the war and asking whether she is sweet on him. Readers may have expected Hattie to jump at the chance to express her feelings for Charlie, but she instead gives him instructions on how to view the places she has written about when he comes to Wolf Point and Vida. This allows Hattie (and readers) to recall some of the joys and sorrows of the past year. When she gets around to answering his question, she says she can't answer it yet but would like to have dinner with him in Great Falls.

Hattie leaves Mr. Whiskers with Leafie, who expresses that she will be lonely without Hattie and Perilee. Hattie distributes her animals and belongings to other friends.

As Hattie boards the train at the station alone, she recalls her arrival. She then thinks of the letter in her pocket that reveals that Charlie will probably end up in Seattle. She may end up there, too, and perhaps will even become the second woman reporter for the Seattle Times.

As the train lurches and Hattie watches the scenery out the window, she contemplates whether she achieved her goal—and whether Montana "kept her promise." She didn't find a permanent home on the prairie, but she found a home in her "own skin." She had come to Montana as "Hattie Here-and-There," someone without a home of her own. Because of her emotional growth and the friendships she made, she was able to gain a level of confidence and comfort with herself that she hadn't had before. The book ends with her affirming that she is happy with the new Hattie.

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