Mattie Silver's backstory. She grew up with a mother and a father who had a drug business. After her father's death, the family finds out that the business failed. With this knowledge, Mattie's mother dies of embarrassment and Mattie is forced to make a living on her own. She struggled to find a way to make a living that wasn't detrimental to her health and received minimal support from the rest of her family. Her life goes on like this until Zeena Frome decides to take her on as a hand in taking care of the house, and Mattie then moves to Starkfield.
"...from the hills to Connecticut where he married a Stamford girl..."
"...and succeeded to her father's thriving drug business."
"Unhappily Orin Silver, a man of far-reaching aims, had died too soon..."
"... his books were examined only after his impressive funeral. His wife died of the disclosure."
"... Mattie, at twenty, was left alone to make her way on the fifty dollars obtained from the sale of her piano."
"... they could hardly be expected to supplement it by material aid."
Zenobia, though doubtful of the girl's efficiency... [she] came to Starkfield." (52-53)