Grandma Dowdel from A Year Down Yonder is one of the main characters in this story. She is larger than life and is as tough as nails, living as a widow in the depression era. Her husband has died many years prior and she's lived on her own for a long time. She has a reputation about town as being a crack shot and is not shy about giving her opinion, or enforcing her privacy. For all of that, she is also a generous person and fiercely loyal, especially to her granddaughter, Mary Alice. She does not think that the government has anyone's best interests in mind.