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“I love this book so much that I can't bear to think of reading another book just yet. The characters lived, laughed, struggled, loved, breathed, and died around me while I read. The detailed historical authenticity and voice of the novel seemed so real I could not believe it wasn't coming from an...”see full review » see other reviews »
“Awesome!”Natalie wrote this review 11 days ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Life was unpredictable and and oh so very difficult in those early days.”Gail C wrote this review 2 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Very good. Loved the dialogue and transition of words and phrases as Sarah gets older and wiser and more educated. Fantastic!”Peaches D wrote this review 2 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I loved the look into life during the pioneering days. Wish the ending wasn't so predictable. But overall a great read!”Darcy W wrote this review 3 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Loved it! Kinda like Lonesome Dove. Just lovely characters”Julianna C wrote this review Wednesday, October 30, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Just about a true story of Nancy Turner's great grandmother, as she pioneering and settled Arizona. Many historical facts. Quite the adventure of courage and resilience. Delightful read!”Claudette M wrote this review Thursday, October 10, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is written as the diary of a pioneer woman, Sarah Prine, traveling with her family through the Arizona Territory from 1881 to 1901. I admit I didn't get far in. Diary format is pretty tricky. It can come across as rather thin and depends on a strong voice. As you can tell from the very title, this is one of those books that uses deliberate misspellings and grammatical infelicities (and no quotes to offset dialogue) in an attempt to create that voice. Sometimes doing this--my recent read, the moving The Color Purple comes to mind--can work beautifully. But here I simply found it annoying and awkward, maybe because Sarah doesn't come across to me as real. She's supposed to be seventeen at the beginning of this book but comes across as about seven in her diary. Tragedy upon tragedy is piled upon very early in this book. Within the first 20 pages, covering little more than a month, Sarah's younger brother Clover is killed by snakebite, her elder brother Ernest loses his arm in an attack by Indians, a friend of Sarah is raped before her eyes and Sarah kills the attackers, and her father dies. All that is crammed in, and her reactions strike me as strangely flat and unreal and there Turner lost me.”Lisa Maria C wrote this review Sunday, September 22, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I loved this book. Sarah and her family survived many hardships but never lost their faith or their love for one another. ”Lois Lenz wrote this review Sunday, August 11, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“These Is My Words is our August book club selection, and what an enjoyable read it has been. It is historical fiction, based loosely on the experiences of the author's own grandmother. It is written in the form of journal entries by a 17 year old girl, unschooled but certainly intelligent and insightful. The journal entries cover a period from 1881 to 1901.
Sarah's parents decide to move from the farm they own in the western New Mexico territory. Sarah's dad raises horses, and he has been told that the land around San Angelo, Texas will provide greener pastures for the horses and his family. Sarah is the middle child among 4 brothers, so she is as good a shot and as hard a worker as her older brothers.
Their trip is long, with hardship and sorrow almost constant companions. Along the way they are joined by a couple of other families. It makes the travel through Indian territory and desert lands seem a little safer because of the increase in numbers, but in truth they remain vulnerable to outlaws, wild animals and Indians. They finally do get to Texas, but Indians have taken most all their horses, and it is not long before those who remain in the group are ready to turn back to search for those greener pastures in the Arizona Territory. Safety remains a prime consideration, so they join a larger group of families who are being escorted by a group of US Cavalrymen.
Sarah is a keen observer of her family members and her fellow travelers. Her diary entries reveal her impressions and insights, character judgements about the other travelers, as well as her own self-assessment, which is not too flattering. It is clear that her family recognizes her strengths and contributions to keeping the family together, even if she doesn't herself. Sarah's mom is overwhelmed by grief and loss that the family has suffered and seems to withdraw deep into herself rather than provide leadership for the family. But Sarah's skills with a rifle and the wisdom she shows in a shooting contest catches the attention of Captain Jack Eliot, who is leading the group back to Arizona. He begins to quietly help the family without calling undue attention to himself, but he clearly has a soft spot for Sarah.
Her brother Albert and his bride are returning to Arizona as well, and his young wife grows closer and closer to Sarah. Albert and Savannah represent the perfect love relationship to Sarah, and she longs to have a man look at her like Albert looks at Savannah....but Sarah knows she is nowhere near as sweet and good as Savannah and doesn't hold out much hope that that kind of love will ever come her way.
Over the years that Sarah is keeping her journal, she experiences love, joy, and yes, more grief along the way. But Sarah is a hard worker and has a good mind for business, which stands her in good stead as she establishes a small business in addition to helping run the family ranch, dealing with adversity as it comes her way, never giving up or giving in. A sweet, sweet love story with the added benefit of historically accurate descriptions of Tucson, Tombstone, Fort Lowell, mentions of Geronimo and Doc Holliday, and even tells of the origins of the University of Arizona . Believe me, you will care about these people!!
Thank you Lonna P., for once again guiding us to a real treasure of a book!”