Tuesday, August 11, 2009

These Is My Words - Nancy Turner

This guest review comes to us from Melissa Mc (aka Daisy Mom) a mother of 3; wife of 1; daughter, sister, friend, aunt; lover of football, politics, food, travel, walking, theatre and all things literary. Click here to see her book club's reading list or visit her blog .

Summary: This rip-roaring yarn, the diary as page-turner, is based on Turner's great-grandmother's diary and covers 20 years in the life of a woman in the Arizona Territories at the end of the last century. Through these pages, we watch the spirited Sarah, unpolished but spunky at 17, improve both her grammar and her grace; come to terms with death and tragedy including Indian attacks, train robbers, and childhood disease; marry twice and love one man fiercely; birth and bury children; and keep a large cast of extended family in her heart and in her kitchen. Along the way, she examines her own feelings toward Indians, Mexicans, and folks from back east; learns to manage money by making and selling her own scented soap; and attracts the love of her life by besting a bully in a shooting match. The language is rich and fine, sounding true to its time without being precious. (Summary from Booklist - Image from barnesandnoble.com)

My Review: Some books just grab you by the heart and won’t let go. These Is My Words is one of them.

Sarah Prine is a tough as nails, young women growing up in the Arizona Territories. She can shoot a rifle, defend her family and friends, and fight Indians and outlaws too – heck, I’m not sure there isn’t anything she can’t do. Her family decides to migrate to Texas for a better ranching life, but they find nothing but tragedy along the way. On their return home to Arizona, Sarah meets Captain Jack Elliott, and thus begins the heart of this novel, based on the diaries of the author’s original family memoirs.

These Is My Words is a love story, an American western, a survivors tale, all wrapped up into one incredible saga. In fact, Sarah and Jack’s love affair rivals that of Scarlet and Rhett – and the great thing about Sarah and Jack was they made it work. It wasn’t without trials – Jack, as a Captain in the Army, was absent from home most of the time. Sarah, who could survive anything on her own, was desperate to have her husband (and the father of her children) home.

Not a far cry from most modern day husbands and wives.

It is not without some graphic scenes – rape, mutilation, amputation – but they are written with restraint and left to the reader’s imagination. The romantic scenes are dealt with just as modestly. I would let my eight year old read them without her being any the wiser.

I fell in love with this book. Who can’t fall in love with two people so madly in love with each other? I almost felt guilty reading about their romance – it was a guilty pleasure – and one I would be happy to read over, and over again.

My rating: 5 Stars

Sum it up: A great historical, western romance, that will leave you breathless (or it did me!).


Editt said...

I agree! I read this book for my local book club and could not put it down. We read it over a year ago and still I find myself thinking about some of the scenes.

Monica said...

I have to say this book has one of my favorite male leads - Jack. I love his character, not totally perfect but perfectly irresistible. I remember the story (from reading it a few years ago) but refuse to remember the last chapter or two. I'm all about happy endings - and this one took me by surprise. A fantastic read though - different than other stories about the frontier.


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