In a compelling fiction debut, Nancy E. Turner's unforgettable "These Is My Words" melds the sweeping adventures and dramatic landscapes of "Lonesome Dove" with the heartfelt emotional saga of "Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All."
Inspired by the author's original family memoirs, this absorbing story introduces us to the questing, indomitable Sarah Prine, one of the most memorable women ever to survive and prevail in the Arizona Territory of the late 1800s. As a child, a fiery young woman, and finally a caring mother, Sarah forges a life as full and as fascinating as our deepest needs, our most secret hopes and our grandest dreams.
Rich in authentic details of daily life and etched with striking character portraits of very different pioneer families, this action-packed novel is also the story of a powerful, enduring love between Sarah and the dashing cavalry officer Captain Jack Elliot. While their love grows, the heartbreak and wonder of the frontier experience unfold in scene after scene.
Sarah's incredible story leads us into a vanished world that comes vividly to life again, while her struggles with work and home, love and responsibility resonate with those every woman faces today. "These Is My Words" is a passionate celebration of a remarkable life, exhilarating and gripping from the first page to the last.
My Rating: ****
What a raw, emotional book. I was only fifteen page in when a child had already died tragically, a girl had been brutally raped, and I'd seen plenty of blood and gore. At that point I was feeling depressed and really did not want to continue. I was just not in the mood for "that" kind of book.
But I pushed through it. And it was worth it. This book isn't raved about for nothing. Sarah's courage and bravery and epic love story are worth every bit of sadness and horror. But sometimes it felt like it was just too much. She went through a horrible amount of tragedy and it just seemed like way more than any one person could possibly experience in her lifetime. But maybe I'm wrong.
Anyway, those are my only complaints. Everything else was amazing. I loved learning about Sarah's life as one of the early settlers in Arizone. Everything from Geronimo to rattlesnakes. The plot is action-packed and non-stop. I have to admit that, as a mother, I found all the info about child-bearing totally engrossing. I read a book like this and just breathe a sigh of relief that I have doctors and hospitals and epidurals. Good grief. Also, I loved that as a character Sarah was such a wonderful mother.
And then there's Jack. The romance in this book is just lovely. Nothing detailed and smutty, just pure love and wonderfulness. There's a letter that Jack wrote to Sarah in this book that I about died over. I was crying it was so beautiful. Anyway, maybe I'm just being silly, but I'm a sucker for this kind of romance. It's long and enduring and true. Perfect.
So, if you like memoir books and history and true love and aren't afraid of a fair amount of tragedy, well, this is your book.