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Sunday, August 12, 2012

These Is My Words

Several months ago my friend Kimi talked about this on my blog.  I went and checked out a couple of reviews and immediately asked my good friend Mrs. Amazon to send the book my way.

This novel in diary format parallels the early history of the Arizona Territories as Sarah and her family travel from the New Mexico Territory and settle down to carve out a new life on a ranch near Tucson in the 1880s. Sarah's diary, based on the author's family memoirs, is a heartwarming and heartbreaking fictional account of a vibrant and gifted young woman. Sarah starts out as an illiterate, fiery 17 year old. Eventually, her writing becomes as smooth and polished as Sarah herself as she becomes a tenacious, literate, and loving wife and mother. A treasure trove of discovered books becomes the source of her self-education. Turner describes the trip in such detail that one has a sense of having traveled with Sarah, experiencing all of its heartache and sadness, its backbreaking exertion and struggles, its danger and adventure, its gentle and lighter moments. Life in the new country brings the constant fear of Indian raids and the threat and reality of floods, fire, and rattlesnakes; bandits; rough men, and pretentious women all have an effect on the protagonist but her strong marriage makes the effort worthwhile. Sarah centers her world around her home and family but maintains an independent spirit that keeps her whole and alive throughout her many trials and heartaches. This is a beautifully written book that quickly captures readers' attention and holds it tightly and emotionally until the end.
Dottie Kraft 

I usually really like historical fiction.  While reading this book I kept having to remind myself that it was, indeed fiction, as it often felt like you really were reading a journal.  Sarah is a really endearing character, someone I would love to meet and spend time with.  She is spunky and strong and works hard to be a good person and successful in life.  I liked finding out that her character was based on the author's great grandmother and the stories of her life.  Most of the book takes place just outside of Tucson, Arizona.  I think Tucson still feels pretty desolate and remote, so I can only imagine what it would have been like in the early 1800's. Towards the end of the book, Sarah's journal entries were pretty sporadic and a few times, several years passed before the next entry.  This left me feeling a little unsatisfied but I guess it was pretty true to life, the busier you get, the less time you take to do things such as keeping up with a journal.  I did just find out that there is a sequel which makes me kind of excited - I wasn't ready to be finished with Sarah's story and the tales of the frontier.



Hansen Family said...

I have read this book and the second one and really liked them. I am pretty sure there is a third one!

Monica said...

Kasey, I have the second one in my que with Amazon and considered just ordering the third one at the same time. I was excited to find out the story continued.