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These Is My Words (Sarah Agnes Prine Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Nancy Turner
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,067 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A moving, exciting, and heartfelt American saga inspired by the author's own family memoirs, these words belong to Sarah Prine, a woman of spirit and fire who forges a full and remarkable existence in a harsh, unfamiliar frontier. Scrupulously recording her steps down the path Providence has set her upon—from child to determined young adult to loving mother—she shares the turbulent events, both joyous and tragic, that molded her, and recalls the enduring love with cavalry officer Captain Jack Elliot that gave her strength and purpose.

Rich in authentic everyday details and alive with truly unforgettable characters, These Is My Words brilliantly brings a vanished world to breathtaking life again.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Based on the real-life exploits of the author's great-grandmother, this fictionalized diary vividly details one woman's struggles with life and love in frontier Arizona at the end of the last century. When she begins recording her life, Sarah Prine is an intelligent, headstrong 18-year-old capable of holding her own on her family's settlement near Tucson. Her skill with a rifle fends off a constant barrage of Indian attacks and outlaw assaults. It also attracts a handsome Army captain named Jack Elliot. By the time she's 21, Sarah has recorded her loveless marriage to a family friend, the establishment of a profitable ranch, the birth of her first child?and the death of her husband. The love between Jack and Sarah, which dominates the rest of the tale, has begun to blossom. Fragmented and disjointed in its early chapters, with poor spelling and grammar, Sarah's journal gradually gains in clarity and eloquence as she matures. While this device may frustrate some readers at first, Taylor's deft progression produces the intended reward: she not only tells of her heroine's growth, but she shows it through Sarah's writing and insights. The result is a compelling portrait of an enduring love, the rough old West and a memorable pioneer. First serial to Good Housekeeping; author tour; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selections. (Feb.) FYI: Selected as the March 1998 Good Housekeeping "Novel of the Month."
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-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, formerly at Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 607 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (October 13, 2009)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0015DPXH6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,713 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
179 of 185 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Historical Fiction at its best! July 29, 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
These Is My Words begins with Sarah Prine's family pulling up stakes and traveling toward a new home in the early 1880s. Deciding to record the events of her life in a diary, Sarah takes us step-by-step through the real tragedies of life on a frontier but also through the triumphs that make life bearable. Sarah is a tough young woman who is a sharpshooter, both with a rifle and her spirit. Young and impressionable, she finds out that people and events are not always what they seem and she makes plenty of mistakes along the way. The love story between she and Captain Jack Elliott is one of the best I've ever read; you can feel the love between the two jump off the page and grab you around your own heart. Finding a stopping place in this wonderful book is next to impossible and to say that your soul will become involved is to state the obvious. Sarah and her stories will live a very long time within me. This is historical fiction at its absolute best. Highly, highly recommended.
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85 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TRANSPORTS YOU BACK IN TIME VIA COVERED WAGON April 25, 2000
This is a book that I would never have picked out on my own but I'm so thankful that it was recommended to me by a poster on one of the book boards. Just the cover alone makes the purchase worthwhile. I especially liked the way Nancy Turner wrote this book in the form of a diary which is written over the course of 20 years. The two main characters, Sarah Prine and Captain Jack Elliott, are larger than life. She's smart, great with a gun and stubborn. He's ornery, romantic and loves her more than life itself. What a match and what a book. I recently recommended this to my book group and they've been raving about it ever since. My only disappointment is that I had to finish it.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I travelled with Sarah all the way February 10, 1999
By A Customer
I work casual hours in a bookstore and my manager picked up These Is My Words to let me know that it was on the New Releases list. The title had me at once. I bought it immediately.
Never have I felt so as one with a novel. Reading Sarah's entries, I too fought those Indians, felt the hurt with the loss of loved ones and loved Jack. On more than one occaison, I found myself in the most absurd places reading this story, (one morning for an hour sitting on the edge of the bath tub). I have been waiting for a book like this my whole life and now that I have found it, I doubt anything can replace it.
Nancy Turner's characters are vivid, believable, real. They grow through the course of the novel to become your friends, family and loved ones. I have never cried, laughed and siged with relief so many times through one book. I just hope that this treasure stays safe within yellowing pages and bypasses the big screen.
Truly amazing, an adventure everyone should have. Thank-you so much Nancy Turner!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And These Is My Words...about a wonderful book! September 4, 2001
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Like many other reviewers, I read this book in a few sittings, staying up until the wee hours of the morning, and neglecting my husband and kids (except for reading parts to my 7-yr. old daughter), because I was so involved in Sarah's life. I read it on the treadmill, in the car, making dinner, at work...just couldn't put it down. I love how the story starts, with Sarah's "quaintly uneducated" narrative, watching her prose progress to the likes of a great teacher. I loved all the main characters, especially Jack, Sarah, and Savannah and feel as though I've learned much about life from them. Pioneer women are truly heroes, and I want to know more about them and their incredible experiences.
My eyes have red rings around them today as I totally lost it at the end. I had water coming from every hole in my head and snuck to the bathroom before my husband could see me and make fun of me. I've even begun to cry numerous times just reading these reviews. Jack wasn't perfect but his love and devotion to Sarah and the kids was amazing. I hated the irony of what finally happened to him and was hoping he would stay. The romantic parts of the book were tastefully done, yet I couldn't get enough of those either. I just didn't want it all to end and will reread it immediately, savoring it this time and picking up things I missed before.
Ms. Turner: Thank you for such a riveting work. Please do a sequel! I kept thinking and hoping that Sarah would end up a Professor of Latin at the new University in Tucson. (It was also baffling to me that Sarah didn't explode in anger that her husband opened her test grade, presenting the paper to her as a gift, for her birthday) She's only what, 38 when the story ends, so there's so much left for her to do and share about herself and family!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turner is Tops in Debut June 27, 2000
Sarah Agnes Prine, the heroine of Nancy E Turner's first novel, "These Is My Words", is a strong -- and strong-minded -- young woman. Raised with a passel of brothers, she learned to hunt, ride bareback, and "shoot a tick off a dog's back" at an early age. Written journal style, the story chronicles Sarah's life in the Arizona Territory from 1881 to 1901. It details encounters with Indians and outlaws, immigrants and soldiers, especially one particular Army captain whose path seems to cross hers frequently. Sarah's journal records births and deaths, many violent, and some by her own hand. It tells of her first, loveless marriage, and following her husband's untimely death, her second marriage to Captain Jack Elliot. "I love him with all the love I have ever had," she wrote. Sarah is a lusty, gutsy, surprising heroine with a healthy share of feminism for her time. The book, winner of the Arizona Author Award and finalist for the Willa Cather Literary award, offers an intriguing glimpse of southwestern history as lived by real people. A thoroughly absorbing and enjoyable read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars ... book is well written when I start to feel like I know the...
I know a book is well written when I start to feel like I know the characters, care about them like family members, feel what they feel, and even incorporate them into my dreams at... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Julie L. Stout
5.0 out of 5 stars This was the best book I've read in a long time
This was the best book I've read in a long time, and I read ALOT! I fell in love with the main characters and their incredible love story, and I felt that Ms. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Tamsin
5.0 out of 5 stars So much fun to read the life of this pioneer women
So much fun to read the life of this pioneer women, and be uplifted by her courage in the face of whatever danger life gave her. I felt uplifted and even empowered. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Jeannine George
4.0 out of 5 stars Arizona loved the local Info.
Slow start, but really enjoyed now on to Sarah's Quilt!
Published 4 days ago by Ima Beth Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Would recommend to anyone who loves to read about the pioneers who settled the west. Enjoy reading this exciting and heartfelt book.
Published 5 days ago by Jill Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved the characters and highly recommend this book to anyone ...
I didn't want to put the book down. I loved the characters and highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories about the west.
Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't want it to end
One of my all time favorite books.
Published 8 days ago by Idaho Annie
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
excellent because I could start and read a short chapter, close the book and then start again.
Published 8 days ago by T.A. Crowell
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read
I liked this book. Not my favorite of all time but interesting.
Published 10 days ago by Dana J. Massey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Recommended by a friend who has great taste in good literature--didn't disappoint--
Published 13 days ago by Nancy L. Abraham
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More About the Author

Born in Grand Prairie, Texas, I grew up for the most part in Southern California and Arizona. My avocational interests are art, music, antiques, and baking. I once made pies for a restaurant out on a lonesome stretch of I-40, twenty-three a day in my little trailer kitchen with only 18" of counter space, until the demand got so great they wanted to double that. In music I enjoy Classical, old time Country and Bluegrass, soft jazz, and choral masterworks such as opera and liturgical works.

I completed a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts Studies with a triple major in creative writing, music, and ceramics at the University of Arizona in December 1999. I also have an Associate's degree from Pima Community College. I started taking one or two classes a year while my children were little. I live in the city of Tucson.

I write all my novels to a music track. Here is just a sample of the hours of recorded music that have made each novel possible:

THESE IS MY WORDS - "Five Variants of Dives and Lazarus" from Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, Neville Marriner
SARAH'S QUILT - "The Lark Ascending" from the same CD

THE STAR GARDEN - "Cool Water" by Sons of the Pioneers

THE WATER AND THE BLOOD - "Rock of Ages: by Mahalia Jackson.

MY NAME IS RESOLUTE - a concoction featuring the soundtrack from the first "Pirates of the Caribbean" the works of Custer Larue, Hesperus, and Aaron Copeland's "Appalachian Spring"

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These is my words - help please? (:
Simone: You have posted some interesting questions. I would be interested to know your age. I have just finished reading "These is my Words, PS" on my Kindle. Of course, I don't know the answers to all of your questions, but I have some thoughts.

About Mama and her illness. It... Read More
Oct 19, 2011 by Marjean Gingrich |  See all 4 posts
I have always wanted to know the real Sarah Prine.
I just had to let you know that I am avid reader and this book is by far my most favorite. I have recommended it for many people and have even gone so far as to purchase copies just to hand out so people will read it. This book has touched a place in my heart.

Kate DiAntonio
Apr 5, 2006 by Katherine DiAntonio |  See all 23 posts
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