Thursday, July 30, 2009

These Is My Words

These Is My Words These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner

Book 84 of 100 for the 100+ Reading Challenge
Book 2 of 5 for the Book Awards III Challenge
Awards: Arizona Author Award, Willa Cather Literary Award finalist

Series: Book 1 of 3 (Sarah Prine)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don't re-read books very often. But, since this is one of my all-time favorites and my in-person book club read chose this one for July, I was excited to see if it still stands the test of time for me.

These Is My Words is a work of historical fiction that explores the life of a young woman in the Arizona Territory through her diary. Sarah Prine faces heart-breaking trials with courage and determination, experiences joy she never thought possible, and lives her life to the full as she follows her dreams. The author based Sarah's character on her real great-grandmother, and you can almost imagine Sarah is an actual person. She's not perfect, and there are things about her that I just relate to, even though our life experiences are so very different. I loved the relationships between Sarah and her family, and the romantic side of this book is just perfect.

I could go on forever, but it boils down to this:
  1. I still love it.
  2. It still makes me cry.
  3. If you haven't read it, do.
Some quotes:
"Our children weigh hard on my heart, and thinking about them growing up honest and healthy, or just living to grow up at all, makes a load in my chest that is bigger than the safe at the bank, and more valuable to me than all the gold inside it."

"I think my Mama and Savannah must be special people in the Lord's eyes, as they have gone about doing generous and loving things without even a second thought. For me, it seems like the only thing that comes natural is aggravation and hard work."

"I know all these people are so busy because they love each other and me. We are a noisy crowd of love."

"Mama told me to make a special point to remember the best times of my life. There are so many hard things to live through, and latching on to the good things will give you strength to endure, she says. So I must remember this day. It is beautiful and this seems like the best time to live and the best place."

"...I might like to have someone courting me. But it would have to be someone who is a square shooter and who has a train load of courage. And it would have to be someone who doesn't have to talk down to folks to feel good, or to tell a person they are worthless if they just made a mistake. And he'd have to be not too thin. Why, I remember hugging [my brother] Ernest was like wrapping your arms around a fence post, and I love Ernest, but I want a man who can hold me down in a wind. Maybe he'd have to be pretty stubborn. I don't have any use for a man that isn't stubborn. Likely a stubborn fellow will stay with you through thick and thin, and a spineless one will take off, or let his heart wander."

"Some people sense is wasted on and that's purely a fact."

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bermudaonion said...

It's wonderful to be able to re-visit a favorite like this and find it stands the test of time.

Suey said...

One of my all time faves.

Thoughts of Joy said...

This was one of my favorites in 2006! I haven't made it any further in the series though.

Tricia said...

Keep reading the series! Of course they aren't the same, but the rest are their own kind of wonderful too.

Corinne said...

I have to completely agree with this post. I read this one when I was pregnant with Sheely and it's STILL with me :)

Darla D said...

This doesn't sound like the kind of book I'd normally read, but your review makes me want to read it! Thanks.

Booklogged said...

Love this quote: "I know all these people are so busy because they love each other and me. We are a noisy crowd of love." I'll have to remember it and tell it to my son-in-law who feels overwhelmed at our extended family gatherings. Everyone talking in little groups all through the kitchen, dining room and living room can get chaotic at times. Actually, he does enjoy it more than he used to.

Bridey said...

My reading time "just for me" is precious and I never read anything new because I get stuck in a rut and don't have time to research, etc. etc. On a whim, I decided I would branch out by reading books that you gave a 5 star rating, starting with this one.

Thank you, thank you! By the time I finished the book, I had to call Jeremy--a paramedic and aspiring firefighter--at work at 1am to sob over the phone. I laughed, too. Fantastic book.

Jeremy and I are now reading Hunger Games and Catching Fire. Lets see. What's next on your list? . . . .

It's great to have a little connection to you after so many years. I hope your family is well!