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These is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 Paperback – 15 Apr 1999


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These is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 + Sarah's Quilt: A Novel of Sarah Agnes Prine and the Arizona Territories, 1906 + The Water and the Blood
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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; New Ed edition (15 April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340717785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340717783
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.6 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Inspired by stories of her great-grandmother, who retired from running a cattle ranch at the age of 85, Nancy Turner's debut novel tells the story of Sarah Prine, pioneer woman and settler of America's western frontier. Sarah begins her diary in 1881, when at the age of 18, her family begins their arduous journey from the dry, dusty heat of Arizona to the greener pastures of Texas. The wagon trail meets danger at every step; rattlesnakes and Indian attacks rip out the heart of Sarah's world. Yet she proves herself strong and faithful, and in times of greatest trouble her family turn to her for support--both physical and emotional.

A woman for our times, Sarah learns to live her own life, loved and respected as rancher, mother and free spirit. These Is My Words captures the harsh, unforgiving landscape of the American West at one of the most devastating periods in that country's history. Mixing politics and social commentary with the compelling tale of a feisty young woman and her desire for knowledge, fairness and grand passion, Nancy Turner has written an outstanding debut novel that is sure to become a 20th-century classic. --Carey Green --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

A remarkable novel . . . vividly alive and gripping . . . Innocent, tough, spirited, [Sarah] is utterly admirable and convincing (Elizabeth Buchan Mail on Sunday)

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 (Publishers Weekly)

A record of a spectacularly combustible love affair . . . a charming and promising first novel (The Times)

A convivial period tale of adventure, love and marriage, featuring a spunky gun-toting heroine and the brave-hearted soldier she comes to love . . . A lushly satisfying romance, period-authentic, with true-grit pioneering (Kirkus Reviews)

Incredibly vivid and real and almost as though everything had been found, complete in a box somewhere. How clever writers are to go back into the past and to recreate a time so accurately. And I liked the character of the girl, because she was so matter of fact about all the traumas of her adventures, but I suppose one had to be, faced with Indians and all the other problems (Rosamunde Pilcher)

I read it with great delight . . . For me, it says more about Americans than Gone with the Wind, and I'd put it up there with To Kill a Mockingbird. It is moving, funny and rings very true (Mary Stewart)

The author is in control of her material and writes in clear, at times lyrical prose . . . The strongest image that lingers is that of Sarah on horseback, engaged with the land and with her life. Hers is a spirit that will remain long after the story fades (Washington Post)

Telling the story of a courageous woman creating her life against the harsh realities of the time, this story of the Wild West is a real find. Both rugged and romantic it brings to life the experiences of a woman struggling to establish a life in the harsh conditions of Arizona territory (Sue Baker Hammicks)

Mix Gone with the Wind with a handful of your favourite Westerns, sieve out the schmaltz, and you end up with a sort of pioneer jam, the frontier spirit on toast . . . Eighteen-year-old Sarah narrates the journey through diary entries, detailing heart-stopping episodes of illness, death and hardship with simplicity and spirit. Nancy Turner has created a fascinating portrait of true grit - without a swaggering John Wayne figure in sight - which will appeal to everyone who has mused over the fallen leaves from the family tree (Scotland on Sunday)

Truly original, absorbing and a joy to read . . . one of those extraordinary stories that jump out of the page. . . Achingly moving story of one woman's life and loves, with a leading character who is strong-willed, hungry for life and has an inspiring vitality and intelligence. A novel you should rush out and buy. Right now (Woman's Realm)

A sweeping saga of struggle, endurance, tragedy and passion . . . a love story with enough oomph to shake Gone with the Wind right off its pedestal . . . The ending will break your heart (Resident)

It's not often that a debut novel blows you away, but These is My Words does just that. It's impossible not to love it heroine Sarah Prine . . . A compelling narrative of life in the Wild West (Sainsbury's Magazine)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
A storm is rolling in, and that always makes me a little sad and wistful so I got it in my head to set to paper all these things that have got us this far on our way through this heathen land. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Leeds lass on 9 May 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It was the title that drew me but when i bought it and saw it involved the wild west, rattlesnakes, indians, wagon trains, guns and a love affair, i thought oh please.....
What a surprise !
It pulled me in from page one and with each page it just got better and better. You feel you are right there with sarah prine through all the horrors, sadness, trials, heartaches, hardships, downright cruelty, deaths, tears, laughter - and especially the love affair. I hate romance books with a passion, but this `romance` is so powerful you are willing it to happen ! Compelling and powerful, yet a simple read. Absolutely wonderful - i loved this book - well done Nancy Turner !!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By marlenebrown@lineone.net on 19 Feb. 2000
Format: Paperback
After reading this book I was left with a tear in my eye and that lovely ooooh feeling.Nancy is a master story teller already and it is only her first book.Set in the days of the wild west I got really involved with the feelings of this young girl,whose adventures take her on a wagon train,and her life as a settler with all the hardships you can think of. Written in diary form,you can't say i'll just read to the end of this chapter,then go to bed, so I read till the early hours.So tenderly are Sarah's feelings written about that it is as if it is yourself or your best friend who is telling the story,of love,longing,danger,death and adventure.A definate must read.I am looking forward to the author's next book,hope it is soon.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Jan. 2000
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful book. Nancy Turner makes you feel like you are there with Sarah experiencing her roller coaster life as it happens. This is the sort of book that once you start it you cannot put it down and when you finish it you just want to read it all over again. The characters seem so real it's easy to forget that this is a fictional novel and not a true story. Please Nancy write another book soon!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 Feb. 1999
Format: Paperback
The diary of a young woman growing up in pioneer country. Births, deaths and marriages all play an important part in her life, as well as her own education. A woman ahead of her time, Sarah grows up to be a clever and loving woman. Yet firery and strong at the same time. She isn't perfect, and makes many mistakes slong the way, this only endears you to her. The book is long enough that you can read it all the way through, and then start over again because so much happens throughout the course of the book. A must read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Nov. 1999
Format: Paperback
I have read this book twice in the last six months and insisted that my sister, mother and brother-in-law read it too! It appears at first like a 2nd rate romance but develops into much more. Reading the personal development of this inspiring character, through her diary, left me breathless at times and often very emotional. It's got guts and laughs and tears in equal measure, with a captivating style. Why can't we see more from this excellent writer?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Sept. 1999
Format: Paperback
This was one of those books that you just don't want to end, it wasn't any one particular character, although Sarah is a delightfully straight-talking heroine, but the whole feel of the life in the Territories reminds you of all the best and in some ways the worst wild west films you've ever watched. I was really sad when it came to the end, and I kept finding my thoughts drifting towards the story for days after - a definite hit for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 July 1999
Format: Paperback
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Sarah's spelling, grammar and punctuation improve as the book progresses, which is a nifty trick to show the blossoming as Sarah as a person. It is honestly and emotionally written, and you feel Sarah's joy, pain and (especially with Ernest's wife!) annoyance.
This book conveys Sarah's humour, warmth, doubts, struggles and sadness, without ever straying into mawkishness. The ending, though it had me crying so hard I had difficulty seeing the pages (much to the amusement of the people sitting at my table in the canteen!) is still optimistic, and you feel Sarah is, above everything else, a survivor. Buy it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
I picked this book up when browsing in a second hand book shop, read it in two evenings, and then flicked through all the best bits. The Song of Solomon shall never be the same! Reading it, I felt I was Sarah, and the description is so vivid that sometimes I think I've seen a film of it. Sarah is such a great character, strong and yet always worried that she should act properly. There's too much tragedy to call it a romance (that would put me off anyway), but the romance it there, and it's tender and real. My copy is now very tatty, and has done the rounds.
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