These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901

These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901

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...

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Title:These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901
Author:Nancy E. Turner
Rating:
Edition Language:English

These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 Reviews

  • Annalisa

    The reason I loved this book comes down to one word: authenticity. I bought into this woman's life and believed these characters. I have this vivid picture in my mind of this ranch out in the middle of nowhere with Sarah out there putting laundry on the line with a pistol tucked in her rugged apron.

    I don't like western movies or get into frontier stories and was worried, especially by the title, that the grammar would rake on my nerves. But the story is about a thirst for education as much as a

    The reason I loved this book comes down to one word: authenticity. I bought into this woman's life and believed these characters. I have this vivid picture in my mind of this ranch out in the middle of nowhere with Sarah out there putting laundry on the line with a pistol tucked in her rugged apron.

    I don't like western movies or get into frontier stories and was worried, especially by the title, that the grammar would rake on my nerves. But the story is about a thirst for education as much as anything else and as Sarah learns, her writing improves. It may be rare to find a woman in the late 1800s who wants to go to college, considers women on the same level as men and doesn't want a man to care for her, and treats Mexicans and Indians as her own white neighbors, but there is enough 19th-century humility, morality, and territory toughness to keep her era appropriate. Unlike Little House on the Prairie with obvious '80s-era actors fighting against stigmas of the day, I found Sarah to be the perfect frontier woman, a little forward thinking, but just enough to make her yearning add to her perfection.

    We find all kinds of characters in the book: Indians, Army men, ranchers, Mexicans, Quakers, spoiled Easterners, foreigners, even polygamist Mormons, all minor characters splattered throughout Sarah's life to give us a feel for the type of people around the territories in those days. Mingled with the mundane, which I found interesting, was enough excitement, like Indian attacks and the danger of women alone, to make me want to keep reading. It gave me the sense of how fragile life could be with attacks, childbirth, disease, and nature.

    Turner did a fantastic job of giving us a picture of life on the early frontier without making it feel like she's teaching us what life on the early frontier is like. You find out the chore it is to cook a long meal and put together a bath without running water because Sarah is exasperated without any help. Through Sarah's commentary we learn about housing conditions, cattle herding, adjusting and making clothes, mail and bank systems, conditions on wagon trains, and even conjugal issues with whispered conversations with Savannah. These were my favorite, especially Savannah's Quaker rigidness strictly against kissing before marriage. Occasionally, like the article describing their new home with indoor plumbing, I felt pulled out of the story with the intention clear to educate on the times more than describe Sarah's life, but overall the description felt like Sarah's life and not overview.

    The other authentic aspect of the book that I loved was the love story. Not your unrealistic perfect man who can do no wrong which creates a man who is overbearing or too emotionally unrealistic. No, this is a real-life love story about a relationship that makes you crazy mad and impatient at the same time. Love through the ups and downs of life. A man who is stubborn in being himself but even though he understands her better than herself, requires her not to change either, who just wants to be with her and finds all her imperfections endearing. It's the guy who may be a little rough on the outside, not the one who knows just how to smooth talk his way into your heart, who will treat you like gold. I really enjoyed their story, and the suffering and learning she had to go through to get there. The perfect combination of excitement and believability to make me want to read the story and feel that it could really have happened.

  • Rachelle

    This is pretty much my favorite book I've ever read along with it's sequel Sarah's Quilt. First of all, it is a beautiful love story. I cried so much. Any book that makes me feel really emotional, I consider to be a good book. But it is also an incredible tale of determination and down right stubborness. I love that Sarah learned to read, loved learning and by so doing changed her life. I love the way she endured challenges. I want to read it again so I can put more details in here.

    ************

    This is pretty much my favorite book I've ever read along with it's sequel Sarah's Quilt. First of all, it is a beautiful love story. I cried so much. Any book that makes me feel really emotional, I consider to be a good book. But it is also an incredible tale of determination and down right stubborness. I love that Sarah learned to read, loved learning and by so doing changed her life. I love the way she endured challenges. I want to read it again so I can put more details in here.

    ************

    I have since reread this book many many times. I go to it whenever I am in need of a really good love story. After many readings... I definitely have to say that Sarah is one of my all-time favorite heroines. She honestly pops into my head all of the time. When I am feeling grumbly about too much laundry to do I think of Sarah doing her wash by hand in 100+ degree weather. When I don't feel like cooking dinner I remember how Sarah had to catch her chicken and kill it before she could even get dinner started. LOL!! When Aaron is out of town and I feel lonely.. I remember that Sarah went months without Jack and then he'd be gone again in a week. But they loved so fiercely and never wasted the time they did have. She is tough, but not unhappy. She finds her peace in the quiet moments that are so rare but so precious. Overall it's inspiring, beautiful and sad and heartbreaking all in one. I love it.

  • Brookann

    I was completely taken by this book! The library fines are racking up because it is overdue and I can't renew it because it has been requested by someone else, but I can't let it go because I find myself going back to it to reread passages and "reliving" moments of the book in my mind. I shed many a tear and towards the end was so enraged I almost threw the book, but I simply cannot stop thinking about it! I'm dying to discuss it with someone.

    It is the beautiful and heartbreaking story of a woma

    I was completely taken by this book! The library fines are racking up because it is overdue and I can't renew it because it has been requested by someone else, but I can't let it go because I find myself going back to it to reread passages and "reliving" moments of the book in my mind. I shed many a tear and towards the end was so enraged I almost threw the book, but I simply cannot stop thinking about it! I'm dying to discuss it with someone.

    It is the beautiful and heartbreaking story of a woman growing up in the Arizona Territories in the late 1800s written as accounts from her diary (based on the memoirs of the author's great-grandmother). I was captivated by the hardships and struggles that she endured just to survive - Indians, robbers, wild animals and the elements to name a few. I felt worlds away from that life, wondering if I could have done it, if I myself had the same kind of strength and courage that Sarah exhibits. And yet I watched her grapple with the same issues I deal with every day - love and heartache, the joy and exhaustion that come from motherhood, wanting to do it all and all at once - and I realized that although times and circumstances may vary greatly, a woman's heart remains largely the same.

  • Amanda

    This is, UNEQUIVOCALLY, the best love story I have read.

    I devoured this book -- I simply could not put it down. The beginning was gritty, heart-wrenching, and a grammatical mess. Yet, this is part of the author's brilliance. As the main character, Sarah, matures, she is strengthened by her experiences. And as Sarah educates herself at every opportunity, the grammar and story-telling improve.

    Without giving anything away, I cannot put into words the romance between Sarah and Captain Jack Elliott.

    This is, UNEQUIVOCALLY, the best love story I have read.

    I devoured this book -- I simply could not put it down. The beginning was gritty, heart-wrenching, and a grammatical mess. Yet, this is part of the author's brilliance. As the main character, Sarah, matures, she is strengthened by her experiences. And as Sarah educates herself at every opportunity, the grammar and story-telling improve.

    Without giving anything away, I cannot put into words the romance between Sarah and Captain Jack Elliott. Let me just say, dear reader, you will be quite satisfied with this one.

    Empowerment, motherhood, family, trials, adventure, loss, and love - all of these themes are woven into the story, and I found that many of the questions asked, struggles endured, and doubts born throughout Sarah's life transcend time and place.

    This will be the book I recommend to anyone asking the rest of the year. Truly one of the best books out there!

  • Tweety

    I will admit something here and now. Before I read a book I always read the dedication. This book is dedicated

    That caught my interest really quick and then, six pages in I came across this passage. What can I say? I was hooked. And you know what? I've never even seen a Cottenwood, but Sarah showed it to me.

    I will admit something here and now. Before I read a book I always read the dedication. This book is dedicated

    That caught my interest really quick and then, six pages in I came across this passage. What can I say? I was hooked. And you know what? I've never even seen a Cottenwood, but Sarah showed it to me.

    Found at

    Whet I loved about Sarah is she was Sassy, Bossy and Strong. But she wasn't the "I can do it all myself so I don't need you" type. I truly admired her, even if I think she made a few foolish mistakes. This quote give you an idea of what she's like.

    Yes sir, watch your back, bullets are flying. She was so easy to like, and Jack was perfect for her. I'm sure she could have been happy with someone else, but they complemented each other like no one else could have. In the Synopsis it said they were as romantic as Rhett Butler and Scarlet O'Hara. They were so much more.

    Jack was one of the sweetest heroes I have ever read about, the book wouldn't have been the same without him. He was near perfect. He lightened the dark places and created the bright cheery moments. His kind gestures and quiet ways of showing love to his wife and children won me over to his side, I never want to read about Sarah being with anyone else. Can you picture Rhett Butler marrying anyone but Scarlet? I should think not! So now I must say one thing I

    about this book…

    Before I end this let me tell you that was a darned cruel way to end the book. I Will Never, Ever, Ever reread the last thirty pages. Everytime I think about it I tear up. If you want a HEA you better stop on page 357, after the entry

    When you get to August 22

    On future rereads I will end the book on a happy note and make up my own ending. And you can bet it will be worlds beter than this ending was. Talk about a Tear Jerker! :/ I'm off to read a

    book, maybe she will cheer me up.

  • Jan

    "My life feels like a book left out on the porch, and the wind blows the pages faster and faster, turning always toward a new chapter faster than I can stop and read it."

    I avidly enjoyed These Is My Words by Nancy Turner! Turner did a wonderful job capturing a very vivid picture of Sarah Prine, and of the people and conditions of this period in the Arizona Territory. Turner's writing makes you feel like you are actually there, and making the trek along with Sarah.

    These Is My Words is a wonderf

    "My life feels like a book left out on the porch, and the wind blows the pages faster and faster, turning always toward a new chapter faster than I can stop and read it."

    I avidly enjoyed These Is My Words by Nancy Turner! Turner did a wonderful job capturing a very vivid picture of Sarah Prine, and of the people and conditions of this period in the Arizona Territory. Turner's writing makes you feel like you are actually there, and making the trek along with Sarah.

    These Is My Words is a wonderful, exciting story of the hard pioneer life, written as diary entries based on author Nancy Turner's own ancestor, Sarah Agnes Prine, from the time she is 17, in 1881, to 1901 in the Arizona Territory. Sarah is humble, witty, and full of grit and resilience; and... SHE JUST CAPTURED MY HEART! ♡

    Sarah is strong ...loving...competent... never gives up...and as fiercely determined a young woman as there ever was; who edures many hardships and perseveres through it all! I admire how Sarah always hungers to learn, reading anything and everything she gets her hands on! Writing down her daily adventures as she makes her way towards homesteading in Arizona, her writing improves each day. Sarah also runs a ranch, wrangles the cattle, shoots well, has a soap making business, AND lovingly takes care of her children!

    "A nice girl doesn't go anywhere

    without a loaded gun and a big

    knife."

    And then there is the tall, handsome Calvary Captain, Jack Elliot and LOVE ensues! They are both very strong and different people, but also very good together. He drove her CRAZY... with love!

    "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."

    "Taking up marriage is a good

    excuse for taking up cursing,

    I think."

    I loved seeing how this story unfolded, and rooted for Sarah as the heroine! I cried from the heartache of much tragedy, and the joys of love!

    I am always fascinated by the courageous pioneers who settled our American West, and this is a wonderful historical fiction that does a marvelous job of depicting this!

    I'm giving this book 4.5 Stars! Sarah and Jack will stay with me for a long time to come! I Recommend this book to all!

  • Candi

    I was so eager to read this book, described as a “heartfelt American saga” whic

    I was so eager to read this book, described as a “heartfelt American saga” which is set in the Arizona Territories during the late 1800s. Then I opened and began to read the first several pages and was instantly struck by a feeling of doom. So much misery and suffering – how could I possibly get through this? But, at the same time, I was immediately drawn to Sarah’s voice as she shares her tale through a series of journal entries. I just had to know her story and learn what would become of her during these difficult times. After all, it would not have made much sense if her life was breezy and carefree. Then she lightened the load for me a bit by throwing in some wit. I became attached to Sarah, her family and the charismatic Captain Jack Elliott. I was entranced by the landscape and was lured by the sense of adventure. In short, I was hooked.

    Sarah is truly a memorable character. Feisty, hard-working and hungry for learning, she perseveres in a formidable and unforgiving frontier. I loved her yearning to read and write. She begins as an uneducated young girl with a dream to someday attend school. Her journal writing is at first unrefined. As she begins to acquire and read books, she little by little advances her own education and her writing becomes more polished, though it never loses its spirit. When she meets Captain Jack Elliot, she is maddened by him and his sense of authority.

    He has something of hers that she wants back – a precious book about a “scarlet velvet woman”. Thus begins a lifelong “battle” to get the book back and a delightful relationship between a determined young woman, whom the Captain calls “The General”, and a courageous and honorable leader of men.

    This book shares with us the everyday life of those that struggled to make a place for themselves in a world filled with the unknown, the threat of conflicts arising between the Native Americans and the settlers, the risk of childbirth, scanty resources, and the danger of the surrounding wildlife. What I most admired in Sarah was her acceptance of others. She travelled and then lived side by side and in peace with people of skin color and religion different from her own – the Chinese, the Mexicans, the Native Americans. Her best friend was a Quaker while Sarah herself was a bit contrary when it came to “churchgoing”. What she could not tolerate was ignorance, not the unschooled variety but that of insensitivity and crudeness. She grew to understand some words of wisdom which were once spoken to her -

    I strongly recommend this book to anyone that is interested in learning more about life on the frontier with characters that will touch your heart. The story is simply told with some lovely quotes that really shined for me. Don’t forget the box of tissues.

  • Wendy

    I debated between 2 and 4 stars, but after all is said and done I wouldn't recommend the book to my friends, so it came down to 2. As for reading enjoyment and ability to hold my interest, this book gets a 5. However, the first 30 pages contain enough trauma to send any woman to a pyschiatrist for years! Rape, murder, tragic child deaths, Indian attacks, attempted abduction, etc. It was a bit too much for me to handle.

    Although the description says "inspired by the author's grandmother", very li

    I debated between 2 and 4 stars, but after all is said and done I wouldn't recommend the book to my friends, so it came down to 2. As for reading enjoyment and ability to hold my interest, this book gets a 5. However, the first 30 pages contain enough trauma to send any woman to a pyschiatrist for years! Rape, murder, tragic child deaths, Indian attacks, attempted abduction, etc. It was a bit too much for me to handle.

    Although the description says "inspired by the author's grandmother", very little of the story is based on fact. When I first started reading it I was floored that so much happened to one woman. After some research I found out that it wasn't the case, the tragedies had nothing to do with her grandmother. And while I had read many true life histories and am aware that some pioneer women had very traumatic lives, this one goes a little over the top.

  • Dem

    These is my words by Nancy E. Turner is the "Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 Arizona Territories.

    The blurb on this book reads " The classic adventure of one courageous woman's life struggles in the Arizona Territories in the late nineteenth century, A moving exciting and heartfelt American saga inspired by the authors’ own family memoirs, these words belong to Sarah Prine a woman of spirit and fire who forges a full remarkable existence in a harsh unfamiliar frontier"

    I was really looking

    These is my words by Nancy E. Turner is the "Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 Arizona Territories.

    The blurb on this book reads " The classic adventure of one courageous woman's life struggles in the Arizona Territories in the late nineteenth century, A moving exciting and heartfelt American saga inspired by the authors’ own family memoirs, these words belong to Sarah Prine a woman of spirit and fire who forges a full remarkable existence in a harsh unfamiliar frontier"

    I was really looking forward to this novel but the first 50 pages of the book really had me wondering would I actually throw in the towel on this one as there was so much death and tragedy it was difficult to believe so I took some time out and did a little research to see how much of this story was fact and how much was fiction, and I was so disappointed to learn that very little of this book was actually based on fact and while it is inspired by the authors grandmother, the book is mostly fiction.

    I had thought this book was a true account of Agnes prine and therefore was very disappointed. Perhaps if I had realised when purchasing that it was mostly fiction I would have approached the story differently and therefore engaged better with this book. This book has amazing reviews and perhaps I am missing something else about this story but for me this novel was over written and I never got to feel the setting of the book or the characters and felt the plot was predictable.

    For me this was a long 384 pages.

  • Her Royal Orangeness

    Not only does the book sound intriguing, but the ratings on Goodreads are amazing - the average rating is 4.45 and 56% of readers gave it 5 Stars.

    Apparently I read a different book.

    The basic plot of the first half of the book is: Horrible things happen! Awful things happen! She meets a man!! Terrible things happen! Dreadful things happen! The man kisses her!!! And it's all executed in a flat, shallow, and BORING style. A lot of action and no psychological depth.

    In the second half of the book, th

    Not only does the book sound intriguing, but the ratings on Goodreads are amazing - the average rating is 4.45 and 56% of readers gave it 5 Stars.

    Apparently I read a different book.

    The basic plot of the first half of the book is: Horrible things happen! Awful things happen! She meets a man!! Terrible things happen! Dreadful things happen! The man kisses her!!! And it's all executed in a flat, shallow, and BORING style. A lot of action and no psychological depth.

    In the second half of the book, things degenerate to the point that the book is like a bodice ripper written by a 16 year old - all heaving bosoms and thundering heartbeats. Sentences like, "Then he held out his hand towards me and said, 'Come here, my love, and tell me you love me true.'" (gag, gag, gag)

    And this! this particular sentence made me simultaneously laugh out loud and throw the book across the room: "Jack kissed me until my lips were swollen and my throat was dry as cotton, and kissed the scar on my breast, whispering A little sugar to make the owey all better."

    Howling laughter! How do you write the words "breast" and "owey" in the same sentence and not realize it's utterly absurd?

    Gah, this book is just BAD!

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