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July 22, 1881
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. Its been a sorrowful journey so far and hard and so if we dont get to San Angelo or even as far as Fort Hancock I am saving this little theme in my cigar box for some wandering travelers to find and know whose bones these is.
When they were young Mama and Papa went the Oregon Trail with their folks, and when they married they came from Oregon and started up a little farm near a road by Cottonwood Springs, in the west end of New Mexico Territory. We always ran a fine string of horses, as long as I can remember. My favorite is a little roan with a white nose and I call her Rose. In 1881 we had stuck out a wet winter and a plum pleasant spring. Then Papa and the big boys, that's Ernest and Albert and Jimmy Reed, drove a few of them with the MacIntosh's cattle down to a place called Phoenix and to a place higher up on one end of the valley called Hayden's Ferry. They were gone nearly six weeks, all totaled.
Ernest and Albert is my big brothers, of which I got too youngern's, Harland and Clover. Had a baby sister who went with the angels before she was a year old, so my folks calls her Harriet Jane but on the inside I calls her my Angel Sister. I always thinks of her in my prayers and berried one of my dolls in her little grave so she could grow up and we'd play together. In my mind Angel Sister watches over me. I used to pretend tea parties and jump rope with her. I always wished Ihad a sister more than any other thing there is. It is good to have these brothers here but its not the same as having a girl you can talk to and play with, and besides, they can be an ornery bunch and tease me to no end. I am purely outnumbered.
Harland was nine years old and Clover was six when Papa and the boys come back with their pockets running over in cash, and Papa says that there Phoenix was hotter than the devil's frying pan. So he's getting fed up with the Territory and the farm house in need of fixing and all, he 'spects to point the front end of our wagon towards the Rio Grande and head for greener pastures by way of Texas.
Jimmy Reed got in a quandry about all this talk, 'cause he been living with us like family since his people all died of cholera in Ute territory and that's most of five years. Jimmy Reed couldn't make up his mind should he pull up stakes with us or stay and marry Miss Ruthanne MacIntosh, whose papa owned a good spread and some groves of peach trees and a couple of purebred bulls--I can't recollect what kind.
Well, Papa said stay or go, but we are pulling out come July 4th and he figured Jimmy was nineteen and too young a pup to go serious sparking a girl even if she is seventeen. I was seventeen too, but I guess he didn't figure I minded cause there isn't no other boys around and I'd as soon kiss a pig as Jimmy Reed. Ernest and Albert took to teasing him until he jumped on a bare backed pony and rode off mad. He come back and say he's about to marry Miss Ruthanne and her pa says he can live in their bunkhouse for a year and earn the right.
Papa and the boys rounded horses and even took some mustangs until we had most all our herd we knew of. I wanted to break Rose to the bit before we took off, but Papa said there'd be time along the way and I could saddle break her by the time we hit San Angelo which was where he 'spected to settle. Mama asked him once what was there in San Angelo and he couldn't say, and she just laughed and said Henry Arthur your feet is just itchin'. Mama don't mind moving on, she says. All she has done all her life is move. First as a little girl to Oregon, and then around the Northwest Territory with her folks, then with Papa. She says a move is a time for lightening your load and starting things new.
Me and Mama rolled up the dishes in curtains and packed the bedding and quilts that was finished in between her mirror and a real glass window we was taking from out the front wall. All the packing was done and we was pulling out down the road and I couldn't take my eyes off the little house sitting there lonesome looking with that window open like a mouth calling us back. Ahead of us the boys are driving the herd and behind us is our dogs Toobuddy and Bear, running and playing and chasing a rabbit now and then. Papa gave me a can of hoof black to use for writing and I have whittled some quills from our old rooster's tail feathers. He said he never saw a body more set on writing letters than me.
We drifted the herd towards the town of Prescott and started down the long mountain through the black canyon then out across the big Salt river valley. It took eight days cause the wagon broke a axle and we had to send back to Prescott before we was far out of town. It was only the beginning and I started to have this holler feeling and kept dreaming of that house with the open mouth calling us. Mama I says, its like its a bad sign. These is my Words
The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901. Copyright © by Nancy Turner. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Posted September 24, 2000
This is one of my all time favorite books. I have recommended it to everyone. Sarah Prine is a heroine of the first water.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 29, 2010
Posted December 26, 2010
This is a woman's book with all the insight and emotions of a girl growing into a woman. Her descriptive journal of her covered wagon journey through the west and back lets you see her grow from a young girl to a woman and all she goes through.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 17, 2010
Great story about an independent and capable pioneer woman. Recommended for modern day military spouses: This book shows that life with a military husband hasn't changed!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 11, 2008
Posted January 21, 2008
I really enjoyed this book. If it wasn't for my 12 month old I would have never put it down. I feel a strong attachment to her characters and I am going to recommend it to all of my friends and family.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 9, 2007
I just finished this book...for the 10th time. I love it. I read it every chance I get (usually between other books). It is such an easy read, I can finish it in under a day (and that is saying something because I don't have the longest attention span). I wish everyone I knew would read These is my Words, I know they would love it. My recommendation: reread it, it is even better the second time!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 12, 2007
I absolutely loved this book. It was one of the most touching books I have ever read, and one of the best coming-of-age stories mixed with a passionate love story at the end of the 19th century in the west. It has a very nice balance of action/adventure, drama, and love, and is perfect for all ages. It is one of the best historical fiction novels I have read, and I have read many. I highly recommend this novel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 29, 2007
I highly recommend this book! What I liked most about this book, besides the descriptive setting, was the heroine, Sarah Prine. You witness through Sarah's writing, her progression from a sheltered young adult to a strong, capable woman in the late 1800's. I got an insight into what it was like in the Arizona Territory during this time period (Indians, Mother Nature, wild Tucson, etc). Can't wait to read the next book, 'Sarah's Quilt'!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 25, 2007
Having grown up with the Laura Ingalls Wilder series and Little House on the Prairie show, I fell in love with reading and learning about life in the 1700 & 1800's...the challenges families and individuals faced to survive and thrive just fascinates me and I continue to wonder how they did it. The same feeling goes for These is My Words. I loved Sarah, and what struck me the most was early on in the book where it says we were use to moving fast and experiencing lots of death. Boy was that an understatment. Yet no matter where they were they had their traditions, their family, their neighbors and their love. They were accepting of neighbors who weren't the same colored skin and who had different religious beliefs as their own. Another thing I picked up on from Sarah was she was smart enough to know the importance of education, the role it played in people's lives even back in those times. I would recommend this to anyone who, like myself, enjoyed the Little House storyline or who just likes to learn how things were long before our own existence in this overly modern, disconnected world.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 26, 2006
I have never felt strongly enough about anything to write a review, but These Is My Words rises above ordinary books into the extraordinary. This is the best historical novel I have ever read, and that's saying something. Get it, read it, and tell everyone you know about it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 8, 2006
Posted May 15, 2006
If you need your sleep don't read this book. It is impossible to put it down. You'll be reading til wee hours of the morning. I've never read a book where I have felt so many emotions happy, sad, scared, proud, angry. I have passed this book to many friends and family and they have had the same reaction.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 9, 2006
My sister gave me this book and told me it was the best! She was right! I laughed, I cried - I couldn't put it down and wished it had not ended. I have purchased several as gifts for friends and they spread the word! A GREAT BOOK!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 14, 2005
I have reread this book several times because the author has written about a female character who is 'fully developed' and leads an independent, adventurous life and who ultimately marries a man who is a true match for her. This book is one of my favorite reads and I am (unfortunately for me) fairly picky about what I read. I love to read books with women as the protagonist and who are true survivors. I've also read almost every book published about the holocaust for that and other reasons. Please do yourself a favor and read this book!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 16, 2005
This book kept me up way too late and got me up too early. It was very hard to put down. I have passed it around many social circles and have yet to find anyone who did not love it. Nancy Turner catches your attention and keeps it through the end. I found myself dreaming of the characters. I can't say enough about this book. I love it!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 9, 2005
I couldn't put this down. I am a new resident to Tucson and have often wondered about the families that settled this area...how brave and strong willed they must have been. I could relate to Sarah when it came to her determination. I would love to know the quilt pattern so I could make it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 31, 2005
I stumbled on this book and found it was one of my best reads ever! Nancy Turner has a talent for writing with honesty and clarity enterspaced with just a touch of humor. The trials of a pioneer family struggling in the Arizon territories is both realistic and riveting. Can't wait for her next book. I have shared this one with all my family and friends. I am looking forward to the sequel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 21, 2004
This book will touch your soul. A friend recommended it to me and I bought it at the last minute. The first 30-40 pages are a hard read if you're squeamish but once the story kicks in, you understand the graphic parts shape who this woman becomes. I see another reviewer mentioned a sequel. I hope it's true. The story leaves off with Sarah at 37, so she has a lot more story to tell and I can't wait to read it!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 8, 2004
Anyone who has not read this book, especially women, do not know what they are missing!! It is my absolute favourite book of all time... I actually cannot put into words how moving and gripping this book is. I sat, ate, drank, slept with the book until the last page and then i cried because it was over. Never has a book made such an impression on me. Brilliant. You begin to live the characters.. feel Sarah's pain and her joy, hurt when she hurts, laugh when she laughs. Readers should not be put off by the book's somewhat depressing start as I was at first.. it's what shapes the book and gives it it's truth and stark reality. Read it now!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.