Light Changes Everything: A Novel

Light Changes Everything: A Novel

by Nancy E. Turner


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“I adored stepping into to the world of the Prines through tough-as-rawhide Mary Pearl. Light Changes Everything is a novel as gritty and authentic as the women of the Arizona Territory. Nancy E. Turner brings the west and its people fully to life.” –Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

Bestselling author Nancy E. Turner returns to the world of Sarah Agnes Prine through the wide-eyes of her irrepressible young niece, Mary Pearl.

It’s the summer of 1907 and the sun is scorching down on Mary Pearl in the Arizona Territory. Mary Pearl and her sister Esther take their minds off the heat by sneaking banned Jane Austen novels from Aunt Sarah Elliot’s lively bookshelf. Whispered read alouds preoccupy their nights, and reveries of getting hitched to their own Mr. Darcy à la Pride and Prejudice swirl through their day dreams.

In walks old-fashioned old-money suitor Aubrey Hanna, here to whisk seventeen year old Mary Pearl off her feet with a forbidden kiss and hasty engagement. With the promise of high society outings and a rich estate, Aubrey’s lustful courtship quickly creates petty tension among the three generations of Prine women.

As autumn approaches all too quickly, Mary Pearl’s Wheaton College acceptance counters quick marriage preparations. Days of travel by horse and by train carry her deep into a sophisticated new world of Northern girls’ schooling. Seeking friendship but finding foes, Mary Pearl not only learns how to write, read, and draw, but also how to act, dress, and be a woman.

Light Changes Everything is the story of a resilient young feminist a century ahead of her time. Full of gumption and spirit, Mary Pearl’s evocative coming of age tale is destined to be the next American classic.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250186010
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/14/2020
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 89,953
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

NANCY E. TURNER was born in Dallas, Texas, and currently resides in Pinetop, Arizona with her husband, John. She started college when her children were full-grown. With a degree in fine arts from the University of Arizona with a triple major in creative writing, music, and studio art, Turner went on to become the bestselling author of many novels including These Is My Words, Sarah's Quilt, and The Star Garden.

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Light Changes Everything: A Novel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Lynne Ernst 5 days ago
Wouldn't Jane Austen be amazed at the effect her books have had on others. This book is all about Jane Austen hitting the Arizona Territory in 1907. It was interesting how this book enhanced and gave Light and changed so many. I enjoyed reading about the life in 1907. Thank you for NetGalley and St Martin's Press for allowing me to read and review this book.
Anonymous 24 days ago
In Arizona Territory, Mary Pearl dreams of going to art school back East. However, dreams don’t come easy, and neither is life out West. The pacing of the story is just right, and certainly we see quite a bit of growth from our protagonist. However, something about the actual writing doesn’t appeal to me. Predictability is part of the problem, but also an unnamed something that just rubs me the wrong way. A solid 3 stars from me. Fans of Turner will enjoy this latest installment, even if they can see what’s coming. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the publisher for the ARC.
Missy Waldrip 27 days ago
This was a wonderful novel! Hard to put down until the end. Set in Arizona Territory in the 1900s before it became a state. 17 year old Mary Pearl, youngest daughter of 8 children. Mary has been accepted to Wheaton College in Illinois on a scholarship without having stepped in a school. She and all of her siblings were self-taught in their Aunt Sarah's personal library. Reading Jane Austen novels at night. Her mother, who was a Quaker before marrying, wants her to stay home and marry. Will Mary Pearl head to college or stay at home? This won't be the last book I read of Nancy Turner. Fantastic read with twists and romance. Thank you to publisher and NetGalley for the eARC
JoannaE 3 months ago
Nancy Turner once again weaves a beautiful story of resilience, courage, grit and determination. Her characters are strong and make me want to spend a bit of time in the fresh outdoors of Arizona riding horses or having my 0own grand adventures. As the author has done in past novels she manages to weave in stories of heartache, loss, devastation, and pain with threads of love, companionship, and heart. I enjoyed the story right up t0o the last line 0f the book. In fact, the last two paragraphs of the book summed up what I have also learned about love. Read the book to see how love is shown, and not always in the flashy ways we expect or think we want. (I was given an advance reader copy of this book by Netgalley in exchange for my fair and unbiased review of the book. These opinions are my own.)
JennyG 3 months ago
In this 4th book about the Prines, Sarah's niece Mary Pearl narrates the ongoing story of her family life and her personal triumphs and struggles. She is so much like her Aunt Sarah! You won't be sorry if you purchase this book! I only wish it was longer! Nancy E. Turner is a gift to the literary world!
CRSK 3 months ago
As this story begins, it is summer in the Arizona Territory, and the year is 1907. Mary and Esther Pearl are reading Jane Austin novels which they’ve borrowed from their Aunt Sarah (Agnes Prine), and sharing their hopes and dreams for a husband of their very own. However, these relatively innocent dreams compared to their more serious plans for their futures. Mary and Esther have other, older, siblings. Older brothers, Clover, and Joshua. Joshua is studying medicine, and Clover wants to run the pecan farm their father owns. Older sisters, Rachel and Rebecca, but Mary is the youngest girl. Two younger brothers, Ezra and Zachary who Mary is their “keeper.” Keeping them in line, and out of trouble. As this story begins, Mary is about to turn seventeen, and she dreams of going away to school, she wants more out of her life, and one day, her parents show tell her about an advertisement for a college “back east,” and that her Aunt Sarah had sent them a picture she had drawn, and now Wheaton College would like to accept her as a student. ”You’ll make friends there in Illinois. It’s a real state, not just a territory. They’ve got more law and order. Likely most girls don’t even own a pistol.” Mary is momentarily swooning over Aubrey, a lawyer who comes from money, when he manages to steal an illicit kiss. He offers her promises of marriage and a life of ease, but Mary only agrees to consider marrying him if he will wait until she has finished her two years at Wheaton. This is the first of the Sarah Prine series that I’ve read, although I have had Nancy Turner’s These is My Words on my to-read list for years. I loved Mary Pearl’s voice, her no-nonsense sense of right and wrong, her love for her family, and the lengths she will go to in order to ensure their well-being and happiness. Many thanks for the ARC provided by St. Martin’s Press / Thomas Dunne Books
Anonymous 3 months ago
Honestly this I liked and disliked this book. The story was interesting enough that I wanted to know what happened to the characters, but the style of writing was just not what I enjoy at all. It was choppy and felt more like the narrator just telling a long story from one subject to the next. Im sure that is what the style was supposed to be, but it made the book hard to follow in certain places and made you wonder random things were added that didn't seem to fit. I finished it because I hate not finishing books, I enjoyed the ending and was glad how things worked out for the main character. Thank you Netgalley for an ARC of this book.
marongm8 4 months ago
This book was received as an ARC from St Martin's Press - Thomas Dunne Books in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. We continuously are in the search for new Historical Fiction novels and I absolutely was ecstatic when it was reflecting on Jane Austen Novels especially Pride and Prejudice. I love the twist Nancy Turner approached this book with in the characters of Mary Pearl and Aubrey (a.k.a Elizabeth and Darcy). I also found it very interesting that Jane Austen books during the time of 1905 were banned and to an extent I can see some reasoning but when you have a banned book, at least in my opinion that makes you want to read it even more so it made me very happy that Mary was a little rebellious to start in reading Pride and Prejudice and daydreaming of living that livelihood. I know our patrons and community will really enjoy this book and it will do very well. We will consider adding this title to our Historical Fiction collection at the library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
wjane 4 months ago
Light Changes Everything by Nancy E. Turner is Historical Fiction in the Arizona Territory of the early 1900‘s. I look forward to each new book by Nancy E.Turner, her words take you to the time, place and culture she is writing about.. Her newest book is realistic and details life’s unexpected heartaches and joys. It is full of exciting adventures with Sarah Prine‘s niece Mary Pearl and involve the whole Prine family. If you like historical fiction Light Changes Everything is a must read. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I appreciate the opportunity and thank the author and publisher for allowing me to read, enjoy and review this book. 5 Stars
Reader4102 4 months ago
This novel opens in the summer of 1907 in the Arizona Territory. Mary Pearl Prine wants more from life than is currently on her plate. She wants to be an artist. Women generally don’t become artists, especially if they’re from the Arizona Territory. But then she’s offered the opportunity to attend Wheaton College on a probationary basis. While reading this book, the reader is sure she’ll not return to Arizona, but she does, and her life goes sideways. The author took her time getting this well-written book into gear. It is not a page-turner in the usual sense of the word, and readers aren’t likely to carry it everywhere with them, but they’ll find themselves picking it up again and again to see what Mary Pearl is up to, or against, next. The characters are not exceptionally drawn, but rather they develop over the course of the book. Mary Pearl has a large family, including several brothers and sisters, her grandmother, an aunt, and, of course, her parents. There’s a multitude of characters to keep up with. You need not have read Turner’s other books based on the Prine family, this outing reads like a stand-alone book. If you don’t like large casts of people in your novels and don’t like stories told in the first person, this is not the book for you. But if you don’t mind either of those things and want to learn more about what it was like in 1907 for women living in the territories, this book should be near the top of your to-be-read list. My thanks to Thomas Dunne and Edelweiss for an e-ARC.
MamasGottaRead 4 months ago
Nancy E. Turner has done it again! Her novels centering on the Prine women are so entrancing - filled with such soul and humanity. Ms. Turner writes her female protagonists with true grit and tenacity, and she understands a woman's heart, soul, and spine! Most intrigung to me is the fact that these novels were inspired by Turner's own family history. Mary Pearl is every bit as endearing and admirable as Sarah Agnes Prine (whom I was happy to see written into this story). This novel was an absolute joy to read, and I savored every page. For fans of the history of the Prine family, this novel comes highly recommended. However, even for readers who are unfamiliar with Turner's previous works, it also comes heavily endorsed as a stand-alone novel. Though, I warn you, once you begin reading Nancy E. Turner's novels, you'll have to devour every last one... You'll have to wait a bit for this one, but mark your calendars for the January 14th, 2020 release: . Many thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for gifting me with this advanced reader's copy in exchange for an honest review.
TJReads 4 months ago
Oh, how I enjoyed my time with Mary Pearl Prine, this was a delight of a read. I would not only call this an historical fiction but it is just a down right wonderful old fashioned western. I was raised on a farm with horses so I could relate to the story and the author does a wonderful rendition of the timeframe and farm life. The writing is excellent, the author keeps the timeframe alive with the voices of the characters, the storyline flows so well and I came to love Mary Pearl, she is quite the woman. I laughed, cried and didn’t want the story to end. The author has a talent for describing the landscape, the city and the horses, it felt like you were there with them and you could even envision Mary Pearl riding Duende down the street. It was just an absolute joy to read. I have several of Nancy Turner’s books and will certainly look forward to reading them too. If you enjoy a down home heartfelt story in the early 1900’s, grab this one up. You will not be disappointed. I was given an advanced copy from St. Martin’s Press/Thomas Dunne Books through Net Galley for my honest review, this one gets 5 stars.
MissKatieJ80 4 months ago
About ten years ago, I read and adored the Sarah Agnes Prine trilogy by Nancy E. Turner, so I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that I could return to that family in the Arizona Territory after all these years away. This author has a truly unique style. The first person narration is conversational, like catching up with an old friend, but it is also somehow lyrical and poetic at times. Mary Pearl Prine is one of those rare, unforgettable characters who truly does feel like a friend you'll miss. The raw emotions were palpable; I was angry on her behalf and sad at times and amused and even proud of her. This story was in, losing track of time while reading into the wee hours of the morning. As a desert-dwelling Arizona resident, it was particularly fascinating for me to imagine those gritty settlers who battled every obstacle imaginable to make this unforgiving place one that we can comfortably call home today. Light Changes Everything transported me to another time, and what I learned there will linger in my mind for a long time. *I received an ARC of this book, and this voluntary review is my honest opinion.*
Christianfictionandmore 4 months ago
It doesn't happen often, but this was definitely one of those times when I knew within the first few pages that the author's style was not a match for me. I flipped to the middle, confirming that, and then had to close the book. So, I cannot tell you anything regarding details, but I can let you know what created the mismatch. The author's writing reads a bit like a rambling speaker. Transitions are not smooth. The dialogue is too folksy for my taste. I am sure there are readers who would like this style, referring to it as down-home, and saying it reminds them of Great Aunt Lucille. However, with so many books available, I chose to abandon this one. I do appreciate Thomas Dunne Books providing me with a copy of Light Changes Everything via NetGalley. Opinions here are strictly my own.
andreajanelreads 4 months ago
The publisher and Netgalley provided me with an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review. Mary Pearl Prine reluctantly agrees to record her grandmother's memoirs. When she's done, they just seem like a jumble of rambling thoughts with no connection. She agrees to keep them safe and totes them with her to Wheaton College, determined to become an accomplished artist and refined lady that her family and sudden fiance can be proud of. Wheaton College is nothing like the Arizona Territory. Mary Pearl can shoot a rattlesnake, lasso a stray calf, and win a horserace. But none of these skills help her fit into her new surroundings. She struggles to fit in, and is homesick and lonely. Then fate steps in and backslaps her into next Tuesday and she feels even more lost. When personal trauma and family tragedy call her home, she begins to see the gems of wisdom hidden in her grandmother's memoirs. Nancy E. Turner is one of my favorite authors of historical fiction, and this new book does not disappoint. It is filled with all of the grit and pathos I have come to expect.
PBDeb 4 months ago
Light Changes Everything by Nancy E. Turner I wasn’t sure about this story when it started, but it turned out to be a delightful, well titled read. Seventeen year old Mary Pearl Prine, the protagonist, grows into quite the spitfire in the 1907 rough and tumble Arizona Territory. Mary Pearl is her own take-charge person, and makes her way without fear. She wants to to go to college to study art, and far from home really sees for the first time how different she is. No matter. She makes friends and falls in love with photography. Mary is called back to her beloved family where trouble awaits her in the form of Aubrey Hanna, who was the beau she left only months prior. No spoilers here, but serious trouble brews for Mary Pearl personally, and the Prine family as a whole. Another trip to the homestead holds a story with intrigue, adventure and, hopefully, rescue. This well put together story is informative about our Wild West history. You’ll be taken away to another era in this entertaining tale. Sincere thanks to #StMartinsPress and #NetGalley for an ARC for my review.
trutexan 4 months ago
This is my third novel by Nancy E. Turner and I’ve loved every one! In this newest novel, readers are introduced to Sarah Prine’s niece, Mary Pearl. Set in the Arizona Territory in the early 1900’s, Mary Pearl reveals what life was like in those times—especially for a young woman. I found the story a bit predictable at times, but there was such a sense of adventure throughout that had I been able, I would have read this straight through without stopping. The story begins with Mary Pearl planning to attend Wheaton college in the fall. As luck would have it, she is also presented with a marriage proposal right before she’s to leave. At 17, Mary Pearl believes that college is important and that surely her fiancé loves her enough to wait for her to finish. Turns out her fiancé is just full of surprises—and not the good kind. He manages to ruin Mary Pearl’s opportunity to finish college, drive a wedge between her and one of her sisters, and tell lies to everyone in her family. Luckily, the Prine family is a close and loving group. When life throws adversity their way, they rise to the occasion, supporting one another and focused on doing right by all involved. After reading this novel, I feel the need to read more about the Arizona territory because it brought to light how little I know about Arizona in the years before it became a state. This is a story full of history, romance, adventure and strong female characters that will appeal to a wide range of readers. Many thanks to Thomas Dunne Books and St. Martin’s Press for allowing me to read an advance copy and give my honest review.
Rachel_Denise01 4 months ago
Light Changes Everything by Nancy E. Turner is part historical fiction part coming of age part finding what matters in life kind of novel. It begins 1907 territory of Arizona (including her stint at Wheaton College in Illinois). I truly love the female protagonist, Mary Pearl Prine, who is around 17. I had no clue about the trilogy of books Ms Turner had written about her aunt, Sarah Agnes Prine, until after I began exploring the author and her other works. I love the whole cast of characters; you cant make this kind of stuff up. I loved everything about this book. The dialects, the lingo, the daily chores, and habits. Mary is such a strong young woman who truly has a solid moral compass. I love that she gets to spread her wings and learn about the world, and more importantly, about herself. I love Zach and Ezra, Granny, Aunt Sarah, and Brody. I laughed and cried along with them (and when you read this, you will know what I mean). I am only just now beginning to read more fiction and nonfiction involving the west/western territories during the 1800s and early 1900s. It is beyond fascinating to me, and through this venture, I have begun to learn so much about our nation’s past as well as the trials and daily events people lived out in these harsh conditions. It is not for the faint that is for sure. This book is so amazing that I cannot wait to read the author’s trilogy about Mary’s Aunt Sarah. This is a must read. 5/5 stars
Anonymous 4 months ago
Summer of 1907, it's stinking hot in the Arizona Territory and Mary Pearl is feeling the heat. Mary Pearl and her sister Esther are secretly reading at night the banned Jane Austen novels they have smuggled home from their Aunt Sarah Elliot’s book shelves. Around the same time, seventeen year old Mary Pearl meets Aubrey Hanna, he's a smooth talker, snappy dresser and rich. Has Mary Pearl discovered her own Mr Darcy and he's everything a seventeen year old girls romantic dreams are made of? He sweeps her of her feet, he kisses her a couple of times and before she knows it she's engaged. Mary Pearl’s has always wanted to be an artist and she's not planning on being stuck home looking after her little brothers Zachary and Ezra forever. Wheaton College sends her a offer to study art, she accepts and in a flurry of activity she's ready to leave. Mary Pearl starts her journey, she rides her horse Duende, and also travels by train to begin her lessons at the fancy Northern school. Here Mary Pearl's formal education begins, she's taught, history, Latin, sculpture, drawing, history, oil painting and photography. Mary Pearl is a bit like a fish out of water and she doesn't have a lot in common with the other girly girls at school. She keeps in contact with Aubrey, they write letters to each other and she too busy studying to worry about how their long distance relationship is going? Light Changes Everything is a delightful story about the spunky Mary Pearl, she's a real character, as you would expect from a girl who has grown up riding horses, wearing a stetson and she can shoot a gun. Mary Pearl grows up in the book, by studying, meeting new people, living in a world very different from her home and from a tragic experience that happens to her. Granny also has given Mary Pearl responsibility/gift of keeping her diaries safe, she's to write her memoirs and only when her Granny meets her maker! I loved how the familiar characters of, Aunt Sarah, Granny, Ma, Pa, Zachary, Ezra, Rachel are included in the new book and also we are introduced to a new cowboy character called Brody Cooperhead. I'm not going to give too much away about the story as I really don't want to spoil it for anyone and it's a truly delightful book. Nancy E. Tuner has done it again and Light Changes Everything made me laugh, cry, smile and I didn't want it to end. A brilliant book, absolutely perfect and I gave it five big stars!