Thursday, October 20, 2011

Reading An Unusual Book


Missy, here. I'm part of a book club that meets monthly. We take turns hosting, and the lady who's hosting chooses the book. This month, we're reading a book recommended by the mother of one of our members. These is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 Arizona Territories (a novel). I started it Tuesday evening...and didn't quit until 4 am! Read more Wednesday night into the wee hours as well (and still haven't finished).

I'm loving this book! It's fiction but is written as a journal. It's based on the life of the author's great-grandmother. Here's a description:


From School Library Journal

YA-This novel in diary format parallels the early history of the Arizona Territories as Sarah and her family travel from the New Mexico Territory and settle down to carve out a new life on a ranch near Tucson in the 1880s. Sarah's diary, based on the author's family memoirs, is a heartwarming and heartbreaking fictional account of a vibrant and gifted young woman. Sarah starts out as an illiterate, fiery 17 year old. Eventually, her writing becomes as smooth and polished as Sarah herself as she becomes a tenacious, literate, and loving wife and mother. A treasure trove of discovered books becomes the source of her self-education. Turner describes the trip in such detail that one has a sense of having traveled with Sarah, experiencing all of its heartache and sadness, its backbreaking exertion and struggles, its danger and adventure, its gentle and lighter moments. Life in the new country brings the constant fear of Indian raids and the threat and reality of floods, fire, and rattlesnakes; bandits; rough men, and pretentious women all have an effect on the protagonist but her strong marriage makes the effort worthwhile. Sarah centers her world around her home and family but maintains an independent spirit that keeps her whole and alive throughout her many trials and heartaches. This is a beautifully written book that quickly captures readers' attention and holds it tightly and emotionally until the end.
Dottie Kraft, formerly at Fairfax County Public Schools, VA

I highly recommend this book! I'd also love to hear what you're reading right now.


10 comments:

  1. Missy--sounds great. Kind of reminds me of The Cane River--fabulous book. Right now I'm reading Fortune's Son by Emery Lee. Loving the book.

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  2. Lindi, I sent a comment this morning, but it never showed up. I said I really want to read one of Emery's books. Need to do that asap!

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  3. I have tried to get this book from county library...no luck...will keep trying 'cause I have heard it is good! I am reading White Pearls by Shannon Vannatter..her third in "whites"....I like her books.
    Oh, and I finally found the biscoff spread...mmmm good.

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  4. Jackie, I got mine from the library, but they had to get it on loan from another library. I'm so excited to read again tonight! I think I'll finish it. :)

    I'm glad you found the Biscoff!! I think I need to go get a huge tablespoonful! :)

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  5. Jackie--Good to 'see' you! I haven't read Shannon's books.

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  6. Missy, sounds really good! And it seems the concept of the way the writer presented it was unique, through her developing grammar and that was shown in her journals.

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  7. Oh, I have just started Her Best Catch by some gal named Lindi Peterson ;)

    And I also am reading Karen White's On Folly Beach... these were my two purchases from M&M :)

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  8. Good choice, Christy! I highly recommend both!! :)

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  9. This is a fascinating book! I heard Nancy Turner speak at the Tucson Festival of Books...it's a very well-written book. But she knew very VERY little about her great-grandmother (I've heard as little as a paragraph!). I'd say "slightly inspired by" the life of her great-grandmother, not so much based on.

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  10. Interesting, Julie! Thanks for sharing that info. A friend of mine told me she heard her speak as well, and that Nancy said the story of the rattlesnake was true. Maybe that's the little bit she had.

    She must've done a whole lot of research! And of course, used a lot of imagination. :)

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