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

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

by Nancy E. Turner

Hardcover(Large Print)

$26.95 View All Available Formats & Editions


In a compelling fiction debut, Nancy E. Turner's unforgettable These Is My Words melds the sweeping adventures and dramatic landscapes of Lonesome Dove with the heartfelt emotional saga of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All.

Inspired by the author's original family memoirs, this absorbing story introduces us to the questing, indomitable Sarah Prine, one of the most memorable women ever to survive and prevail in the Arizona Territory of the late 1800s. As a child, a fiery young woman, and finally a caring mother, Sarah forges a life as full and as fascinating as our deepest needs, our most secret hopes and our grandest dreams. She rides Indian-style and shoots with deadly aim, greedily devours a treasure trove of leatherbound books, downs fire, flood, Comanche raids and other mortal perils with the unique courage that forged the character of the American West.

Rich in authentic details of daily life and etched with striking character portraits of very different pioneer families, this action-packed novel is also the story of a powerful, enduring love between Sarah and the dashing cavalry officer Captain Jack Elliot. Neither the vast distances traveled nor the harsh and killing terrains could quench the passion between them, and the loss and loneliness both suffer only strengthen their need for each other.

While their love grows, the heartbreak and wonder of the frontier experience unfold in scene after scene: a wagon-train Sunday spent roasting quail on spits as Indians close in to attack; Sarah's silent encounter with an Indian brave, in which he shows her his way of respect; a dreadful discovery by a stream that changes Sarah forever; the hazards of a visit to Phoenix, a town as hot as the devil's frying pan; Sarah's joy in building a real home, sketching out rooms and wraparound porches.

Sarah's incredible story leads us into a vanished world that comes vividly to life again, while her struggles with work and home, love and responsibility resonate with those every woman faces today. These Is My Words is a passionate celebration of a remarkable life, exhilarating and gripping from the first page to the last.

"Nancy Turner knows the land of the 19th-century Territories, as it must have been, and she knows the landscape of the heart as it was then and always is."
-- Meg Files, author of Meridian 44

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781568956350
Publisher: Cengage Gale
Publication date: 03/28/1999
Series: Large Print Book Series
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 555
Product dimensions: 6.35(w) x 9.34(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Nancy E. Turner is the author of several works of fiction, including The Water and the Blood and Sarah's Quilt. She has been a seam snipper in a clothing factory, a church piano player, a paleontologist's aide, and an executive secretary. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, with her husband and two children.

Read an Excerpt

These is my Words
The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901

Chapter One

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.

Table of Contents

What People are Saying About This

Tim Bashor

With skill and sensitivity, Turner draws on Sarah Prine's experiences to create her stunning debut novel. It is a powerful adventure and a romantic love story experienced with a passion and yearning by characters whom readers will never forget. These is My Words is in the grand tradition of epic quest novels, yet it is told on a deeply human, personal scale. Its characters are familiar and touching. Opening this book and following Sarah's story day by day is like opening an old trunk in the family attic and finding a treasure.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

These Is My Words 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read this book three times since it was recommended to me and am tempted to read it once again, as I have just barely finished it. I didn't want it to end! What an amazing and admirable person Sarah Prine is. You want so badly for Sarah and Jack to be together- forever. I just can't say enough about how much I loved this book! My all time favorite!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of my all time favorite books. I have recommended it to everyone. Sarah Prine is a heroine of the first water.
78degreegirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Western Historical Fiction, adventure, bittersweet romance, strong female heroine
DeltaQueen50 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of the American West and enjoy reading about its¿ settlement. These Is My Words by Nancy E Turner was, for me, that rare book that brings life to the distant past. I fell into Sarah¿s story and was totally swept up in her remarkable life. Reading like a real diary, the life of Sarah Prine is one of hardship, danger, loss and sorrow, but it is also a life filled with strength, determination, and love both of the family and romantic kind. Set in the Arizona Territories between 1881 to 1901, and based on her own grandmothers¿ life, we see Sarah develop from a young, uneducated girl into a woman of strength and spirit. The extraordinary characters that people this book help to enrich the story whether it¿s of Indians attacking or a simple buggy ride through the young town of Tucson. And if Captain Jack Elliot is a little too good looking, a little too tall, and a little too heroic, well so be it. Another aspect of this book that I really enjoyed were the many details of day-to-day living in this era. From the piecing together of quilts to soap-making, looking after livestock and child rearing, life was hard and the work was never ending, but people managed to endure and even thrive. I could rave on and on about this book, but perhaps I should just end with a strong recommendation to read this captivating and heart-felt story.
bacreads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It took me about 80 pages to get into but then was interesting and amazing what Sarah did to establish her ranch, marry, raise her children and take care of family and friends. Humerous and tragic. I would be interested to know how much was from Sarah's actual diary and how much the author interspersed.
KC9333 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved this book --- fasinating tale told in diary form. The story of a young girl becoming a women and building a life in the Arizona territory . Gripping tale of struggle, love and loss in the southwest during the 1900s- recommended!
SelimaCat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book for a book club that may or may not happen and didn't know what to expect. It's a first-person narrative, written in diary form--the story of a young girl in the 1860's wild west. I liked the female narrator (though she's predictably plucky), but it was a bit bloodthirsty for my taste--I wasn't expecting main characters to die off so quickly, and so often. There was a sweet love story and a cast of appealing characters--if you like Oprah books, this is a good choice for you.
AngelaG86 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An account of a woman's journey through the Arizona territories. Hands down one of my favorite books, ever.
cindyloumn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a diary type book of a girl in 1881-1901. It is thee MOST depressing book I've EVER read. So full of death, etc. In the beginning you dont think ANYONE will live!! Vut it's a wonderful love story of a very strong women. Which is what I loved about it.Rating=87/3/98
SherryAuthor on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A wonderful story about a girl who finds her way and becomes a woman.
ashleyludwig on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This one really struck me. Being a lover of both historical fiction, and geneaology - it reads like you are reading your great grandmother's diary. You feel her grow from a young girl wondering what crimson velvet is - to an adult woman who has struggled to make her home in the Arizona territory. Against flood, fate, and all of the day to day drama that go with it - by the end of the story I had laughed out loud with Sarah Agnes Prine - and wept right along with her until I was wracked with sobs. Nancy Turner is a brilliant author with a keen eye and a lithe hand. I have Sarah's quilt sitting on my night table - next in line.
bookheaven on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wonderful, exciting story based on the diary of the author's ancestor.
BoundTogetherForGood on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am no longer a big fan of fiction but this book read as if it could have been real. I really enjoyed reading about the lead characters' life out west.
stacyinthecity on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is an inspiring book roughly based on the author's ancestor that takes place mostly in my former home of Tucson, Arizona. As someone who lived in Tucson for 10 years, I found the descriptions of Tucson and Arizona of particular interest, and as someone interested in my own family history, I found the story fun and interesting. I was inspired by this woman's story and inspired to find out more about my own family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago