Book: These is my Words
Author: Nancy E. Turner
Like/Don't Like: LOVED. A lot. Even though the title hurt my heart.
You're asking how I can read a book with such a title. And I'm with you on that. Every time I say the name of this book I die a little on the inside.
Except that it is AMAZING. And I can certainly forgive a gimmicky title in exchange for an incredible story.
Emma lent it out to Teresa who then passed it on to me on Sunday and both of them said I had to start it right away. I was in between books and had some free time in the afternoon so why not. Here's why not. I could not put it down. From that time until I finished it this evening every spare minute I had was spent reading this book. Things like work and already scheduled activities got in the way but things that did not get in the way were sleep, meals and other responsibilities that could be procrastinated. It is the type of book that makes you put life on hold and you don't feel guilty at all about it.
Which completely surprised me. I'm not naturally drawn to those types of stories - those being stories of pioneers living the hard life in the West. Mostly because tales of hardship exhaust me. And oh, are there hardships in this book. So many hardships. So many that I regularly found myself saying prayers of gratitude that I was born in a time with running water and cars and hospitals and roads and food aplenty and no threats of Indian attacks or scarlet fever or blood poisoning or snake bites or train robberies or your horse rolling over you after it's been shot by and arrow. And worse things too. Like rape. Egads! It's a good thing there are good, strong male characters in this story because because every other man in it had leering eyes and grabby hands. The main character, Sarah Prine, always carried a pistol in her apron pocket, and for good reason.
All of those things and more happened to either Sarah or her loved ones and looking back on them it's a miracle I kept reading. But the writing was so straightforward and honest that it just sucked me right in. I loved her voice. It felt true. There wasn't a single moment when I thought that a pioneer woman wouldn't say that. I also loved all the other characters, both those on the side who come in and out as the years go along and those who stick around through the whole thing. (You will fall in love with Jack. Even you who are married. You will find yourself wishing your husband would grow a mustache and join the army. That's how great he is!)
There isn't much of a plot, it's just her journal spanning two decades so it's mostly just chronically her life and the joys and struggles that come with it. So it's high praise when I say that you don't even notice the lack of one. When I finished it tonight I immediately headed over to our stitching group where Emma and Teresa were and the first thing I said to them was that I finished it but couldn't really talk about the ending because I hadn't had time to process it all. I love it when a book fills you up like that.