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These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901
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These Is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 (Sarah Agnes Prine #1)

4.35  ·  Rating Details ·  53,058 Ratings  ·  9,283 Reviews
A moving, exciting, and heartfelt American saga inspired by the author's own family memoirs, these words belong to Sarah Prine, a woman of spirit and fire who forges a full and remarkable existence in a harsh, unfamiliar frontier. Scrupulously recording her steps down the path Providence has set her upon—from child to determined young adult to loving mother—she shares the ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Harper Perennial (first published 1998)
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Chancy Schaaf I read it in 6th grade. I was very shy and wouldn't talk about anything or listen to anything that related to girls, guys, or both. I think it is good…moreI read it in 6th grade. I was very shy and wouldn't talk about anything or listen to anything that related to girls, guys, or both. I think it is good for any age able to read it.(less)

Community Reviews

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Mar 21, 2008 Brookann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Brookann by: Holly
I was completely taken by this book! The library fines are racking up because it is overdue and I can't renew it because it has been requested by someone else, but I can't let it go because I find myself going back to it to reread passages and "reliving" moments of the book in my mind. I shed many a tear and towards the end was so enraged I almost threw the book, but I simply cannot stop thinking about it! I'm dying to discuss it with someone.

It is the beautiful and heartbreaking story of a woma
Oct 24, 2007 Annalisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Annalisa by: Hannah Coleman
The reason I loved this book comes down to one word: authenticity. I bought into this woman's life and believed these characters. I have this vivid picture in my mind of this ranch out in the middle of nowhere with Sarah out there putting laundry on the line with a pistol tucked in her rugged apron.

I don't like western movies or get into frontier stories and was worried, especially by the title, that the grammar would rake on my nerves. But the story is about a thirst for education as much as a
Jun 07, 2008 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is, UNEQUIVOCALLY, the best love story I have read.

I devoured this book -- I simply could not put it down. The beginning was gritty, heart-wrenching, and a grammatical mess. Yet, this is part of the author's brilliance. As the main character, Sarah, matures, she is strengthened by her experiences. And as Sarah educates herself at every opportunity, the grammar and story-telling improve.

Without giving anything away, I cannot put into words the romance between Sarah and Captain Jack Elliott.
Oct 20, 2014 Candi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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 don’t 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."

I was so eager to read this book, described as a “heartfelt American saga” whic
Her Royal Orangeness
Jun 20, 2011 Her Royal Orangeness rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Not only does the book sound intriguing, but the ratings on Goodreads are amazing - the average rating is 4.45 and 56% of readers gave it 5 Stars.

Apparently I read a different book.

The basic plot of the first half of the book is: Horrible things happen! Awful things happen! She meets a man!! Terrible things happen! Dreadful things happen! The man kisses her!!! And it's all executed in a flat, shallow, and BORING style. A lot of action and no psychological depth.

In the second half of the book, th
Mar 12, 2014 Tweety rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like a rough, gritty sad and beautiful story
Recommended to Tweety by: Dorcas
After my heart stops hurting I'll write a review, it takes time when you've just fallen off a cliff.

I think I can write it now

I will admit something here and now. Before I read a book I always read the dedication. This book is dedicated To everyone who has ever stood on a hill in a storm That caught my interest really quick and then, six pages in I came across this passage. What can I say? I was hooked. And you know what? I've never even seen a Cottenwood, but Sarah showed it to me.

Page 6:
Aug 10, 2010 Wendy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I debated between 2 and 4 stars, but after all is said and done I wouldn't recommend the book to my friends, so it came down to 2. As for reading enjoyment and ability to hold my interest, this book gets a 5. However, the first 30 pages contain enough trauma to send any woman to a pyschiatrist for years! Rape, murder, tragic child deaths, Indian attacks, attempted abduction, etc. It was a bit too much for me to handle.

Although the description says "inspired by the author's grandmother", very li
Aug 12, 2008 Margaret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 11, 2008 Rachelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is pretty much my favorite book I've ever read along with it's sequel Sarah's Quilt. First of all, it is a beautiful love story. I cried so much. Any book that makes me feel really emotional, I consider to be a good book. But it is also an incredible tale of determination and down right stubborness. I love that Sarah learned to read, loved learning and by so doing changed her life. I love the way she endured challenges. I want to read it again so I can put more details in here.

Oct 04, 2007 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I totally DID NOT want to read this book, but did for a book group. I loved it. It reminded me of my grandma who grew up AZ and the crazy, hard life that she had. I remember feeling like she was kind of strange, uneducated, and maybe a little scary because she was so tough... she had like 18 inch biceps-- we are talking strong. She was just so different from my other very educated,very classy, rich grandma that I was close to growing up. After reading this book I really wished I would have taken ...more
Nov 14, 2016 Jennifer rated it really liked it
This got off to a slow start for me, and I didn't care for the pacing at the beginning. However, I grew to love this take-no-prisoners, kick-tail female protagonist, and this ended up being an apropos list for an election week that left me reeling.
Mar 06, 2009 Mehrsa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I probably would not have finished this book if I were not reading it for book club. I enjoyed reading it at times, but mostly, I was trying not to roll my eyes and just appreciate that it was Nancy Turner's first novel and it's good for a first shot (although I have read some incredible first novels before). The book is about a woman growing up in the Arizona territories and is written in diary format.

The Good: It's a nice historical novel that really makes you get what life was like then and
Oct 18, 2007 Lucy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Way back in the day, before I had ever joined a book group, before the world knew about blogging and before I began keeping track of the books with reviews, I read a book I loved called These Is My Words. I know I loved it all those years ago, and have told countless friends and acquaintances to read it based on that memory of loving it but, if you want to know the truth, the details about the story have become...err....a bit sketchy.

Oh, I remembered that it involved pioneers and a romance and a
Mar 24, 2012 Dem rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
These is my words by Nancy E. Turner is the "Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 Arizona Territories.

The blurb on this book reads " The classic adventure of one courageous woman's life struggles in the Arizona Territories in the late nineteenth century, A moving exciting and heartfelt American saga inspired by the authors’ own family memoirs, these words belong to Sarah Prine a woman of spirit and fire who forges a full remarkable existence in a harsh unfamiliar frontier"

I was really looking
Feb 21, 2009 katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i began this book several years ago. i thought it was a non-fictional journal, and once i found out that it was fictional i couldn't get back into the book. Since that time, my mom and sister have pleaded with me to finish this book, as it is an all-time favorite for both of them. i finally heeded their suggestion, and i am so glad i did! i devoured this book and couldn't wait to read each day. set in the late 19th century and written as a journal, it is a captivating story of a feisty, determin ...more
Deanne Patterson
Feb 20, 2016 Deanne Patterson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
This book was nitty gritty and I LOVED IT! I have been reading Christian fiction historicals for so long that I forgot what it was like to just read a historical novel that wasn't Christian and refined and have things prim and proper and the bad glossed over! This novel was based on a diary written by the author's grandmother from the years 1881-1901. I loved the realness of it. It tells about life the way it really was back then on the Arizona territories. I am looking forward to reading the tw ...more
Sep 15, 2010 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I am enjoying this book more than any book I have read in a long time. I love that this is a real life setting about a powerful courageous woman of our time. It shows the struggles and triumphs of life, and I can relate to it in so many ways. I love it!
Doug Bradshaw
Jan 15, 2010 Doug Bradshaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Several years ago I watched an excellent PBS documentary of the Donner Party story. At the end of the program, having vicariously lived through the whole mess, they interviewed this older woman who had lived through it all to get her thoughts and advice: "don't take no shortcuts" was her main thought. I had to laugh thinking how trite that sounded after all of that. To some extent, "These is My Words" reminds me of that. I can picture Nancy Turner reading through journals and just shaking her he ...more
Julie  Durnell
Oct 18, 2016 Julie Durnell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an exceptionally good book-I don't normally read this type of book but was instantly hooked. Sarah is a remarkable pioneer woman who overcomes so many roadblocks in life both as someone living in this age and as a woman who runs a ranch and wants to be educated so badly. Her indomitable spirit infuses the pages of her diary that records her feelings and adventures and sorrows. There are a few incidents that describe the horrific and gritty sides to life in the Arizona territories; I did ...more
Where has this book been hiding my whole life? If you like Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind and Gabaldon’s Outlander, I’d say it is a sure bet that you will love this one too. It has the same key ingredients: robust historical setting, epic sprawling action, and two meant-to-be-together characters that have a rocky start to their relationship. And any book that can make me grin and then cry like that deserves five stars.

I am trying to recall some of its flaws. They are few and far between. Obvious
Oct 15, 2011 Melodie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life in the western territories was rough, and uncertain. And it was in this environment that Miss Sarah Prine carved out a life for herself and subsequently her family. Sharp of mind(and tongue) with a thirst for knowledge almost unheard of in that part of the country,Sarah determined early on that she would do what it took to survive and thrive. And thrive she did!
In a no-nonsense manner she records her life in her journal. The reader is with her as she does her daily chores, squabbles with
Mar 26, 2015 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a delightful surprise! This book was not at all what I thought it was before I cracked the spine, or rather I should say, inserted the CD, as I listened to the audio. It is an epistolary novel, written as a series of diary entries spanning a 20 year period in the life of the author's great-grandmother. Sarah Agnes Prine was an early settler in the Arizona territory.

As I live in Arizona, I was thrilled with the references to places and things I know. Even the narrator's mispronunciation of c
Mar 17, 2016 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2016
This has been on my to read list for nearly a decade. So glad I finally took the time to read it. Loved the writing. Loved the characters. I smiled and laughed and cringed and cried. Very well done book.
Source: Puchased
Feb 01, 2008 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Kelly by: Erin and Lisa
This book goes on my top 5 favorite books. Sarah is my hero. This book was so sad about the harsh realities of living in those times in the west. Almost every chapter my heart broke. I loved the romance and practicality of her marriage. She amazed me with her tenacity for life. And how she made the good times help her overcome the hard ones.She was a survival specilist. Her best characteristic I thought was her willingness to do whatever needed to be done. I related to Sarah with her husband Jac ...more
Deborah Pickstone
I kept circling this as if it were a bad tasting medicine - I don't know why I seemed to expect so little - and I was so wrong! This is an excellent read, wonderful characterisation, lots of layers within the plot, and the best romantic hero and heroine I have come across in recent times. I see this likened to Gone with the Wind and I have to say that is not an unreasonable comparison. Luckily, I had the sequel to hand and started it over my breakfast coffee, so have it happily in prospect when ...more
4.5 to 5 stars for this book. I can't decide. Any book that causes me to actually cry at the end and feel emotion throughout is a book that will stay with me. Although there were things that certainly annoyed me about this book (predictability, cheesiness, and at times it seemed to drag) by the end I found myself not wanting to say goodbye to Sarah and her family and I do think I will read the next two books that continue her story. I couldn't get enough of Sarah's feisty spirit and attitude in ...more
Aug 17, 2008 Cindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Cindy by: Jodi
I enjoy historical fiction sometimes, but I'm not much into the Western. But this one was recommended by a friend. She just loved it. I decided to give it a try, but couldn't get a paper copy. But they did have the audiobook, so I checked it out.

I am so glad I did! I was absolutely hooked from the very first CD. It starts out with an Indian ambush, the death of a child, and a brutal attack on some unsuspecting girls, and that was just the first CD!

The story is told as journal entries of Sarah Ag
Sep 05, 2008 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I'm glad Sally Baird just informed me that there is a sequel.

I was quickly captivated by Sarah's strength of personality. The challenges the Prines endured seemed overwhelming, but not implausible. I admired Sarah's level-headedness & courage. And I just loved her romance with Captain Jack Elliot. I loved the scene, busy with children and cousins and family making lots of noise in a crowded room, when Jack mouths to Sarah "I love you." It felt real. I also liked the story
May 02, 2008 Krystal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Krystal by: My book club read it
First Read February 2008: This book is probably in my top 10. I love this book because the main character feels like a real person. The situations she faces and the way she reacts to the situations are very real-life. It's very easy to relate emotionally to this book, and it is an emotional roller coaster. You'll be happy, sad, mad, glad, angry, frusterated, laughing, and crying right along with the characters. Oh and you won't be able to put this book down.

Reread May 2014: I have reread this bo
Mar 10, 2009 Dani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Favorite Quotes from These is my Words. 16 296 Apr 20, 2017 01:57PM  
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“I might like to have someone courting me. But it would have to be someone who is a square shooter and who has a train load of courage. And it would have to be someone who doesn't have to talk down to folks to feel good, or to tell a person they are worthless ifthey just made a mistake. And he'd have to be not too thin. Why, I remember hugging [my brother] Ernest was like warpping your arms around a fence post,and I love Ernest, but I want a man who can hold me down in a wind. Maybe he'd have to be pretty stubborn. I don't have any use for a man that isn't stubborn. Likely a stubborn fellow will stay with you through thick and thin, and a spineless one will take off, or let his heart wander.” 106 likes
“Children are a burden to a mother, but not the way a heavy box is to a mule. Our children weight hard on my heart, and thinking about them growing up honest and healthy, or just living to grow up at all, makes a load in my chest that is bigger than the safe at the bank,and more valuable to me than all the gold inside it.” 92 likes
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