I decided to share one of my all time favorites, These Is My Words, by Nancy E. Turner. I almost never read a book more than once (too many good ones out there!), but when I read this one again for book club, I fell in love with it all over again. It is exciting, sad, interesting, and has one of the best love stories in modern literature.

The writing is fantastic and though I usually don’t love books written in journal format, it was perfect fort this novel. I loved watching the main character grow in knowledge and strength as she crossed the United States and settled into the wild west of Arizona territories. I loved watching her writing grow and become more intelligent and refined as she did. The book is clean and addictive and just lovely in every way. It would also make a great gift for a woman reader of any age.
image via Goodreads.com

Goodreads.com summary: 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 toPhoenix, 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.

Goodreads.com summary: