Up for today: These is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 Arizona Territories by Nancy E. Turner (Review requested by Mary Kay.)
Why I bought it? We read it back in the Spring in my book club. I ordered it through Amazon.
Synopsis: As the subtitle suggests the book is told in journal entries. It was inspired by the author's great grandmother but departs from the real life story significantly. Sarah Agnes Prine is 17 at the start and learning to read and write (Her writing improves as the story progresses.) and wants to tell who she is so if anyone finds her bones they'll know a little something about her. Her writing project grows into a family saga of settling the Arizona Territory. Sarah is larger than life--full of vibrancy, spit, and fire. She shoots better than most men. Her life is at times harrowing and at other times hilarious. Sarah takes it all in stride with pluck. There's romance eventually for her and that is well done. (I don't want to give any spoilers because I enjoyed having it unfold for me without knowing any details ahead.) So I'll stop there.
What I thought? I enjoyed the book quite a lot. More than I thought I would. It is incredibly vivid and well researched. I felt like I was right there along with Sarah settling the new territory. It feels very authentic. In the "facts check" portion after the novel Ms. Turner tells what is and isn't based in history. I felt like I learned a lot about the era.
My Rating: ****1/2 out of 5
Cleanness Score: 3 out of 10, This is mostly for violence and the deaths/dangers that occur. It is aimed at adults, but I wouldn't have any problem with my teens reading it.