Strong female protagonist? Check.
Coming of age story? Check.
Got quilting in it? Check.
I was jumping up and down with excitement when I discovered this in my local library (O Bala Cynwyd Library! How do I love thee?) and later again, when I bought my very own copy for numerous re-reads.
"These is My Words" (by Nancy E. Turner) tells the tale of a family heading out to Arizona territory in the late 1800's as narrated by Sarah Prine, a teenager when our story begins. This has a bit of a Little-House-All-Grown-Up feel to it, though "These is My Words" is grittier, scarier and more realistic than the Little House books, with descriptions of terrifying events, great despair and lots of gun slinging. But like "Little House," it maintains the same kind of wonder at the possibilities of new opportunity, and the hope of building a community together. We also get some romance, though to my great relief, the book doesn't end with church bells; we get to follow the couple through thick and thin, as two strong-willed characters forge a life together.
Why do I keep coming back to this book to curl up with? To start with, it's pretty easy to read: this is a diary of an ordinary woman made extraordinary by circumstance, and she is both full of great spirit and a wonderful story-teller. Secondly, I like the main characters! Sarah is fiesty and smart, her sister-in-law is kind and deeply religious, the men are sometimes strong, sometimes sweet. Laziness or shiftiness in anyone is not tolerated, an attitude I definitely appreciate! Thirdly, I really did enjoy learning about this time and place in history, and how the area developed and changed over the span of the book.
Awesome reading if you like this genre. Very satisfying.
If you try it, leave a comment and tell me what you thought!
*Of course yards. I'm a quilter. How else would I measure anything?