Thursday, January 31, 2013
These is my Words
These is my Words suffers from what I might call UCS...or ugly cover syndrome. I've had this book in my book club to-read pile for a while and I just haven't wanted to pick it up for that reason. I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but it's just really hard sometimes. Then, add to that the title...I don't care if you are trying to make a point by using improper English, you're still not going to grab me with it. Maybe that's a little bit of my OCD coming out?
The premise of this book is that it's a diary for Sarah Prine, who lived during the settling of the Arizona Territories. Sarah Prine's story is inspired by the real life Sarah, who was the great-grandmother of the author, Nancy Turner. Sarah is a rather spunky character and is actually compared to Scarlett O'Hara in one of the reviews on the cover. Hello, this should be right up my alley, right?
This story was a little slow for me in the beginning. However, about 50-100 pages in, I really started to enjoy learning about Sarah's misadventures, especially her fiery descriptions of correspondence and conversations with Captain Jack Elliot (her future husband). The two spare comically. It's also fascinating to read about the different struggles and triumphs Sarah and those close to her experienced during this time frame.
After completing the book, I read Turner's blurb about writing it, in the back. I had really hoped that there was a real-life journal and that Turner had spiced things up, because I knew this was classified as a historical fiction novel. But, because there just wasn't a lot of information about Sarah, Turner instead took a few facts and started to write a story surrounding this character of her great-grandmother. Most of the historical elements are true (including the battles and military negotiations) however, a lot of the "guts" of the story are not. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I was a little disappointed there wasn't more history and less fiction in this story...
And I'll be honest and say that this story kind of irritated me in the end...however, I know that Turner molded the ending around a historically accurate event. But, for me the middle of this book, where Jack is attempting to court Sarah in his own way, were my favorite parts. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars and would probably recommend it, if you're into historical fiction.