These Is My Words
By Nancy E. Turner
Regan Books/HarperCollins, 1998. 384 pgs. Adult fiction
Sarah Agnes Prine keeps a diary of her life, telling of her time journeying in a wagon train with her family, losing her father, and trying to keep her family together. On her journey, she meets the infuriating army captain, Jack Elliott, and falls in love with books. She settles into a loveless marriage, has a daughter, and manages a ranch. And ultimately, she finds true love.
My summary does not even begin to do this story justice. It's been a year or so since I've read it cover to cover (although I do go flip through it sometimes, to reread favorite scenes), so I'm a little fuzzy on some of the details, but I wanted to put this on here since I need more 5 star books, and this one definitely gets 5 stars. I love this book. I've heard a couple people say this book was boring; I, on the other hand, loved it from the first page. I like historical fiction, and I'm particularly drawn to historical fiction romances that take place in the west. However, I find most of them aren't really very well written. This book, however, is dazzling. The writing and dialogue are realistic, Sarah, who is spunky, strong, and stubborn, is a fantastic protagonist, and the love story is wonderful. I loved everything about this book.* Some of my co-workers have commented that I read a lot of romances; my response was that I'm on the quest for the perfect love story...and this book comes pretty darn close to giving that to me. Definitely five stars.
Side note: it's not exactly entirely "clean"; there's some sexual content, although not really explicit (and it's in the context of marriage).
In case you noticed, this is INTENTIONALLY labeled as a love story, not a romance. I feel like a lot of romances aren't really love stories, or not a love story I can really believe in. But for me, this is a love story. (And that's not to say nothing else on the blog is a love story, but for me, this is the love story of love stories.)
(Other than the fact that Jack dies, of course. That about killed me. I did not love that part. And yet, I can't entirely hate it because it was so well written.) And I refuse to read the sequels because I can't handle not having Jack in the story.