These Is My Words
These Is My Words is the wonderfully moving coming-of-age story of young Sarah Agnes Prine told in diary form. Sarah is seventeen when the story begins and she and her family begin to travel from the Arizona territory to Texas on a wagon train. Sarah begins a diary on the trip and the entire novel is composed of entries from her diary.
Sarah is barely educated and yearns for knowledge. She pours all her hopes, dreams and experiences into her diary and we come to know her intimately. During the journey on the wagon train everything that can go wrong does. There is snakebite, Indian raids, Sarah is attacked by drunken men, dystentery strikes the wagon train and women die in childbirth. During this journey, Sarah perseveres – she has to. For her and the other women in the party, there was not the luxury of being weak. They had to be strong, for in strength there was survival.
When they get to Texas, Sarah marries Jimmy Reed whom she has known for a time. Jimmy is a good provider and she has a comfortable life. But during the trip Sarah has discovered a cache of books and has eagerly read them. They feed her thirst for knowledge and have given her the idea that she wants something more out of life although she can’t quite put a name to her yearnings. As her marriage continues, Sarah realizes she wants to be loved. Jimmy, although he treats her well, does not love her. He is killed in an accident, leaving Sarah a widow with an infant girl.
During the wagon trip, Sarah had met Captain Jack Elliot, a cavalry officer who was a rogue and a charmer. At first she was not impressed, but their paths cross again and again. As Sarah grows and changes, her relationship with Jack grows and changes too. Jack becomes Sarah’s second husband and the love of her life. Their story is a bittersweet one and, while I don’t want to give away too much, be sure to to have plenty of hankies handy – you’ll need them for sure.
These Is My Words is a tribute to the strong and brave women of the west. It is filled with descriptions of everyday life – how they sewed clothing, planted gardens, endured the pain of childbirth and took care of all the chores they had to do while trying to tend a baby with colic. Nothing is sugarcoated, but Sarah also describes the joys of her life. You will close the book feeling you really know Sarah and wanting more.