My Book World
This book has remained unread on my shelf a long time, I think, in part, because I would always be put off by the apparent poverty of the title. It belies the intelligence of the narrator and story she has to tell. Set in mostly late 1880s of the Arizona Territories, the novel relates itself in the form a diary, a twenty-year period in the life of a young woman, the man she marries, their children, and almost all related family members. While the frontier adventures are exciting (some unique and some exactly like those found in earlier books), the novel may be limited by two factors. One is the author’s use of first person. Readers mostly receive Sarah Prine’s take on things, a bright but uneducated (for a while) youth. The other may be the form of using a diary. Both features seem to limit the amount or kind of information a novel can tell. On the other hand, the author makes good use of both methods to tell this tale of a young woman faced with many pioneer-like challenges: extremes in weather, battles with natives, sexism, childbirth, premature deaths in the family, and more. It offers a personal touch the third person might not. The diary format strengthens the female point of view which may be lost or obscured by male writers of similar historical fiction or literature. I still believe shelf appeal might have been increased by at least straightening out the grammar of the title. How about These Are My Words?
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