On the Backlist: These Is My Words

It just occurred to me this weekend that I haven’t recommended These Is My Words on the site, yet, and that needs to be remedied, right away.

I have to be honest: though I grew up reading the Little House books, and I do have a strange idealistic dream that I might live in a farmhouse someday (but maybe not have to take care of any farm animals?), I’m really not much for reading books about “the West,” as it were. This series did not appeal to me much, in theory. But when my mom insists that I’ll love something, I try to trust her because, you know, she’s my mom. And she knows stuff.

The first couple of chapters were a struggle for me–a bit dry and somewhat “pioneer-y.” Words is the story of Sarah Prine, written as if to her diary, and it begins with her trek across the plains to the West. Sarah is a terrible speller (initially–luckily that improves fairly quickly, when she meets someone who prods her along), which is a little distracting, at first, but Sarah’s voice is folksy, straightforward, and both funny and charming in its plainspoken way. It’s hard, though, not to become swept up in Sarah’s story–the trials she meets, and then the people. Sarah meets her challenges head on, face to the wind, and I found it impossible not to love her for her guts and her stubbornness and her bravery. She gets into some pretty hilarious scrapes, here and there, too.  When it came down to it, I couldn’t put this book down.

At heart, Words is a romance, and a strong one–Sarah and Jack’s story is epic and sweeping, the kind of love story we’re all looking for. The characters are complex, well-rounded, and only vulnerable in the best places. I enjoyed the whole thing, immensely, and honestly, now that I’m talking about it, I just want to go back and read it again!

There are two sequels, as well: Sarah’s Quilt, and The Star Garden. I liked them, but These Is My Words was my favorite.


First Line: “A storm is rolling in, and that always makes me a little sad and wistful so I got it in my head to set to paper all these things that have got us this far on our way through this heathen land.”


How about you? Have you read These Is My Words? What did you think?


4 Stars

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