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These Is My Words by Nancy E. Turner

Essay by   •  November 9, 2018  •  Book/Movie Report  •  591 Words (3 Pages)  •  151 Views

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In the historical fiction novel, These is my Words, author Nancy E. Turner writes in the first person as a seventeen year old girl, Sarah Prine, who is traveling by wagon with her family from New Mexico to Texas, and eventually to the Arizona territory where the family finally settled. The entire story of the journey is told through Sarah’s innermost thoughts written in her journal. Through this journal, insight is given about the many hardships her and her family have encountered, such as, indian attacks, disease, and even death of family members. These challenges force Sarah to take a significant role in the overwhelming task of caring for her family, which eventually leads to the meeting of Captain Jack Elliot, a handsome army captain who served as their wagon train guide. Through an uncommon chain of events, Captain Elliot and Sarah eventually get married and confront many challenges of raising their children together in an army front. The novel was inspired through Turner’s own family memoirs, this not only makes the writing personal to the author, but historically accurate, as well.

Sarah Prine is the owner of the journal and the voice of the story. As Sarah pours her feelings into her journal, we are given insight into what is going on throughout the 20 years of her life she’s written. As the story begins in 1881, Sarah is a naive, impatient, scarcely educated, seventeen year old child. Just as her journey has begun, she talks of how sorrowful and hard her journey has been (Turner 1). These comments immediately stop as her fellow travelers are attacked time and time again by indians. Now instead of complaining, Sarah grabs a rifle and shoots 2 of them, one in the head and one in the side (Turner 29). This brave, selfless act is the first step to Sarah’s transformation into adulthood. As the journey continues on, Sarah and her family experience numerous additional trials. When Sarah’s brother died due to a snake bite and her father succumbed to infection, Sarah’s mother was drowning in agonizing grief. This left Sarah with no choice but to look outside herself and take care of her family. Although it became



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