These Is My Words by Nancy Turner
This is a fantastic book!! I don't have the right words to say how much I liked it, but I really really did. I read it as an ebook so I was spared a spoiler on the cover of the paperback, which kept me in suspense for at least the first half of the book. Don't read the reviews on the cover of the book.
The book is the diary of a woman pioneer, Sarah, in the Arizona Territory. The diary begins when she is seventeen years old, and her family is traveling across the southwest to sell horses. The diary continues on for almost two decades. Sarah faces many trials, but she is so strong and compassionate. Her outlook on life is so interesting. I found her thoughts both comforting, inspiring, and thought-provoking, while I enjoyed the plot line immensely.
I enjoyed the diary format of this book. Sarah is not formally educated so she doesn't write with proper grammar. Some people told me this bothered them in the beginning until they got use to it, but it didn't bother me at all. I think that was a good decision by the author because is makes Sarah's voice so much more real.
I was very pleased when I realized there are two more books about Sarah following this book [Sarah's Quilt and The Star Garden]. Living in the midwest, I'm familiar with the life of pioneers in the this area (see Laura Ingalls Wilder), but I hadn't thought much about the life of pioneers in the southwest. I was glad to be exposed to that part of U.S. history. This book was inspired by the diary of the author's grandmother.
You've got to read this book. It's great.