A friend from church loaned me this book a few weeks ago and I have been itching to read it. This novel was the winner of the Arizona Author Award and a finalist for the Willa Cather Literary Award. Nancy Turner took on a big challenge writing a book like this and she did a great job.
Far from a happy beach read (isn’t that what you should be reading if you’re in Rio de Janeiro???), I could not put it down. It didn’t help that the book isn’t divided into chapters either so I could mark my progress. This book is filled with challenges and spans nearly 20 years. I always admire an author when they can conquer a large time line like this and make it look easy.
Our leading lady is a young girl, Sarah Prine, the only living daughter from her parents. She has three brothers and is very much a tom boy. The book takes place in the Arizona territories in 1881-1901. This time period is not one I would normally choose, but the details really drew me in.
Sarah and her family are heading out on the trails to start a new life when catastrophe strikes. She and her family are learning the hard way how to deal with life’s struggles and hard times and to be thankful for the good times. On their journey she makes new friends, and the occasional enemy. There is light humor in the fact that Sarah really is one of the boys and is trying to figure out how to be a lady and yet no one will give her a straight forward answer.
As time passes and men come into the picture is when this book gets real good. You’re rooting for her the whole time and want to shake her at others.
Eventually she makes her way in life and happiness follows. A great leading lady, and good at heart this book was worth every minute I spent reading it.
Without spoiling it for you, I mean what I said about it not being a beach read. There is great sadness in this book, but I believe that in sadness comes great beauty.
As they say in Rio, Ciao!
Currently reading- The Air Between Us by Deborah Johnson