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Islington Branch Book Club - Past Titles: "These Is My Words" by Nancy Turner

Take a look through previous titles we've discussed at our Islington Branch Book Club

"These Is My Words" by Nancy Turner

  1. Survival and Resilience: Sarah Agnes Prine faces numerous challenges and hardships throughout the novel, including frontier life, loss, and conflicts with Native Americans. How does she demonstrate resilience and perseverance in the face of adversity? Discuss specific instances where Sarah's strength of character shines through.

  2. Character Development: Analyze the character of Sarah Agnes Prine. How does she evolve over the course of the novel, both emotionally and spiritually? What lessons does she learn about herself and the world around her through her experiences on the frontier?

  3. Romance and Relationships: Sarah's relationship with Captain Jack Elliot is a central aspect of the novel. How does their relationship develop over time, and what challenges do they face as a couple? Discuss the role of romance and interpersonal relationships in Sarah's life and character development.

  4. Frontier Life: "These Is My Words" offers a vivid portrayal of life on the American frontier in the late 19th century. How does the novel depict the challenges and realities of frontier life, including the harsh environment, pioneer settlements, and interactions with Native American tribes?

  5. Gender Roles and Independence: Sarah defies traditional gender roles for women of her time, displaying independence, courage, and resourcefulness. How does she challenge societal expectations of women in the 19th century? Discuss the importance of female agency and empowerment in the novel.

  6. Family Dynamics: Sarah's relationship with her family, particularly her siblings and children, is a significant aspect of the novel. How do family dynamics influence Sarah's decisions and actions? Discuss the bonds of love and loyalty that unite the Prine family.

  7. Friendship and Community: Sarah forms close friendships with various characters throughout the novel, including the Davis family and Lieutenant Graversen. How do these relationships shape Sarah's sense of community and belonging on the frontier? Discuss the importance of friendship in times of hardship.

  8. Historical Context: The novel is set against the backdrop of historical events such as the Arizona Territory's transition to statehood and conflicts with Native American tribes. How does the author incorporate historical details and events into the narrative? What insights does the novel offer into the history of the American West?

  9. Narrative Style: "These Is My Words" is presented as Sarah's personal journal, written in her own voice. How does the epistolary format enhance the storytelling? Discuss the effectiveness of using Sarah's journal entries to convey the emotional depth and authenticity of her experiences.

  10. Legacy and Memory: The novel concludes with Sarah reflecting on her life and the legacy she leaves behind for future generations. How does she reconcile the hardships and triumphs of her past? Discuss the theme of legacy and the importance of preserving personal history and memories.

  11. The Power of Language: Sarah's journal entries serve as a testament to the power of language and storytelling. How does she use writing as a means of self-expression and catharsis? Discuss the role of storytelling in preserving personal narratives and shaping individual identity.

  12. Reader's Response: Reflect on your personal response to the novel. What aspects of the story resonated with you the most, and why? How did "These Is My Words" deepen your understanding of the pioneer experience and the resilience of the human spirit?

Early Life and Education: Nancy Elaine Turner was born on March 14, 1953, in Dallas, Texas, USA. She developed a love for storytelling and literature from a young age, which would later influence her career as a writer.

Turner attended Arizona State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing. Her education provided her with a strong foundation in writing and storytelling, which she would later apply to her career as a novelist.

Literary Career: Nancy E. Turner is best known for her historical fiction novels that explore themes of frontier life, resilience, and the human experience. She made her literary debut with the publication of her novel "These Is My Words" in 1998.

"These Is My Words" is the first book in Turner's Sarah Agnes Prine series, which follows the journey of a pioneer woman living in the Arizona Territory in the late 19th century. The novel received critical acclaim for its vivid portrayal of frontier life and the strength of its protagonist.

Turner continued Sarah's story with two sequels, "Sarah's Quilt" (2000) and "The Star Garden" (2007), completing the trilogy. The series became immensely popular among readers for its authentic historical detail and compelling storytelling.

In addition to her Sarah Agnes Prine series, Turner has written other novels, including "The Water and the Blood" (2002) and "My Name is Resolute" (2014), which also explore themes of resilience and survival in historical settings.

Personal Life: Nancy E. Turner resides in Tucson, Arizona, where she continues to write and pursue her passion for storytelling. She is known for her meticulous research and attention to historical detail, which she incorporates into her novels to bring the past to life for her readers.

Turner's novels are characterized by their strong, independent female protagonists, richly drawn historical settings, and themes of resilience and survival. She has earned a dedicated readership and critical acclaim for her contributions to the genre of historical fiction.


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