Thursday, June 9, 2011

Star Garden by Nancy E. Turner - Review

It is a true testament to author Nancy E. Turner that I am writing the following review. Throughout all three books in the Sarah Agnes Prine trilogy, her writing, storyline, and characters only improved. It is not often that the third book in a trilogy rivals the first two...more times than not, I am disappointed by the time I get to the end of a trilogy with how the last book turns out. Not so with this one.

Book Summary:

From the bestselling author of These Is My Words comes this exhilarating follow-up to the beloved Sarah's Quilt. In the latest diary entries of pioneer woman Sarah Agnes Prine, Nancy E. Turner continues Sarah's extraordinary story as she struggles to make a home in the Arizona Territory.

It is winter 1906, and nearing bankruptcy after surviving drought, storms, and the rustling of her cattle, Sarah remains a stalwart pillar to her extended family. Then a stagecoach accident puts in her path three strangers who will change her life.

In sickness and in health, neighbor Udell Hanna remains a trusted friend, pressing for Sarah to marry. When he reveals a plan to grant Sarah her dearest wish, she is overwhelmed with passion and excitement. She soon discovers, however, that there is more to a formal education than she bargained for.

Behind the scenes, Sarah's old friend Maldonado has struck a deal with the very men who will become linchpins of the Mexican Revolution. Maldonado plots to coerce Sarah into partnership, but when she refuses, he devises a murderous plan to gain her land for building a railroad straight to Mexico. When Sarah's son Charlie unexpectedly returns from town with a new bride, the plot turns into an all-out range war between the two families.

Finally putting an end to Udell's constant kindnesses, Sarah describes herself as "an iron-boned woman." She wants more than to be merely a comfortable fill-in for his dead wife. It is only through a chance encounter that she discovers his true feelings, and only then can she believe that a selfless love has at last reached out to her. . . .

My Thoughts:

As I mentioned above, I LOVED this book - and adored the trilogy as a whole. I am truly sad to know that my journey with Sarah Agnes Prine has ended. Nancy E. Turner truly brought each and every character to life, right off the page, and right into the reader's imagination. I felt like I was right there with her on the ranch, fighting off evil.

What is most profound is the character of the main character. She is morally true to herself, honest with others, and have a love of family that is never compromised. She doesn't sugar coat things, but tells the truth with love. I think she brings back so many memories of the way people USED to be...and I think it is about time we ALL take a lesson or two from this main character.

The setting is also such an amazing part of this trilogy - the Arizona territory at the turn of the twentieth century was not an easy place...and as Sarah stated in the novel, "no one made a life here without backbone and perseverance. It's a place with no forgiveness, this Territory, this land that I love."

I highly recommend this trilogy to all those who love historical fiction - it is such an amazing read.

Favorite Passages:

"A woman who dreams of a good home with a man who holds her only a poor love is putting a fifty-dollar saddle on a twenty-dollar horse. She'd be far better off single than riding with him."

"I paused in front of a pyramid stack of five jars of Hagan's Magnolia Balm, where a sign underneath said the stuff was guaranteed to keep a woman from looking old and worn. I shook my head, wondering how a woman knew when she looked old and worn."

"Ain't my fault your brain is strung so loose you no more'n open your trap and I hear the words knocking around behind your eyeballs before you say'em."

"Were women all doomed to follow Granny into that gray world of half-truths and mysterious memories where real life is muddled with bits of songs and shadows and old pains that seem new?"

"They say a dying person is so close to heaven's gate they see again the world of angels that they say shortly after they were born."

"I believe that I know what kind of fella Udell is, but yearning for someone isn't the same as giving them over your entire lot in life."

"Someday, softer women like my April will be more common than my kind."

"From the front porch, a single road leads straight to the people I love, and brings them straight to me."


No comments:

Post a Comment