Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A love story to start the summer reading season

Now that the weather's turning warmer (almost too warm if you ask me!,) I'm really jonesing for those lazy summer afternoons relaxing in the backyard with a cool beverage and a delicious read.

I've been watching all the notices of summer reading programs at area libraries that fellow blogger Cheryl Sadler has been rounding up in the weekly Odds and Book Ends listings and trying to plan how many of them I can delude myself into thinking I'll join.

Even though my submission is never picked, I enjoy filling out the slips of paper listing the books I've read. Perhaps it's just my competitive nature, but I don't necessarily want to win the gift basket (though that would be nice), I just want to read the most books.

Luckily my mother and sisters (some of whom belong to actual book clubs where people gather in person and discuss works!!) are always feeding me a steady stream of books I have to read. Also luckily, I read pretty quickly.

"These is my Words" was one such recommendation; I can't remember from whom. Subtitled "The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 Arizona Territories," Nancy E. Turner's book follows Sarah from her youth through much of her adulthood.

It's a rough life.

I enjoyed watching the relationship between Sarah and Jack develop over the years, and as a love story I thought the novel was a welcome diversion.

But the characters were a little too stereotypical to elevate the novel in my mind. Sarah is, of course, a crack shot, an independent and strong woman and self-educated. She whips up soap with some found perfume, and voila, she's a successful businesswoman. And does Jack have a flaw? Can this man be human?

I did not find it to be the gem that the Omaha World-Herald touted. But if you're looking for an entertaining love story, it just might fill the bill.

- Tricia Ambrose

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