The diary of Sarah Prine, pioneer woman, free spirit, and fiction's most lovable character.
Sarah Agnes Prine begins her diary in 1881 when her father decides to move the whole family - and their horse ranch - from Arizona Territory to Texas, where life will be easier. Sarah, at seventeen, is a tomboy: though she longs to be educated, gracious and beautiful like other women. But when the family sets out on the wagon trail and disasters strike in rapid succession, Sarah turns out to be the only thing that keeps them from certain death.
Sarah stays brave, strong and determined through everything that befalls her. But she longs to be loved, like any other woman, and she is to meet her destiny in Captain Jack Elliot.
'Fragmented and disjointed in its early chapters, with poor spelling and grammar, Sarah's journal gradually gains in clarity and eloquence as she matures. While this device may frustrate some readers at first, Taylor's deft progression produces the intended reward: she not only tells of her heroine's growth, but she shows it through Sarah's writing and insights. The result is a compelling portrait of an enduring love, the rough old West and a memorable pioneer' - Publishers Weekly
A record of a spectacularly combustible love affair . . . a charming and promising first novel - The Times
'A convivial period tale of adventure, love and marriage, featuring a spunky gun-toting heroine and the brave-hearted soldier she comes to love . . . A lushly satisfying romance, period-authentic, with true-grit pioneering' - Kirkus Reviews
'Incredibly vivid and real and almost as though everything had been found, complete in a box somewhere. How clever writers are to go back into the past and to recreate a time so accurately. And I liked the character of the girl, because she was so matter of fact about all the traumas of her adventures, but I suppose one had to be, faced with Indians and all the other problems' - Rosamunde Pilcher
I read it with great delight . . . , For me, it says more about American than Gone with the Wind, and I'd put it up there with To Kill a Mockingbird. It is moving, funny and rings very true... - Mary Stewart
'The author is in control of her material and writes in clear, at times lyrical prose... The strongest image that lingers is that of Sarah on horseback, engaged with the land and with her life. Hers is a spirit that will remain long after the story fades' - Washington Post
Telling the story of a courageous woman creating her life against the harsh realities of the time, this story of the Wild West is a real find.
Both rugged and romantic it brings to life the experiences of a woman struggling to establish a life in the harsh conditions of Arizona
territory - Sue Baker, Hammicks
'Truly original, absorbing and a joy to read . . . one of those extraordinary stories that jump out of the page. . . Achingly moving story of one woman's life and loves, with a leading character who is strong-willed, hungry for life and has an inspiring vitality and intelligence. A novel you should rush out and buy. Right now' - Woman's Realm