Sarah’s Quilt is the long-awaited sequel to Turner’s debut novel, These Is My Words, and takes place five years after the first book ends. It is best appreciated by having read the first installment, which begins the story of Sarah Prine and her journey to the Arizona Territories.
As this sequel begins, Sarah is a rancher in Southern Arizona, facing the third year of a horrible drought. Over the course of several months in 1906, she must contend with finding a water source, rescuing her brother and his family after the San Francisco earthquake, prairie fire, a water witch who appears obsessed with her, the arrival of an unknown relative, unwanted proposals, an ailing mother, the growing independence of her children, and the real fear that she may lose everything she has struggled to achieve.
Although this succession of trials may sound melodramatic, it is deftly told and not sensationalized. Arizona at the turn of the century still had elements of the Wild West, and surviving its dangers was a challenge for both men and women. Told in diary format, Sarah’s Quilt is a moving, vivid, and intimate tale of a pioneer woman making the best of every hardship, no matter how devastating. There are moments of humor, intrigue, and of deep sorrow. This reader hopes that Sarah’s story hasn’t ended with this book, as some questions remained unanswered. Highly recommended, especially if read soon after These Is My Words.