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Summary

“I adored stepping back into to the world of the Prines through tough-as-rawhide Mary Pearl. Light Changes Everything is a novel as gritty and authentic as the women of the Arizona Territory. Nancy E. Turner brings the west and its people fully to life.” (Lisa Wingate, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Before We Were Yours)

Best-selling author Nancy E. Turner returns to the world of Sarah Agnes Prine through the wide eyes of her irrepressible young niece, Mary Pearl.

It’s the summer of 1907, and the sun is scorching down on Mary Pearl in the Arizona Territory. Mary Pearl and her sister Esther take their minds off the heat by sneaking banned Jane Austen novels from Aunt Sarah Elliot’s lively bookshelf. Whispered read-alouds preoccupy their nights, and reveries of getting hitched to their own Mr. Darcy à la Pride and Prejudice swirl through their daydreams. 

In walks old-fashioned old-money suitor Aubrey Hanna, here to whisk 17-year-old Mary Pearl off her feet with a forbidden kiss and hasty engagement. With the promise of high society outings and a rich estate, Aubrey’s lustful courtship quickly creates petty tension among the three generations of Prine women.

As autumn approaches all too quickly, Mary Pearl’s Wheaton College acceptance counters quick marriage preparations. Days of travel by horse and by train carry her deep into a sophisticated new world of Northern girls’ schooling. Seeking friendship but finding foes, Mary Pearl not only learns how to write, read, and draw but also how to act, dress, and be a woman. 

Light Changes Everything is the story of a resilient young feminist a century ahead of her time. Full of gumption and spirit, Mary Pearl’s evocative coming of age is destined to be the next American classic.

©2020 Nancy E. Turner (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

Critic reviews

"Turner’s satisfying, immersive, and often heart-pounding tale of one indomitable young woman’s frontier life, touched by tragedy and hope, is realistically drawn, and readers will warm to her portrayal of Mary Pearl’s chaotic but loving family life. Fans of the popular Sarah Agnes Prine novels and new readers alike will fall in love with the smart and spirited Mary Pearl." (Publishers Weekly)

"Nancy E. Turner (of the wildly popular Sarah Agnes Prine series) returns with her signature warmth and an Aunt Sarah to boot. I dare you not to be charmed by this sweet tale of a woman finding her way at the dawn of a new century. Light Changes Everything illuminates the heart of an American family and highlights its historic glow." (Sarah McCoy, New York Times best-selling author of Marilla of Green Gables)

"I was captivated from the start by Mary Pearl's independence and grit, and I loved the strong thread of family loyalty that knits together her far-flung adventures throughout the Arizona territory, up to Chicago for art school, and down to Mexico for revenge. I was thrilled by her moments of bravery and moved to tears by her losses. As I turned the last page, I felt I was saying goodbye to a real friend rather than closing the book on a fictional character, so vividly did Nancy Turner portray her remarkable heroine." (Kim van Alkemade, New York Times best-selling author of Orphan #8 and Bachelor Girl)

What listeners say about Light Changes Everything

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  • Martha Madani
  • 14-11-20

Terrible Pronunciation of Southwest terms

I have loved all of Nancy E Turner’s books and looked forward to listening to the audio version of this book. Being a fifth generation Arizona native, I love to hear stories of the old Southwest. I always imagine how my grandparents and great grandparents would’ve dealt with running a ranch during the late 1800s. The slight twang and drawl of the narrator sounded fake and the pronunciation a very southwest terms such as Javelina, saguaro, cholla, ocatillo, Cienega river, etc all but ruined the story for me. I’m shocked that Turner approved this narration since she is a Southwest native.

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  • Emilee
  • 21-09-20

Disappointed

I might have liked it more if I had read it. The reader ruined this book for me. She mispronounced words, and used this awful annoying valley girl voice for a few characters that just grated my nerves, and her voice for Brodie made him sound like an idiot. But also the story itself was not in line with any of the previous Prine novels, I had to just think if it as a totally separate book that had nothing to do with Sarah Prine or I couldn't finish it. Disappointed.

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  • J. Clark
  • 12-02-20

Great story, mediocre narration

Love this series, but narrator needs to learn how to pronounce words every Arizonan knows!

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  • From Oregon
  • 21-01-20

One of my all-time favorite authors does it again!

What an amazing story! I am always so impressed with Turner's creativity and spunk when reading! I didn't know that Light Changes Everything was a continuation of These Is My Words until reading into the first couple of chapters. I was delighted though because it was like catching up with old friends. In fact, it was the first book I have ever cried when reading. Well done Nancy E. Turner!!!

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  • Kristy Roser Nuttall
  • 19-10-21

Fantastic story full of heart

This story is very well written and the voice of the main character is so authentic. I loved how the author captured the raw beauty of the Arizona territory. My only concern is that the narrator could not pronounce the Spanish words in the story very well and she mispronounced the name of the town of Eagar, Arizona at the end.

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  • Kristina L.
  • 11-10-21

What a great read!

Absolutely loved this book! It was chosen in my book club and I really enjoyed it!!

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  • Karla TajimaAmazon Customer
  • 05-06-21

Light Changes Everything

Loved it. A great Western Woman coming of age. Descriptive writing made it easy to visualize

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  • Pamela
  • 29-05-21

Such a great book

I am an Arizona cowgirl and this book was food for my soul. I loved every minute of it and am sad there is not a sequel. Nancy Turner please write more!

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  • R York
  • 25-04-21

Wonderful, just wonderful!

I could hardly stop listening to this book . The characters were familiar because I had read Nancy E. Turner’s previous works but that is not necessary to enjoy thus one . Light Changes Everything is a great addition to the story of the Prine’s and is excellent on its own. The narrator is SUPERB!

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  • Zach
  • 05-03-21

Light changes Everything

I enjoyed listening to this book! I seriously finished listening to it in 2 days after work. The author pulled you into the story and characters right away.