My goal is to read 100 books by the end of 2013. I just finished book 80.
One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus
*The actual historical event*: At a peace conference in 1854, a North Cheyenne chief requested that the U.S. Army provide one thousand white women as brides for his warriors; they reasoned this would be a good way to assimilate the Indians into Western civilization. The request was denied.
*In the book*: The request was approved. May Dodd chooses to participate in the secret government program to escape her family after being committed to an insane asylum for loving a man beneath her station. The story follows her journey west, her marriage to Little Wolf, and her conflict between two loves and two worlds.
May Dodd is an excellent narrator because she is romantic and dramatic but also straightforward and honest. The author has a very descriptive writing style; even the act of squatting to urinate was given poetic phrasing ("for the place I occupy on earth is no more permanent than the water I now make, absorbed by the sandy soil, dried instantly by the constant prairie wind...").
The ending was a bit abrupt but I understand the reasons why and the epilogue helped wrap everything up.
This is a solid book and I will read other books by the author.
Quote from the Book:
"Frankly, from the way I have been treated by the so-called 'civilized' people in my life, I rather look forward to residency among the savages."