Tuesday, November 19, 2013

One Thousand White Women

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

Historical fiction.

*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.

My Opinion:
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."

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