One Thousand White Women

One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd
By: Jim Fergus
Published: 1998
# of pages: 320

Official description: One Thousand White Women is the story of May Dodd and a colorful assembly of pioneer women who, under the auspices of the U.S. government, travel to the western prairies in 1875 to intermarry among the Cheyenne Indians. The covert and controversial "Brides for Indians" program, launched by the administration of Ulysses S. Grant, is intended to help assimilate the Indians into the white man's world. Toward that end May and her friends embark upon the adventure of their lifetime. Jim Fergus has so vividly depicted the American West that it is as if these diaries are a capsule in time.
My opinion:  I liked that the author re-wrote history (with an explanation at the beginning).  The "historic event" he chooses is original and interesting.  If only someone else could take the same idea and write a better novel!  I didn't like the main character, May Dodd, at all.  She was hard to relate to, but also didn't seem realistic at all.  It felt like she was a modern day woman, an unfeminine modern day woman, put back in the 1800s.  I'm sure there were liberal, unconventional women in 1875, but not like May Dodd was in this novel.  I can't imagine even a modern day woman reacting the way May reacts when placed in a completely different environment, culture, and people group who don't speak the same language.  She wasn't a realistic woman, and that's what the book is about.  The physical and mental journey of white women whose lives are turned upside down.

She blasts everyone whose viewpoint isn't like her own.  That also includes Christians and I felt like Fergus realized he'd been too harsh and then included a Christian character that May likes at the end.  The reader doesn't get to know that character well, so it was odd when he seemed to be an important character at the very end.  Once again, I just felt like it was an obvious way for Fergus to pacify anyone he may have offended.

Most of all, I felt that it would have been better if there had been a different ending.  Since Fergus was rewriting history, couldn't he have rewritten history?  I think that would have been really neat.

Why I gave this book 2/5 stars:  Original story, interesting (and hopefully accurate!) facts about the Cheyenne history and culture in the late 1800s, unbelievable main character, too many unrealistic viewpoints for that period of history.

Other reviews:
Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.

posted under , |

No comments:

Newer Post Older Post Home


About Me

My photo
Wife, mother, bookworm.
This is a place where you can read book reviews, discover links, and learn about the reading challenges in which I'm taking part.


my read shelf:
Andrea's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

Annual Goal

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Andrea has read 0 books toward her goal of 60 books.

Recent Comments