April 10, 2016

One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus - Review

Published: 1998
Number of pages: 302
Genre: Historical Fiction 

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.

What did I think of this book:
This book was a little slow starting for me but I kept on reading it as I wanted to like it. I have to say I did enjoy it. For me it was a good book but not a great book. It had a lot of interesting things in it and I learned about another part of our countries history. In my opinion a bad part of history. I do not liked what our government did to the Indians by taking their land from them and placing them on reservations. It was also just not right to make promises to them and then not keep them. You think that you should feel sorry to these women being given by the government to go live in the untamed prairies with people they knew nothing about, but I believe these women ended up having better lives by leaving the "white man's world" and going to live among the Cheyenne. I refuse to call them savages as was done way back then because they were not savages but rather a group of people just trying to live their life and stay safe. The author did a good job in his research and really made the characters come to life on the pages. I liked the way he wrote May's story in a diary form as it made it a lot easier to read. I loved hearing all the stories of her time with her Cheyenne family. I am glad I stuck with it and finished the book. 

About the author:
Jim Fergus is a former freelance writer who has published hundreds of articles in dozens of regional and national magazines and newspapers. He is the author of four novels, and two books of nonfiction. His bestselling novel, ONE THOUSAND WHITE WOMEN, won the Mountain and Plains Booksellers association Fiction of the Year Award, and continues to be a favorite selection of book clubs and reading groups across the country. The French translation - MILLE FEMMES BLANCHES - won the "Best First Foreign Novel" award in France, and has sold over 400,000 copies in that country. Fergus's most recent novel, THE MEMORY OF LOVE was published in November, 2013.

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