Sunday, April 13, 2008
33. "One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd" - Jim Fergus
In the 1854, the Cheyenne people asked the United States government for 1,000 white women as brides to prove positive relations between the two "nations." Of course the chief, Little Wolf, was refused with disgust.
What if his request had been accepted? This novel explores the possibility of women sent to the Cheyenne for the simple purpose of baby-makin'. Women are released from prisons and hard labor, shamed existences and insane asylums. May Dodd, the narrator of these faux diaries, shares the women's adventurous tale.
If you can believe that women would happily comply to this test, and if you can believe that the Cheyenne men would be content with these strange women, and *if* you can believe the rest of the Cheyenne women and children would be okay with such an agreement, then you will enjoy the story. The characters are bold and memorable, even if the plot is a bit predictable.
But there's that "if."
I had difficulty letting go of my disbelief, mainly concerning the Cheyenne males. The women storm in on rituals and interrupt personal time with no reaction from the men other than grunts of disapproval. I didn't buy it.
Still, it's well researched and entertaining, which can be enough for some readers, like me on a stormy Saturday.
2.9 out of 5.0 Prairie Chickens.