Saturday, 17 October 2015

One Thousand White Women - Jim Fergus

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.

REVIEW:  I think this book might have been so much better without all the cliches. It's unnecessary for accents to be prominent throughout the entire text of a novel, and it becomes really grating. An injection here and there is fine, but when the whole dialogue is in accented English, it is an all too easy way for an author to circumvent layering the characters enough where we can hear their voices without their accents being written phonetically. Additionally, red-headed and fiery Irish ladies, a hefty Eastern European, and an African-American who just so happens to marry a black's just too much pandering to stereotypes.

The fictional premise was fantastic, but the book is ultimately let down by its prose. Still, it's entertaining and I have recommended it to other readers.


Amazon Link: One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd

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