NoSauce Book Review - One Thousand White Women - The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the premise of this book. It reminded me some of the Clan of the Cave Bear - where are I just wanted to hear about Ayala assimilating with the Clan and adapting to their very different ways.
Based on a partially true story, I was eager to start reading this Historical Fiction. The protagonist, May Dodd is a woman that everyone can relate to. Born into privilege in the late 1800’s, she falls in love with a man in a lower class. She leaves her family to go be with him - which causes her family to put her against her wishes in a insane asylum for promiscuity. In order to get out, she agrees to the government’s secret plan to get the Cheyenne Indian’s assimilate to the new ways of the world, including sharing or giving up their land. In this plan, President Grant agrees to give the Cheyenne Indians 1000 white women for brides in exchange for 1000 horses. The plan is to create almost a new race with the babies that are half Indian and half American to blend the races together.
May Dodd is impulsive and head strong, but yet caring and compassionate. As she becomes a natural leader amongst all the women in this secret government project - Brides for Indians - she shows that she is strong, but not to the point of being unbreakable.
I loved hearing how she beat the system to get out of the asylum to get involved with this project. I loved hearing about her first trials and tribulations of living on the midwestern plains with the American Indians - learning the language, and the culture, as well as trying to teach them what she could about the culture of the “White Man”.
However this book towards the end really slowed down. It took so long to get the the climax of the story it sort of lost momentum along the way. I thought it was a good book - and I was very involved in the beginning - but the end soured it for me just a little.
3 out of 5 stars.