Although this book is not an actual history book... It is an historical novel in the style of Nancy E Turner. If you have read Sarahs Quilt and liked it.... then you will love One Thousand White Women.
The author, Jim Fergus, knows the country and the history of the American West and its native people. This book is a chronicle of the Old West in way that helps you live in that time period. You are not reading a historic representation of the times, but living with the people of the times.
One Thousand White Women is a story of sorrow. You will be completely engaged by the characters in the book and learn the personalities and quirks of each one. It is always an emotional roller coaster for me, when a beloved character dies... especially if that death is particularly violent.
But... the times were violent and this fact should always be remembered.
Jim Fergus envelopes us into the heart and minds of each character and their everyday lives. You will find mourning, and courage throughout. The main character is Mary Dodd, she is fictional of course, but seems to be a blend of Sacajawea and Anne Okley.
Mary Dodd keeps a running journal or diary for us all to read. It is personal and probably was never meant to be shared. Although, at times, she writes letters to her lost children and distant family in this diary, we know that Mary never expected them to be read.
One thousand white women are promised to the Cheyenne nation and Mary Dodd is one of them. She along with her companions share this adventure with dread and camaraderie. Their is jealousy, cattiness and emotional ties that seem to bind these women through all perils.
Each woman is married off to a "savage" to bear a child. The idea was that these children would better assimilate into the white mans world. Of course, this idea was doomed from the beginning, and yet these women had made a commitment and stuck to the plan.
The years that are chronicled in Mary Dodd's diary will transport the reader to another time and place. This is one of those books that you will never want to end. It is also one of those books that gives the reader pause thinking about the wisdom of our government.