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~DOWNLOAD ♇ One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd ♴ Based on an actual historical event, One Thousand White Women tells the story in diary and letter form of a young woman, who in , travels to the American West to marry Little Wolf, the chief of the Cheyenne nation First let me say, it seems among GR readers that this book stinks And I get the criticism, I do However, I have to say that I found this an enjoyable read Yes, the voice of Ms Dodd, our heroine, protagonist, would be feminist well sort of pseudo feminist does sound20th Century and less like a believable 19th Century even modern woman but honestly, it kind of made the bookreadable to me I have no interest in hearing a modern writer trying to trifle through old English in a First let me say, it seems among GR readers that this book stinks And I get the criticism, I do However, I have to say that I found this an enjoyable read Yes, the voice of Ms Dodd, our heroine, protagonist, would be feminist well sort of pseudo feminist does sound20th Century and less like a believable 19th Century even modern woman but honestly, it kind of made the bookreadable to me I have no interest in hearing a modern writer trying to trifle through old English in a book written in a journal format The way it s constructed, this book would have been excruciating if our heroine pondered in her diary speaking like a languid Victorian bore.In addition, since the plot centers around an outlandish concept One Thousand 19th Century White Women would volunteer i.e live such miserable suffering yet comparatively privileged lives that they would run to live amongst Native Americans is kind of preposterous Soooo given that liberty Jim Fergus took, I just decided to sit back and enjoy the ride And I found it a fun ride It s a pretty fast read, he tries to make her a strong, independent character and tries to tell a story that demonstrates the complex clashing of cultures I appreciated the effort and although it s not the best historical fiction I ve read, it was one of the most original concepts I have seen tackled Mary Dodd s crime was falling in love with a common man After being committed to an insane asylumshe was given the opportunity to escape by enlisting in the BFI program Brides for Indians a secret government program This program NEVER REALLY HAPPENED IN OUR HISTORY..the idea was tossed around and tossed out FOR DAMN GOOD REASONS So the MAJORITY of this book is FICTION I read 98 pages then skipped around reading then jumped ahead and read the last 50 pages which includ Mary Dodd s crime was falling in love with a common man After being committed to an insane asylumshe was given the opportunity to escape by enlisting in the BFI program Brides for Indians a secret government program This program NEVER REALLY HAPPENED IN OUR HISTORY..the idea was tossed around and tossed out FOR DAMN GOOD REASONS So the MAJORITY of this book is FICTION I read 98 pages then skipped around reading then jumped ahead and read the last 50 pages which included the Epilogue, and an interview with the author I ve decided to call it quits I read enough I was forcing myself too much to invest my time and heart I had enough when our FICTIONAL Mary turned very red in the face Oh Captain, Mary asked in a whisper, How could I refuse you GIFT OFFER If anyone here on Goodreads in the United States wants to read this book I m happy to mail you my copy It s still NEW It was sent to me by St Martin s Press.but since I just wasn t really connecting with the writing storytelling of this book somebody else might I m happy to cover the postage and send it to another reader who wants to give this book a better chance than I did Many Thanks to St.Martin I m sorry I couldn t get into this book but I appreciate your sending it to me Thanks for all that you do to support authors and readers I like historical fiction I appreciate writers who take the time to research their stories well I like to think that I m catching up on some of the history I missed as the same time as enjoying a good read I like journals and memoirs And I jump at the chance to see history from the perspective of those who are usually written out of the history books So I was quite enthusiastic when I heard about this novel which is written in the form of the journal of a nineteenth century Yankee woman liv I like historical fiction I appreciate writers who take the time to research their stories well I like to think that I m catching up on some of the history I missed as the same time as enjoying a good read I like journals and memoirs And I jump at the chance to see history from the perspective of those who are usually written out of the history books So I was quite enthusiastic when I heard about this novel which is written in the form of the journal of a nineteenth century Yankee woman living among the Cheyenne.But it s not well written Fergus may be a good journalist, and I can imagine him in his study, surrounded by charts showing the timeline of significant events of the period, trying to incorporate them into his story But he s not much of a novelist, and he doesn t even begin to inhabit the voice of his protagonist May Dodd is never convincing not as a woman, not as a gently reared member of the upper class, not as the survivor of abduction and incarceration in a brutal insane asylum, not as a rape survivor There s no depth to her emotions, her actions are incongrous and even her language seems stilted, and worse, anachronistic.The other characters are no better, a range of stereotypes from the alcoholic faded Southern belle to the ian former slave Jeez I guess you can tell that I m somewhat disappointed by this I don t usually bother to say much about books I didn t like, but this one annoys me because it could have been so much better I bet it was a best seller, too Ah well Once upon a time, there was an Cheyenne chief called Little Wolf and a drunken US President named Ulysses S Grant After Grant made a horrible fool of himself by being a white guy, Little Wolf was like, Look, we re matrilineal, so why not just let us have some white ladies to marry and procreate with We don t even need cool white ladies You can give us the nice ugly ones And the pretty crazy ones But not the crazy ugly ones because that seems like a bit much And thus the Brides for India Once upon a time, there was an Cheyenne chief called Little Wolf and a drunken US President named Ulysses S Grant After Grant made a horrible fool of himself by being a white guy, Little Wolf was like, Look, we re matrilineal, so why not just let us have some white ladies to marry and procreate with We don t even need cool white ladies You can give us the nice ugly ones And the pretty crazy ones But not the crazy ugly ones because that seems like a bit much And thus the Brides for Indians project, or BFI, was born Except not really It was apparently proposed, but seeing as the US government was A not really inclined to marrying its women not even the crazies and the uglies off to a nation fighting a losing battle and B largely made up of bigots who wanted to exterminate the Indians vs procreating with them, the BFI project didn t exactly pan out The question Fergus asks is you know What if it did And what if we found the journals of a super sassy lady who happened to marry a Cheyenne chief Thus, One Thousand White Women is born The Good Look, you gotta admit this is a pretty sweet premise To me, at least I may be biased, though, as the adoption of Caucasians by Indian tribes particularly Caucasian females is one of my pet interests at the moment Same goes for the lives of Indian women Also, much of One Thousand White Women takes place in a stretch of America that I used to call home ish so yes I m biased.Long story short good premise, decent writing And by decent I mean, the actual prose quality isn t bad Doesn t mean it s especially good The BadAnd that decent prose It works structurally, but logistically speaking So much of this book doesn t read like a journal There s a lot of word for word dialogue, which normally I would be able to let go, but May also seems to insist on giving each foreign or Southern character an accent That doesn t ring true, especially in cases of Southern Belle Daisy Lovelace yes, that is her name and Swiss immigrant Gretchen Fathauer yes, that is her name.Let me try to think ofthings that are less ugly and just bad Oh, yeah That ending Not to spoil anything, but One Thousand White Women has the sort of ending that makes you think the author had a Dances with Wolves type of movie in mind Or something It was totally unearned, and leaves the reader feeling like Fergus thought he had the next Great American Novel on the horizon.Here s a spoiler alert he didn t.The UglyOkay So we have a dude writing the tales of women in a pre feminist setting.Audience Ooooh winces The odds are already not in his favor Might I add that this is a WHITE dude writing the tales of women AND Indians in a pre feminist, Manifest Destiny era setting Audience OH SNAP eye twitch Yeah It turns out about as well as you d expect.Lemme talk about what I know best first lady business Fergus s mid nineteenth century women, particularly our narrator, are about as real as Pamela Anderson s tits But while I have nothing against Pamela Anderson s tits and wish them on their merry way, Fergus executes something actively offensive.It feels like he thinks he s writing women well But these ladies barely fit a twenty first century setting, let alone a story that takes place right after the end of the Civil War Fergus is a rape happy kind of author, which is problematic in itself, particularly when that rape is so repeatedly written by a male To make matters worse, his ladies barely react May Dodd is raped repeatedly during her year and a half stint in an asylum yet she sort of mentions it, goes on her merry way And that s less than fifty pages into the book.But oh, there sI just don t want to spoil it for you Because I know that if there s one thing I and my fellow ladies love in our fiction, it s some good, old fashioned sexual assault Especially the kind that s repeated Over and over Luckily, our heroines bounce back with next to no issues Phew The one woman who does act traumatized after being raped is an antagonist and treated as a sort of pathetic wimp All that aside, there s just so much that doesn t seem authentic I can buy that women like May would be willing to marry Indians to get out of a bad situation I can t buy that May before the novel s events was willing, as a fairly aristocratic young woman, to live in sin She says that she has no inclination towards marriage She s also agnostic Um, what All of this happens with little soul searching And that would be okay If she d been raised in a culture where this was at all acceptable.There s also the problem of sexuality of the consensual kind One young lady loses her virginity doggy style a style she d never heard of to a man she didn t know didn t speak the language of and acts like this is the best thing ever Again, in the nineteenth century Also, she s white was raised in the typical white society of the day Um Oh, but of course These ladies were written by men, and are thus somewhat wish fulfillment y Don t ya love that I feel as if I ve written enough about Fergus s inability to write women What about his inability to write other ethnicities and cultures Okay, okay Fellow white people first Because you d at least think that Fergus could get his white people somewhat right Right Nope.Swiss Gretchen says a lot of I yam and de and she s basically an ugly milkmaid who talks about her big titties a lot The Irish twins Meggie and Susie are former prostitutes and general betters and their last name is Kelly and OH Southern belle Daisy Lovelace remember that name says racial slurs all the time and boozes it up and Poor man s Blanche DuBois, is that you But, as usual, the non white people get the short end of the stick The token black lady the novel s title and Little Wolf s specifications of white women notwithstanding is the daughter of an African princess who runs around naked and chuckles a lot She will be a slave to no man Never again So she somehow convinces the Indians, who valued the separate but equal system of gender roles greatly, to let her do a man s work Never mind that woman s work was not considered slavery by the Indians, but whatever As if that wasn t stereotypical enough for you, we re given the Cheyenne Little Wolf is the strong silent type whose relationship with May gets basically zero development He s basically a noble savage except for when he drinks whiskey The whiskey swilling main villain of the novel is half white, half Indian Was that supposed to make a point, or does it totally defeat it I m not sure Maybe Fergus isn t, either Wow That s original.Noble savagery abounds The Indians don t know how to have non doggy style sex or kiss or anything But wow, they sure do make nice buckskin dresses And greasepaint I m just waiting for them to tell May to paint with all the colors of the wind.And hey They re letting Helen Flight, the bird obsessed artist whose name is totally not significant, paint shit Wow, Indians You sure are cool.Towards the end of the novel, May manages to pull the wool over their eyes Little Wolf s in particular as all the white people nod knowingly Because remember Indians are naive creatures They don t know what s best for themselves They only know magic And dancing And doggy style White people know the important stuff.This seems like a minor thing to mention, but May, who is totally gorgeous and has the pretty Indian name of Swallow while her friend gets Falling Down Woman or whatever, has this brief fling with a white dude that is supposed to be a passionate romance But he s a total douche who barely gets any age time and it s not I don t know if that had a point either.The VerdictHell I m not sure if the book did This is somewhat erroneously in my read shelf I did not finish reading it, so keep that in mind as far as this review goes I applaud the author s project historical fiction disguised as history proper I tend to love things like that , it is a well researched story told via the faux journals of a 19th century white woman who went to live among the Cheyenne My problem with this book is essentially that I did not ever buy the voice in which it is told this problem has two tiers First, it This is somewhat erroneously in my read shelf I did not finish reading it, so keep that in mind as far as this review goes I applaud the author s project historical fiction disguised as history proper I tend to love things like that , it is a well researched story told via the faux journals of a 19th century white woman who went to live among the Cheyenne My problem with this book is essentially that I did not ever buy the voice in which it is told this problem has two tiers First, it is supposedly a 19th century journal and the author tries to convey the 19th century ness by frequent use of vocabulary like perforce , however what marks an actual primary source from a specific time period is not merely vocabulary but the nature of observation That is, you know you re dealing with an historical document, often, not merely by how the author tells the story what words he she uses but what he she chooses to include in the story in the first place I simply could never forget that I was reading a 21st century person s somewhat inexpert attempt at what a 19th century person would sound like in a personal journal and what they d choose to include Associated with this is tier two of my general dislike of this book I could also not forget that I was not reading a woman s journal, but a man s idea of what a woman would write in her journal Now, I applaud the author for attempting such a thing I wishmen would try to crawl into the heads of women I just don t think this author quite was up to the task A for effort, but I could not make myself finish this book If this book was not assigned to me for my book club, I wouldn t have wasted my time to read it Not only is Fergus novel, overly sentimental, historically inaccurate, misogynistic, it is racist towards Native Americans AND it s all told in my least favorite method of narration the journal entry Chapters will often begin with, So much has happened since my last entry, I don t know where to begin This is an easy tool to push time forward, and overdone in poorly written novels Fergus n If this book was not assigned to me for my book club, I wouldn t have wasted my time to read it Not only is Fergus novel, overly sentimental, historically inaccurate, misogynistic, it is racist towards Native Americans AND it s all told in my least favorite method of narration the journal entry Chapters will often begin with, So much has happened since my last entry, I don t know where to begin This is an easy tool to push time forward, and overdone in poorly written novels Fergus novel was chosen for the Doubleday Book Club, which means that publishers have no idea what women read It s true that women are the main demographic in Book Clubs, but that doesn t mean that we only want to read women survival stories, let alone one poorly written by a man At a peace conference at Fort Laramie in 1854, a prominent northern Cheyenne Chief requested of the US army the gift of one thousand white women as brides for his young warriors.Although this was an actual historical event, the story of May Dodd and her journals is entirely a work of fiction by the author.The Cheyenne s request was not well received by the white authorities, and the peace conference collapsed and the Cheyenne s were actually sent home.The white women did not go But in this nove At a peace conference at Fort Laramie in 1854, a prominent northern Cheyenne Chief requested of the US army the gift of one thousand white women as brides for his young warriors.Although this was an actual historical event, the story of May Dodd and her journals is entirely a work of fiction by the author.The Cheyenne s request was not well received by the white authorities, and the peace conference collapsed and the Cheyenne s were actually sent home.The white women did not go But in this novel they do..and what if What would have happened The story begins with a remarkable woman named May Dodd who travels west into the unknown and marries the Chief of the Cheyenne Nation.May Dodd tells her story through fictional diaries of the fate she left behind being committed to an insane asylum, having her babies taken away from her by her blueblood family for the crime of loving a man without marriage and beneath her station May s only hope for freedom is to sign up to a secret government program where women from the civilized world become brides to the Cheyenne warriors What follows is a breathtaking adventure of May Dodd, her brief but passionate romance with the gallant Army Captain John Bourke, her marriage to the great Chief Little Wolf and her conflict of being caught between not only two worlds but loving two men and living two lives.What I liked about this story, was May Dodd was an incredible woman living in her time and the author did a splendid job writing from the perspective of a woman with such credibility told through her journals.There was enough historical backdrop details without it becoming over detailed so that it took away from the story characters The secondary characters the women May travelled with was also well done and balanced so that they too weren t distracting from May s story, and the bond that grew with these women was also neatly woven within the telling.When I picked up this book,I thought it would be a dry as the prairie that they travelled on and on kinda book Not so A fantastic tale of the Old West and the Native American Indians, a superb tale of sorrow, loss, sacrifice, suspense, and most of all love and triumph And it s not often when a book leaves this reader eagerly waiting to turn the next page to find out what will happen next.Highly recommend this book and I m looking forward to this authors sequel Edit to review Due to the historical time period this story was set inand although not in graphic detail,there are scenes of violence,rape and other subject matter that may not appeal to some readers Author I have this book I want to publish.Publisher Okay, let me make sure it has what we are looking for in a book After all, the bulk of your previous writing experience appears to be for an outdoors magazine Correct Author Yes that is correct.Publisher Okay, is your book an attempt to write from a woman s point of view Author Yes Publisher Fantastic, do you have the slightest clue or insight into women s thoughts or emotions Author Nope.Publisher Great Is your book riddled with wom Author I have this book I want to publish.Publisher Okay, let me make sure it has what we are looking for in a book After all, the bulk of your previous writing experience appears to be for an outdoors magazine Correct Author Yes that is correct.Publisher Okay, is your book an attempt to write from a woman s point of view Author Yes Publisher Fantastic, do you have the slightest clue or insight into women s thoughts or emotions Author Nope.Publisher Great Is your book riddled with women being raped Author As a matter of fact, yes.Publisher This is great Do you have these rape victims getting all sad, depressed and shutting down emotionally and physically Author Why no The protagonist gets raped for several years in a mental institution, then decides to participate in the Brides for Indians program, and is excited and not at all concerned about sleeping with other men along the way She even gets raped in the Brides for Indians programs In fact all the rape victims in my book bounce back with nary an emotional scratch None of that oh poor rape victim me mentality in this book.Publisher Wonderful, wonderful We needstories that tell women to suck up rape.Author I couldn t agree.Publisher Do you use the word perforce at least 10 times throughout the book Author Oh Don t you know it, I just learned that word and I think it makes me sound smart.Publisher Alright, so far so good, onequestion Author Hit me.Publisher Do you assign a bunch of the main female characters flimsy ethinicities so you can write their dialogue in tired dialect and accents Author Oh hell yea I have a southern belle, a German, two Irish chicks and a frenchy All covered.Publisher WE NEED TO GET THIS BOOK TO THE MASSES Dear author, have you ever met a woman Do you really think that we rebound from rape as quickly and easily as the women in your book You are what is wrong with society Stick to writing about kayaks and extreme snowboarding or whatever the heck it is you write about in your insulated little sportsman world.Oh, and onething, nobody used the word pregnant back then You re an idiot If I were a member of the Cheyenne tribe featured in this book, my Indian name would be Couldn t Finish The Book If Jim Fergus were a member of the tribe, his Indian name would be Has Never Spoken To A Woman For Any Amount Of Time because really Oh, and the Indian name of this book would be Fail Order Brides.I will start off by saying that I ve never been a fan of historical fiction or books written as journals, but the premise of this book piqued my interest I wasn t even slightly put off If I were a member of the Cheyenne tribe featured in this book, my Indian name would be Couldn t Finish The Book If Jim Fergus were a member of the tribe, his Indian name would be Has Never Spoken To A Woman For Any Amount Of Time because really Oh, and the Indian name of this book would be Fail Order Brides.I will start off by saying that I ve never been a fan of historical fiction or books written as journals, but the premise of this book piqued my interest I wasn t even slightly put off by the idea of a man writing as a woman until I started reading, clearly the author has never had a conversation with a woman It also seems like he didn t spend much time researching the social s of that time I m thinking he spent most of his time coming up with stereotypes and trying to see how many times he could use the N word.If I were a betting woman, I would say that Jim Fergus is a comic book and or fan fic fan because the narrator, May Dodd, is the biggest Mary Sue EVER, she s the prettiest I know this not because there was any description of her, but because, from her descriptions, all of the other women were gargoyles she stands up to authority, mouths off to everyone, all the men love and respect her and she ends up with the only good Indian name My iPod says I m 40% in and I tried tried tried, but I really couldn t finish As interesting as the premise was, there wasn t a single character I didn t dislike