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 lifetimes.
Author Jim Fergus has so vividly depicted the American West that it is as if these diaries are a capsule in time.
©1998 Jim Fergus; (P)2006 BBC Audiobooks America
"Fergus lets his imagination go wild and creates a journal of one of his ancestors who became one of those brides in 1875. Laura Hicks renders this imaginative work splendidly. She is vivacious and expressive as May Dodd." (Audiofile)
I loved every minute of this book. It seemed so real. When I first started listening a realized it would be a reading of a journal, I was mad at myself for not being more careful in selecting it. I've read other "journal" books in the past and didn't enjoy the presentation. This one is different. The story just flows along keeping you entertained every minute. The ending was well done and gave "closure" to the story.
This was a book club choice and everyone loved it! Such an entertaining adventure with sadness, friendship, love and personal growth for the women. This book will make you laugh and cry! Don't miss it.
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
Generally I really enjoyed this fictional messianic tale of a group of white women traded to the "savages" in the 1870s to assimilate them to the white culture. The story is told through the journal/diary of May Dodd, who became the de facto leader among the white women on this journey. It kept my interest, and while I predicted the ending early in the book, I still enjoyed the trip to get there.
While I think the premise of the story was good, it was obvious to me that in parts it was a man's fantasy imagining a woman's fantasy which I found a little insulting.
All I can say is that I am from those white women. I grew up in Nebraska. I was surprised there was no mention of the rattle snakes. They were always all over the place. It is such a rugged territory. Back then, just as the book says, it was "uncivilized". No porta-potties." anywhere to be seen.
I am grateful to have spent my youth there. I am now 65 years old. This book did, indeed help me to know and understand , not only my own beginnings, but how the United States came to be. Not all of it swathed in honor.
Thanks, a good book and a good listen.
This book is an okay listen. The main character annoyed me with her superior attitude. She was always the best, the prettiest, the wittiest, the toughest....the best at everything. You also wonder which parts of this story are "historic" and which ones are "fiction." I think that what they say about an Indian leader going to Washington to offer this deal is true, but some were even questioning if that part even happened. It is interesting to listen to and if one narrator read this which I think she did, then she did a great job with voices/accents. You want to keep reading to see what happens to these women once they marry the Indian tribe members. It is a good book. Nothing to write home about. Not super eloquent,but entertaining.
I listened because my book club selected it but it was a pleasant surprise...engaging, would recommmend it. The cowboys vs the indians from another point of view...
the book was not. This could have been an interesting historical novel. It was written like a bad romance with unlikely characters. There is an unusual amount of repitition of scenes and lines. I couldn't decide if it was poor writing or poor editing. Definitly not for anyone interested in the history of Native Americans.
but too much tragedy for me.
40 white women live with a group of Cheyenne Indians in 1875. It’s educational about how the Indians lived. It was a hard painful life. Yet there was happiness, friendship and love among the women and Indians. But, the reader knows bad things are coming. You knew the whites killed buffalo to destroy the Indians’ food. You knew the lands would be taken from Indians and the Indians forced onto reservations.
There were more tragic events. Before going to the Indians, May fell in love with someone her father did not like. So the father put May in an insane asylum. It was solitary confinement in a dark cell. She was periodically raped by a worker. She also suffered torture treatments ordered by the doctor.
There is repeated rape of a young black slave girl and two rape scenes of white women. No details were shown, but we see feelings and fears of the victims.
A couple falls in love but can’t be together. Women and babies were killed.
During most of the story, I was interested and engaged. The negatives I mentioned were a small part of the story, but they were what stayed with me afterwards. I did not feel good at the end. But I liked the Epilogue where the narrator told what happened to various characters and how they lived and eventually died. There was some feel good to that, but not all feel good.
This is fiction, but it feels like nonfiction. It is told in first person, reading the journals of May Dodd. At the end it is told by someone else in first person about what happened after the end of the journals. (For the record, I don’t like first person. I prefer third person.)
The audiobook narrators Laura Hicks and Erik Steele were excellent.
Narrative mode: 1st person.
Genre: western historical fiction.
Don't waste your time. I gave it one star because they won't let you give zero stars. I read this book because it was this month's book for our book club. When we met it was clear that no one enjoyed it and even the person who had suggested it to the club was perplexed as to why it was highly rated. It is more like a romance novel, and not a good one at that, than an historical fiction. The writing was weak. He had limited descriptive range, for example, every time he talks about an indian they are "nut brown" and one character is always "a sight to behold" There was no subtlety.
I wouldn't even take this one as a beach read
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