Friday, January 29, 2010

One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd

Pin It
This was such a random book for me to read.  My Mom gave it to me and told me I should read it and so I stuck it in my TBR pile and didn't think I would get to it any time soon.  Then a few days later I picked it up off my coffee table and read the first couple pages and I was intrigued.  What intrigued me was that One Thousand White Women is a fictional "what if" story.  Apparently, in 1875 (and this is actual history) the Chief of a Cheyenne Indian tribe came to Washington DC and asked President Ulysses S. Grant to trade 1,000 white women as brides for 1,000 wild horses.  The logic behind the Chief's grand idea was that the babies born of these women would be more accepted into the white race there for bridging the gap between the whites and the Indians  Though sound logic, (um no) Grant said no (I would hope with no hesitation).  But, One Thousand White Women is the fictional account of what happened had he said yes.  

This story unfolds through the journals of one of the women that volunteered to become an Indian "Bride".  Her name is May Dodd, and the reason she decided to leave her Chicago home for the wild wild west is because her family had her committed to an asylum for being promiscuous (oh the horror).  After a few brutal and medicated months in the asylum a man from the government came and asked her if she would like to join the "Brides for Indians" program, a government experiment.  She was to join a handful of women and head out to the wilderness to become the wife of a Cheyenne Indian for 2 years and bear him some children.  After the 2 years were up she was free to go and do whatever she liked.  May thought that this was her chance at freedom so she jumped on board and headed out on the first train west.  She meets the other "brides" on her journey to the camp and befriends them all (and boy are they a group of great characters).  Eventually they end up at their new homes and through the next few months they acclimate to the new rough lifestyle, become super close to each other as well as their new Cheyenne families, fall in love with their "husbands", and realize they are pawns in some very shady political games.

Though I thought this book was good I didn't think it was great.  I don't know that I would recommend it to a ton of people (maybe if you were interested in Native American culture it would be a good read for you).  It was entertaining to say the least but I didn't feel the urge to pick it up like I do when I read other books (must be why it took me all crappen' month to read the dag on thing).  But I did feel that it was worth finishing.  I thought it was pretty predictable, there wasn't many surprises, and there was little to no suspense.  I felt like I was reading the Abridged version of this book (I wasn't I checked) because I wanted more details, I felt like we needed to hear a little more about some events that happened during their stay with the tribe.  Over all I thought the book was just an average read.

BOOK vs. MOVIE: Lets just say that if I was flipping through channels on the TV and came across this as a Hallmark Movie I would probably stop and watch, but if it came out on the big screen I probably wouldn't drop the $8.50 for the ticket and the other $12,000 on candy and popcorn. :)

RATING: 3 Stars

3 More Reviews on One Thousand White Women:

One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd  by Jim Fergus
ISBN 9780312199432
Pages 304

If you liked this book then read: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell


  1. I read this a few months ago! I, like you, would have never thought to read it and I think I picked it for an NBC challenge or something.

  2. Great Review! This book sounds interesting. I don't know if it would be my type of book or not though. I guess I could give it a try. You know, after I make it through my considerably long book list. Haha.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog. I've had a couple people randomly fly off my blog roll too. Weird. Luckily it wasn't yours. It was actually one of the few non book related blogs. Okay I'm leaving the longest comment ever. Sorry.

  3. :) Jazz, very strange. Blogger glitch I suppose. I would recommend adding it to your book list only for the fact of the unique plot line. Then report back to me on your thoughts, I'd love to get another opinion.

    Sweetteandtheredsox, What did you think about the book? Did you like it?

    Thanks for the fab comments!

  4. Hey, Lauren - I read (and reviewed) this last year & pretty much came to the same conclusion as you! Several of my reading buddies were very disappointed that I didn't like it more. Have you read Follow the River? I loved that one - similar story, but much more of a page turner.

  5. Elisabeth, I haven't read Follow the River but I will have to put it on my long TBR list! THanks for the suggestion.

  6. Thank you for visiting my blog! I really like yours, too :-) I started this book, but it's one I actually had to put down because I could not read any further. I feel like the racism was so painful to read that I just didn't want to go any further. I think I may be the only one I know who felt that way, though. I stopped when the main character saw two Native Americans having sex and said they did it "animal style" or something because they "didn't know any better." UGH. I was so angry.

  7. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers - best book I have ever read in my life! Read it maybe 6 times and given away at least 20 copies!! Great book, great storyline, great corallary!! Recommend without hesitation! I know this isn't about 1000 White Women which I enjoyed but did not love. I truly hope you will check out Redeeming Love! You won't be sorry!

  8. It appears that many are forgetting that the book is being writen as a journal/book. The author does a great job, in my opinion, of portraying the events of the white women's time with the Native Americans. I feel if the author kept the reader interested without too many exaggerations.

  9. I loved 1000 White Women, and as far as the racism, it is to be written in the form of journals written by an upper class white women, it is what you'd expect-not sure why that was an issue? I thought it was very interesting and detailed-GREAT characters-so interesting and unique. I would say I did love this book and do recommend it to people-which is rare for me!