Grant is at first shocked and disgusted by Little Wolf’s proposition, but he has to admit that the idea makes sense. Since, in the Cheyenne culture, children belong to the tribes of their mothers, Little Wolf sees the “Brides for Indians” program as the best chance to assimilate his people peacefully into the white culture that seems destined to overwhelm his own. Grant, on his part, hopes that the women can influence their husbands into accepting, or at least tolerating, white ways and religions to the point that open warfare with the tribe can be avoided. Thus is born the secret “Brides for Indians” program, a program that will require Grant’s people to scour mental institutions, debtors’ prisons, and other jails and prisons in search of the one thousand women needed for Grant to meet his part of the bargain.
May Dodd, resident of a Chicago mental institution, is one of the first women recruited to go west to meet her new Indian husband. May has been institutionalized by her father for the unpardonable sin of bearing two children out of wedlock to a man beneath her social status. To her father’s way of thinking, no woman in her right mind could do such a thing – his daughter has to be insane. Rather than spend the rest of her life locked up, May, ever the adventurer, leaps at the chance to regain her freedom by becoming an Indian bride for the required two-year commitment.
|Author Jim Fergus|
The audio version of One Thousand White Women is read by Laura Hicks who does a remarkable job with the various accents and languages she has to deal with: two of the characters are Irish, one is Swiss, one is from the Deep South, one is an ex-slave, and some are French. Hicks handles all of these accents well, in addition to voicing a believable version of the Cheyenne language. This one should appeal to a variety of readers, among them: alternate history fans, western fans, and those who enjoy feminist novels with especially strong female characters.
Rated at: 5.0