Becca's Reviews > One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd

One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus
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Mar 26, 11

bookshelves: historic-fiction, book-club, speculative-fiction
Recommended to Becca by: Elizabeth
Read from March 15 to 25, 2011

I tend not to rest my estimation of the quality of a book on unsavory elements included, understanding that violence is sometimes necessary for realism, plot, theme or character development. However, in this case, Fergus abandoned realism and character integrity early on, stretching his historic setting with unrealistic and misplaced values (which I hesitate to call feminism, for reasons that I'll get to.) Therefore, there is little excuse for the repeated sexual assault scenes, especially given that Fergus seemed to expect the reader to casually forgive the assailants as easily as his protagonists did. (So easily that the narrator, who was expected to be a reliable, sympathetic narrator, refers to the rape of another character as "nonconsensual" in scare quotes.)

Similarly, there is little excuse for Fergus' rampant use of the N-word. It's supposed to be a historic piece? Thanks, I got that without the casual slurs. I don't agree with censoring (or self-censoring) literature, but if you're going to be throwing around loaded words/scenarios, do it for a reason.

Fantastic idea. Execution lacking.
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