At a peace conference at Fort Laramie in 1854,a prominet 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 goverment 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 increditable 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 traveled with) was also well done and balanced so that they too werent 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 traveled on kinda book. Not so! A fantastic tale of the Old West and the Native American Indians,a surperb tale of sorrow,loss,sacrifice,suspence,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 Im looking forward to this authors other book
The Wild Girl
Edit to review: Due to the historical time period this story was set in
and although not in graphic detail,there are scenes of violence,rape and other subject matter that may not appeal to some readers.