by Jim Fergus

Reviewer Rating:
5

Review

Exquisite.  

We follow May Dodd as she moves through the various stages of her adult life.  As with many defiant, independent, unruly or just inconvenient daughters and wives back in the day, May Dodd finds herself declared mentally insane and institutionalized by her own family.  Forcibly taken from her home, separated from her life's love, and stripped of her children, she is carted away without explanation.  As she endures being terrorized by inept mental professionals and abusive orderlies, she finds herself presented with a rather unique opportunity for freedom.  In desperation, she seizes the chance to travel out west and become a wife to a Cheyenne Indian.  A new government program has made a deal with Chief Little Wolf.  1,000 horses for 1,000 white women.  These women, the Chief hopes, will help assimilate members of his tribe to the white community.  This will help ensure their survival.  The U.S. Government finds it much easier to solicit volunteers for their new program by approaching those who do not currently enjoy the usual liberties.  Officials begin interviewing female patients held in asylums similar to the one May Dodd is in and those in women's prison facilities.  This provides for a rather eclectic band of ladies.

This is a magnificently written story, so vivid and so compelling that it is completely plausible.  Through the journals penned by Ms. Dodd, we find humans can be both reprehensible and remarkable creatures.  Adventures, curiosities, fears, kindnesses, loves and romances abound as two polar opposites come together to learn, befriend, and accept.  The question is, as their lives intertwine, can they?  I truly miss May and her fellow patriots. There is unbelievable beauty and unspeakable horror in these pages  and it is bound to become a classic.

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