Library Journal Review
Fergus continues his reimagining of the American West in the 1870s in this follow-up to One Thousand White Women, which was inspired by a historic proposal (never carried out) to send white women west to marry Cheyenne men. The story is told through the journals of women involved in the "Brides-for-Indians" program; Meggie Kelly, the Irish wife of a Cheyenne warrior, and Molly McGill, a murderess who joins the program to escape a life sentence in Sing Sing. Both mothers, Meggie and Molly have lost children in acts of violence. The women channel their grief by training to be warriors and vowing for vengeance. -VERDICT Readers sensitive to racial, ethnic, and gender stereotypes will find no enjoyment here, as the author ignores the more interesting stories of the Cheyenne and Lakota women who appear on the margins. However, fans of the TV show Hell on Wheels might find the novel of interest.-Emily -Hamstra, Seattle © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Set in the 1880s, Fergus's follow-up to his bestselling One Thousand White Women focuses on the women who fell in love with Cheyenne men during a vicious war between the United States government and the indigenous population. Told through two alternating journals that cover the same time period, the book begins with the logs of Margaret Kelly, who-along with her sister, Susie-was part of the Wives for Indians program that sent "undesirable" women from prisons and asylums to marry Native Americans as a means to encourage assimilation. The second journal is that of Molly McGill, another woman sent to marry into the Cheyenne tribe. But when Molly arrives in the West, the program is virtually defunct, and the group of Cheyenne she was sent to meet is now on the run. After their village is destroyed by U.S. soldiers in a raid that leaves their children and husbands dead, Margaret and Susie are overwhelmed with a desire for revenge and refuse to leave the Cheyenne. Meanwhile, Molly and the other women sent west must either return to imprisonment or make a life for themselves in the face of extreme violence and danger. Although historically accurate, the book's reliance on the journal form leads to long monologues that read as wooden and redundant. However, the book starts quickly, bringing readers immediately into the time and place, and fans looking for adventure during the time of the Oregon Trail will find some thrills. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.