What an eye opening fictional journey to Dakota Territory! Sofia, Russian by birth, and teaching French at a New York women’s college, is convinced that her soon-to-be senator is about to propose to her. She makes her way through the crowd just in time to hear him announce her room mate as his betrothed. The stunned and embarrassed Sofia signs up to become a missionary, and expects to be sent to China. Her assignment sends her to Dakota Territory, where we come to meet the Ponca Tribe.
I learned about how the government treated our own native people in school, but this book brought the story and the hardships to life. I wanted to reach through the book and shake the governmental forces and agents who brought such a proud people to the brink of destruction. Throughout the story, you meet people and their stories, and you are brought right to the time and place with rich descriptions of the hardships and triumphs. Sofia is spunky and not afraid to put herself in harms way to do her missionary work.
Once the story got going, I was afraid that the “love story” would detract from the real story of the people, but it added a very nice complement to a hardship story. Once Sofia meets the Ponca, she works tirelessly to try and help them.
I really enjoyed this book, it was difficult to read some parts, simply because the hardships were real. But, as a historical fiction, it was a great read.
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