My ignorance is incredibly embarrassing sometimes but, yet, I still feel the need to share.
My entire knowledge and opinion of Native American indians is derived from one singular experience in my life; watching "Dances with Wolves" in my 7th grade American History class.
I suppose I learned about American Indians from textbooks while in school. I vaguely remember making feather hats and discussing the importance of American Indians during Thanksgiving.
I don't really remember all of those specifics though, all I really remember is the all the scalping and hollering in that dang movie during that fateful week of 7th grade. I solidly formed my opinion then, that Indians were bad, savage and ugly. I felt it very strongly that all Native Americans were barbaric savages. What can I say? I was 12. I could not fathom why one would kill someone so brutally simply because they pulled a wagon across a big field of nothing, never mind trails of tears or that the wagon was heaped with hides.
Obviously, I'm a bit more seasoned now, a smidge wiser and certainly less naive. Not that I have been ravenous to learn any additional information about Native Americans, but I get the tragedy of it all in a way that my 7th grader brain could not have grasped.
So fast-forward to this book, which I have coincidentally read while listening to Thirteen Moons: A Novel, and get that I was astonishingly interested, delighted and awed by Christina's background and subsequent story. In fact, I loved the prologue, her background and her introduction/reaction to the ton. An English born "princess", raised by Native Americans and thrust upon society at the age of 18 after learning 2 languages, manners and an entirely new culture in two years? I would have never read a book whose jacket touted my heroine as 'raised by indians'. Julie Garwood, bless her, opened a new window for me. In fact, she ripped those shutters right off.
Truly, this was a very well-crafted book. It held intrigue without all of the angst that is typically found in books with a revenge-ish plot. We did not have to plod through the tense voice of the villain. Save Aunt Patricia, who really just spat a lot ugliness, could never really gain an ally to make her sinister. what we are left therefore, is a love-story forged from pretense but nevertheless unfolded and grew despite confusing and difficult differences.
Swoonworthy moment: "Then marry me. Now,"
And if you want to know why that is so delicious, you'll just have to read it for yourself.