Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for A Daughter of A Daughter of A Queen by Sarah Bird. Thank you to Clare Maurer from St. Martin’s Press for reaching out to me to be a part of this! For my stop, I’ll be reviewing this book (this is my honest opinion), so please enjoy!
Set during the American Civil War and then later, the involvement of the Union Army in the settling of the West, this historical fiction follows Cathy Williams, a former slave who was the only woman to serve with the Buffalo Soldiers.
The action in this story begins right away as Cathy is taken from her plantation by Philip Sheridan of the Union Army and recruited to work as a cook’s assistant. Vowing to one day be reunited with her mother and younger sister, Cathy is outspoken, hard-working, and also finds herself constantly being mistaken as a man(due to her rather masculine features) and after the war is over, this does serve as a vehicle for Cathy to disguise herself and head out west with the Calvary. I have to say I appreciated this story existing because this story is worth telling about this remarkable woman. As with all historical fiction, there is a mix of facts, and some creative liberties taken by the author.
I must admit, the book was excruciatingly slow in the first half. That’s not to say that it was boring necessarily, but the action didn’t really kick in until the latter part of the book. Though she managed to wiggle out of trouble, for the most part, you could feel her time slipping away the further you read. There’s a feeling of certainty that all of her well-crafted plans are going to come tumbling down like a house of cards at any moment. What I couldn’t appreciate was that in this story was how two black soldiers were very intelligent and the others were made to appear as dumb black ex-slaves. Also, I really disliked how the story portrayed the Native Americans, they were plain savages to be rid of.
I think it is important to note the book was written by a white woman as that will come as a disappointment to some readers who think this is a story that should be told by a person of color. Reading this or not reading this book is just a choice you will have to make for yourself.