Posted by: greenveggie@dihs | November 30, 2011

Mysteries of Her Dakota Sioux Ancestor

Have you ever wondered where your ancestors came from, how they lived, or what had happened in their life? This book, Legacy, written by a bestseller author of romance novels, Danielle Steel, is about a young Sioux girl and her descendant who tries to unravel the mysteries of her. Not only about history, but also about love and family relationship, this centuries-spanning novel really fascinated me and probably for many other people, too.

The book starts at where Brigitte, the main character of this book, gets dumped by her boyfriend of six years and gets laid off from her job in the admissions office in Boston University, which she had been working at for eleven years. Having nothing to do, Brigitte agreed to help her mother who was working on their family genealogy, a study of family ancestries and histories. Although she wasn’t eager to do the boring and steady research at first, she gradually got into it after she made a stunning discovery. One of her ancestors was a daughter of a Dakota Sioux chief, named Wachiwi, who somehow got to France and married a marquis before the French Revolution in the late 1700s. At that time, it was unusual for Native Americans to go to another continent or marry white people. Brigitte decides to go to France to find more about her, and one by one, she unearths the mysteries and romance of Wachiwi.

Overall, this book was very intriguing, although it was predictable and had many repetative parts. The plot and setting were well written and very unique. I liked the idea of a young Indian Sioux girl going to France which was totally a new world to her and even marrying a man with different culture who speaks foreign language in that period. Right now, going to a foreign country and even international marriage isn’t an unusual thing to do, but in late 1700s, it was very unusual. This is a fiction book, but it made me really into Wachiwi’s world. In addition, I liked how the book went back and forth from Brigitte’s story to Wachiwi’s because it made me view the whole story from two different points. Also, it was interesting to see how the characters changed throughout the book. Above all, Brigitte changed the most. At first, I thought she was a boring person who keeps regretting herself for spending her past years vaguely, but as finding the clues of Wachiwi with the help of other people, she became a stronger, braver, and charming woman like Wachiwi.

Also, I was surprised to find out that like the Family History Library in Utah from the book, there are places that preserve uncountable amounts of genealogical records of various people and are open to the public with no charge. The book will definitely make you interested in family genealogy.

More than half of this book is about romance, so I recommend it mostly to girls, but I think people who are interested in European and American history and genealogy would love it, too. This book has a slow start, so it might make you think it is boring at first, but somehow, it won’t make you put it down. This is truly a mesmerizing novel!

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