The Wild Girl: The Notebooks of Ned Giles, 1932 - Jim Fergus This was a local reading group selection. Our group all enjoyed "One Thousand White Women" which is why we decided to splurge on the author's trade sized follow-up. We're usually to cheap and after reading this we all decided never to do it again.

The beginning of the story immediately throws you into the past where a young Apache girl (the "Wild" Girl named in the title) has just lost everything familiar to her in the most brutal of ways imaginable. The story then shifts gears and dishes up some more brutality as we meet a young man who has recently lost both of his parents. Heartbroken and seeking adventure, he leaves everything behind to join a band of rich men on a mission to locate a boy rumored to have been kidnapped by the Apache a few years earlier.

I didn't enjoy this story nearly as much as I did One Thousand White Women. It was interesting enough but marred by too many stereotypes and what seemed to me very modern thinking characters for a historical novel. The flamboyant Tolley, for starters, was way too over-the-top for the time period. There were several phrases spattered throughout the book that seemed very modern as well. Of course, I was lazy and didn't take notes and can't remember them now but they took me right out of the book and made me pause while reading.

The storyline was interesting and very, very brutal and though bits of humor were woven within it was mostly a very gloomy book. I was left feeling depressed and sad for everyone involved. I sure won't be reading this one again anytime soon.