Favorite Daughter

Written by Paula Margulies
Review by Heidi Fuqua

Favorite Daughter is about a young Virginian Indian princess named Pocahontas, when Captain John Smith first enters her tribe’s life. Pocahontas is a lively girl and, along with the rest of her tribe, she is curious about the English newcomers. The story shows that while she was a favourite of her father, he still used her as a political tool. While he does not force her to marry a man she does not want, he encourages a marriage to a young man who will bring the tribe advantages. When John Smith is captured and brought to the tribal village, Pocahontas saves his life and becomes the person her father relies on to obtain the gifts these newcomers have promised in exchange for food. Pocahontas is fascinated by John Smith, but she has difficulty getting him to keep those promises.

I enjoyed reading the novel. The author portrays a young woman who is making decisions about her life. We often view women from the past as unable to do so without the help of a man, but Pocahontas is quite the opposite, she influences her tribe’s policy with the newcomers. The narrative is a reminder that cultures that we assume to have been primitive were more advanced than we give them credit for. The members of the tribe cannot understand why a group of individuals who were clearly struggling to survive would devote so many resources to looking for something the natives knew was not in the area – gold.

Margulies has done her research, and she includes a glossary of terms at the end of the book. Overall, this is good read, and I hope I will have the opportunity to review the sequel of the series when it comes out. The e-book edition was reviewed.