Bestselling author Jim Fergus to hold Neptune Beach book signing

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Bestselling author Jim Fergus will be at The BookMark Saturday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. to discuss and sign copies of his long-awaited new novel, “The Vengeance of Mothers: The Journals of Margaret Kelly & Molly McGill.”

The author of several fiction and nonfiction books, Fergus has had his work featured in numerous national magazines and newspapers. His novel “One Thousand White Women” (1998) won Best Book of the West and has sold over 1 million copies both in the U.S. and France. Almost 20 years later, Fergus now continues the intriguing tale of the U.S. government's controversial, assimilation-oriented “Brides for Indians” program in his new novel.

The story begins in March 1876 with the diary of Margaret Kelly, an Irish lass who, along with her sister, Susie, married Cheyenne warriors and became immersed in the tribe's culture. When the sisters’ village was attacked by the U.S. Army, they both lost their husbands and baby daughters.

When a fresh contingent of white women arrives, Maggie and Susie are enlisted to help integrate them into native life. The newcomers include Molly McGill, who had been imprisoned at Sing Sing for murdering the man who killed her daughter. She starts her own diary, and in chapters alternating between her voice and Maggie's, Fergus recreates all that happened leading up to the Battle of the Little Bighorn that June, including how the Kelly sisters finally avenge the loss of their babies. It's a gripping talea history lesson infused with both sadness at the violence perpetuated against the Cheyenne and awe at the endurance of this remarkable group of women.

The BookMark is located at 220 First St. in Neptune Beach. For more information about the event, call (904) 241-9026.

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