Where ‘Once Upon A Time’ Failed, Paula Margulies succeeds!
I confess to being somewhat obsessed with ABC’s ‘Once Upon A Time’ series. It’s my daughter’s fault, she knew I’d love it. It’s about fairytale characters who were cursed out of their magical forest kingdom and who have to live in the modern-day US.
Characters include a kick-ass Snow White, a werewolf Little Red Riding Hood, and a brilliantly-played Rumpelstiltskin. Like many people, though, I’m disappointed that they haven’t [yet?!] included Pocahontas as a character. Perhaps it’s because she was a real historical person, not just a Disney princess (Mulan made the cut though).
Author Paula Margulies has gone a long way to satisfy public demand for more on Pocahontas though. Her new book, Favorite Daughter, Part One, provides a new spin on the popular story. The book is set in the time of the Jamestown settlement and tells the story of Chief Powhatan’s daughter, Pocahontas, as she prepares to take her place as one of our nation’s earliest leading women.
Wonderfully told in the first person, Favorite Daughter, Part One provides a very personal look at Pocahontas’ life.
When I asked Paula about her motivation for writing about Pocahontas, she said: “I’ve always been fascinated by the Pocahontas story and have often wondered what it was like for her to witness the arrival of the strangers in her tribal village.”
Paula went on to explain that her research unearthed some controversies. “I learned that many Native Americans believe her story was much different – and slightly darker – than what was reported by John Smith and the other colonists. I decided it would be intriguing to tell the tale from her perspective, in her own voice, so that we could experience the story from a new point of view. She matures into a heroine of tremendous nobility, courage, and heart.”
I asked Paula if she is of Native American descent. “No, both of my parents are of Italian descent. But my father, Douglas Roccaforte, loved Native American history and was a collector of American Indian artifacts, so I grew up with a deep appreciation of Native American culture and history.”
Paula told me that she tries to go to as many local Native American pow wows as she can. Living in in the San Diego area, that’s not too difficult, as there are quite a few held locally.
Back to the book. I think it’s a wonderful idea to write the Pocahontas story using her own voice and it brings the story to life in a new and compelling way. I’m part-way through the book and will provide a full review when I’ve finished it. I’m enjoying it too much to analyze it just yet!
PS Paula isn’t just a brilliant novelist, she’s also a well-known book publicist.