A path-breaking work . . . Bouvier's meticulous research and careful analysis bring a feminine perspective to a wide range of practices and beliefs, abuses and accommodations across national borders. She deals with the general and the particular, yielding wholly original insights. Bouvier writes clearly and dispassionately about previously untold incidents, as well as such standards as the Anza expedition, native conversion, and resistance. These events now make sense in a way they never did before. This book helps break the code of silence' that has long impacted California history.
—Journal of the West
The book is an impressive accomplishment, and it deserves wide readership. . . . a notable contribution to the history of California. It deepens our understanding of what early California was actually like for all its inhabitants.
—California Mission Studies Association
Bouvier makes singularly important contributions to our knowledge and understanding of the centrality of gender, sexuality, women, and violence to the ideologies and politics of conquest. Her book should be required reading in multiple fields of history, in Women's Studies, and in other interdisciplinary fields. Only then will the silence be broken.
—Catholic Historical Review
Her goal has not simply been to write women into the story, but to overturn the long-held fiction that the settlement and conquest of Spain's territories was the work of men alone. . . . A very informative, clearly written, and lively study.