Classically trained pianist and singer Natalie Curtis isolated herself for five years after a breakdown just before she was to debut with the New York Philharmonic. Guilt-ridden and songless, Natalie can’t seem to recapture the joy music once brought her. In 1902, her brother invites her to join him in the West to search for healing. What she finds are songs she’d never before encountered—the haunting melodies, rhythms, and stories of Native Americans.
But their music is under attack. The US government’s Code of Offenses prohibits American’s indigenous people from singing, dancing, or speaking their own languages as the powers that be insist on assimilation. Natalie makes it her mission not only to document these songs before they disappear but to appeal to President Teddy Roosevelt himself, who is the only man with the power to repeal the unjust law. Will she succeed and step into a new song . . . and a new future?
Award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick weaves yet another lyrical tale based on a true story that will keep readers captivated to the very end.
“Another enthralling work of historical fiction inspired by real events. Kirkpatrick’s portrayal of Natalie’s fight for equality and cultural preservation will resonate with readers.” —Publishers Weekly
“A very interesting and informative story about a little known but very important author and champion of indigenous people.”—Evangelical Church Library Association (more here)
“A fascinating, expertly researched and vividly presented period piece, The Healing of Natalie Curtis is highly recommended.” —Midwest Book Reviews (more here)
“This tale focuses on resiliency … Reflective and informative.”—Booklist
“You will find yourself drawn in by the story of Natalie Curtis, an early twentieth-century musical prodigy nearly broken by the rigid conventions of her era, who leaves her loving but somewhat smothering New York family to travel with her brother through the wild expanses of the American Southwest. Curtis finds her health, her voice, and her calling in recording the music of the Southwest’s Native cultures, and determinedly fighting for their rights. Fair warning: once you begin this compelling tale, you won’t be able to put it down.” – Susan J. Tweit, author of Bless the Birds: Living with Love in a Time of Dying
“Jane Kirkpatrick presents us with talented musician Natalie Curtis, a woman broken by the very thing she loved, in search of hope and healing yet extending both to those Native singers her path inevitably crosses. Natalie grows across these pages to be a heroine worth rooting for—all the more because this story is true.” – Lori Benton, award-winning author of Burning Sky, Mountain Laurel, and Shiloh
- Finalist, 2022, Western Writers of America Spur Awards, Best Western Historical Novel
- Finalist, 2021, Women in Writing the West, WILLA Award, Historical Novel category
Interested in discovering more about Jane’s writing process for this book? Click here to watch the video!
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