Saturday, October 9, 2021

Review: The Healing of Natalie Curtis by Jane Kirkpatrick



She came to the West for rest . . . what she found was a passion.

Classically trained pianist and singer Natalie Curtis can't seem to recapture the joy that 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 America's Indigenous people from singing, dancing, or speaking their own languages. 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.

Award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick weaves a lyrical novel based on a true story that captivates to the very end.

My Thoughts:

I was not sure what kind of story I should expect when I started this novel. What I got was a mesmerizing story about Natalie Curtis, who was a real person and her efforts to help preserve Native American culture, specifically their music and songs.

I found this story to be fascinating, that Natalie had a had a breakdown in her career, enduring health problems, decides to go with her brother George out West and learn more about the tribes and help them if she could. Especially in regards to some very unfair laws that the government had set up to basically to get rid of their customs and individuality, instead of just absorbing their culture with the American one. These type of arbitrary rules reminded of how the English treated the Scottish.

I went along with Natalie on her adventure and saw how she was getting better. I enjoyed the respect and love that she and her siblings had towards their parents, even though their mother could sometimes be overbearing and protective. As a mother myself, I understood. This was an adventure I didn't know I needed into the pages of history of a little known woman named Natalie Curtis and traveled out west with her. Great author notes at the end as well.

I was provided a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author:

Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling and award-winning author or contributor to thirty-nine books, including Something Worth Doing, One More River to Cross, A Name of Her Own, All Together in One PlaceA Light in the WildernessThe Memory WeaverThis Road We Traveled, and A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. Her works have won the WILLA Literary Award, the Carol Award for Historical Fiction, the 2016 Will Rogers Gold Medallion Award and 2021 Silver award. They have been short-listed for the Christy, Oregon Book Awards, and the Spur Awards. A clinical social worker and former consultant to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Early Childhood programs, Jane now divides her time between Bend, Oregon, and Rancho Mirage, California, with her husband, Jerry, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Caesar. Learn more at

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