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The Healing of Natalie Curtis

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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 be 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.


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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 be 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.

30 review for The Healing of Natalie Curtis

  1. 4 out of 5

    Deanne Patterson

    First of all this is one of the most beautiful covers I have seen in some time. It greatly reminds me of my time spent living in Yuma,Arizona. What I love about this author's work is she brings to the forefront people from history we may have never heard of or have been long forgotten. This story is remarkable and based on the true story of Natalie Curtis. This is a very intelligent woman, a woman who is classically trained singer and pianist . The joy goes out of her life though when she has a bre First of all this is one of the most beautiful covers I have seen in some time. It greatly reminds me of my time spent living in Yuma,Arizona. What I love about this author's work is she brings to the forefront people from history we may have never heard of or have been long forgotten. This story is remarkable and based on the true story of Natalie Curtis. This is a very intelligent woman, a woman who is classically trained singer and pianist . The joy goes out of her life though when she has a breakdown before she can fulfill a life's dream. Travelling with her brother seeking healing she discovers the Native Americans and their haunting melodies, rhythms, and stories. As she realizes the unjust restrictions on these American indigenous people from singing, dancing, or speaking their own languages all in the name of assimilation. She appeals to President Roosevelt, he is the only one with the authority to repeal this unjust law. Will he have the interest in this matter or just brush her off? Fascinating subject matter! Pub Date 07 Sep 2021 I was given a complimentary copy of this book. Thank you. All opinions expressed are my own.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Natalie and her family lived in a nice home with servants in the Boston area. George, the oldest brother and the best friend that Natalie has, just returned from a working trip to the Western States. He wants to take Natalie back to help her heal. She was a trained pianist who had a breakdown just before her debut with the New York Philharmonic. She lost her love of music and has kept herself isolated for the last five years. George thinks that taking her out West for a visit will renew her love Natalie and her family lived in a nice home with servants in the Boston area. George, the oldest brother and the best friend that Natalie has, just returned from a working trip to the Western States. He wants to take Natalie back to help her heal. She was a trained pianist who had a breakdown just before her debut with the New York Philharmonic. She lost her love of music and has kept herself isolated for the last five years. George thinks that taking her out West for a visit will renew her love of life and her music. Their parents were reluctant for her to make the trip but she felt like at her age - in her late 20s - she could make that decision herself. Her love of music begins to return when she is mesmerized by the music of the Indians. She wants to hear more but at that time, the tribes were not allowed to sing their own songs and rely on their tribal customs. The Indian affairs bureau was trying to make them into Americans. Instead of allowing them to continue following their customs, they were punished if they sang or danced or even spoke their own language. When Natalie hears the music, she knows that it needs to be preserved before it is forgotten so she begins to record the music of various tribes. She becomes a strong advocate on keeping Indian history alive and even meets with the President of the US to get his support. She also wrote a book about her travels and became a popular speaker in the East. She found herself and her love of music again through all of the work she did with the Indians. I haven't read many books about the American Indians in the early 1900s so I found this book very informational and interesting. It went into a lot of detail about the customs of the tribes living in the west - their pottery, their food and mostly their music. It's apparent that the author did considerable research on the subject and presented a story based on real people at a time that the west was changing. Be sure to read the Author's notes at the end to find out about the real people - especially Natalie and her brother George that the book is based on. Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kirby

    I read my first novel by Jane Kirkpatrick last year, and unfortunately, it wasn't one I ended up enjoying. I was really wanting to give another one of her books a try, and I thought this one sounded interesting. Unfortunately, I ended up disliking this one even more than I did the first one, and as such, I've come to the conclusion that I don't think her books are for me. I do want to start this review off by saying that I greatly appreciated the insane amounts of research the author much have do I read my first novel by Jane Kirkpatrick last year, and unfortunately, it wasn't one I ended up enjoying. I was really wanting to give another one of her books a try, and I thought this one sounded interesting. Unfortunately, I ended up disliking this one even more than I did the first one, and as such, I've come to the conclusion that I don't think her books are for me. I do want to start this review off by saying that I greatly appreciated the insane amounts of research the author much have done to present Natalie's story authentically and accurately. You can easily tell of the the author's love for the character, the time period, and the cause that Natalie is championing, as it all comes across easily to the reader. I'm also impressed by the way Jane Kirkpatrick takes it upon herself to tell the life story of so many women who have changed and/or fought for change in history, and it's definitely a unique approach to storytelling. That being said, I really didn't enjoy this book at all. I thought it was extremely boring, and hard to muddle through, and it honestly reads more like a history textbook than it does an actual novel. In particular, the second half really drags along, and I found myself having to skim certain sections just to make it through, and that's not a normal occurrence for me. I also felt the characters weren't well developed, and as such, the only one I really ended up caring about was George. In many instances, Natalie comes across as almost rude and selfish, and she wasn't my favorite character to have to read about. Perhaps, though, my least favorite part of all was that I really have no idea why this book was labeled Christian fiction. Faith plays next to no part of the story, and Natalie's references to many of the "spiritual" practices throughout the story really didn't seem to be referring to Jesus at all, and instead seemed to be almost referring to a non personal deity. It kind of rubbed me the wrong way, and I remember an offhanded thought that Natalie has about how music has become her religion. It definitely wasn't what I was expecting from a Christian read, and it was a little off putting. That being said, if you're looking for a detailed, clean biographical style of historical story, then maybe this is the book you're looking for. It just unfortunately wasn't what I was expecting, and isn't one I will see myself rereading or recommending in the future. Final Rating: 2/5. Thanks so much to Revell Publishing for allowing me to read and review this. I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher (Revell) as part of the Revell Reads Blogger Program in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lifeofliterature

    What a fascinating story! I really like how Jane Kirkpatrick typically writes stories that are based on true historical characters. Natalie Curtis is an incredible woman who was passionate about the indigenous Native Americans. This book contains great depth as Natalie faces great trials, but also develops tenacity as she fights for what she believes in. I enjoyed reading about her personal journey and thought the author did a good job of giving us a fictional perspective of this amazing woman. What a fascinating story! I really like how Jane Kirkpatrick typically writes stories that are based on true historical characters. Natalie Curtis is an incredible woman who was passionate about the indigenous Native Americans. This book contains great depth as Natalie faces great trials, but also develops tenacity as she fights for what she believes in. I enjoyed reading about her personal journey and thought the author did a good job of giving us a fictional perspective of this amazing woman. I did think parts of the story were a little slow and occasionally this read more as non-fiction than fiction, but I think that the book is well written and worth reading. I think that if you like novels that focus on the history and the story, then this book is for you! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    3.5 stars "The Indian music had made Natalie resilient again, not the fragile woman she'd been. 'The Indians Book' was her hymn for life, to return to living. There would be times ahead when she would question her toughness, but she would remember the combining of the fired clay and the new, and that together they offered both beauty and strength." This is no ordinary story. Natalie Curtis was an amazing woman with a passion for conservation, and a determination to preserve the arts; using her vo 3.5 stars "The Indian music had made Natalie resilient again, not the fragile woman she'd been. 'The Indians Book' was her hymn for life, to return to living. There would be times ahead when she would question her toughness, but she would remember the combining of the fired clay and the new, and that together they offered both beauty and strength." This is no ordinary story. Natalie Curtis was an amazing woman with a passion for conservation, and a determination to preserve the arts; using her voice for the voiceless, she was committed to capturing for all eternity the beauty of the Native American culture through its music. Truly a woman nearly a century before her time, Natalie accomplished great things for entire nations of our country's indigenous peoples. But, Natalie wasn't always so strong. In fact, following a physical and mental breakdown as a young prodigious musician, she nearly succumbed to her inner distress before following her brother out West, where she regained purpose. This book traces that journey back to wholeness. Looking back on this story, it becomes apparent that the book's greatest strength is also its great weakness; reading more like a memoir than a story, its rich detail and careful recording of people, places and events becomes a bit tedious and at times fairly redundant. Is it a story worth telling, you might ask? Absolutely. For like Natalie, we should all be able to answer the Yuma woman's three healing questions, "When was the last time you sang? When was the last time you danced? When was the last time you told your story?" This author deserves high commendation for penning hours of research onto the page, bringing this courageous woman back into the limelight for a new generation to admire. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The opinions stated above are entirely my own.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kris - My Novelesque Life

    RATING: 2.5 STARS The Healing of Natalie Curtis is my second novel by Jane Kirkpatrick. The first novel I read (this year, I believe, was Something Worth Doing. I love the synopsis of both these books, hence requesting them, and that they are based on true history of particular women. I also enjoy that these are not based on WWI or WWII or steeped in romance like many historical novels at the moment. The research that Kirkpatrick does for her novels is amazing. I truly appreciate how much time sh RATING: 2.5 STARS The Healing of Natalie Curtis is my second novel by Jane Kirkpatrick. The first novel I read (this year, I believe, was Something Worth Doing. I love the synopsis of both these books, hence requesting them, and that they are based on true history of particular women. I also enjoy that these are not based on WWI or WWII or steeped in romance like many historical novels at the moment. The research that Kirkpatrick does for her novels is amazing. I truly appreciate how much time she must have spent, but unfortunately, all the detail makes it into the book. I felt like at times the story would drag just to add historical setting. At times the emotions, and character interactions are a bit dull which cause the reading to be dry. Like many other reviewers have said, it reads more like a textbook than a novel. I also saw that many don't find that this novel really fits the genre of Christian fiction. I am not an expert in that at all. I think of the genre as cozier reads so that is my main reason for picking them up. I do think this will be the last book by Jane Kirkpatrick for me as I find reading these in physical form a bit laborious. I definitely pushed myself to finish. ***I received a complimentary copy of this trade paperbackfrom the publisher. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.***

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    Thank you to LibraryThing for this ARC. I have never read much fiction nor non-fiction of Native Americans and I found it interesting. So many tribes and their traditions. This book was enriched with many details of the songs, art, pottery, etc. Set in the early 1900s, Natalie is a former pianist who walked away from music and decided to travel with her brother George, who came home from working on a ranch. They go to Indian reservations and schools where she has children and adults sing and reco Thank you to LibraryThing for this ARC. I have never read much fiction nor non-fiction of Native Americans and I found it interesting. So many tribes and their traditions. This book was enriched with many details of the songs, art, pottery, etc. Set in the early 1900s, Natalie is a former pianist who walked away from music and decided to travel with her brother George, who came home from working on a ranch. They go to Indian reservations and schools where she has children and adults sing and record their native music. She decides to create a book and preserve for the children of the songs their grandmothers sang. As Natalie states, music opens doors, crosses canyons of time. You can tell she did a lot of research and it it is based on a true story.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Peg

    Jane Kirkpatrick is not a new author for me. I've read two of her many novels: All She Left Behind and One More River to Cross. So I was happy to get an ARC from the publisher, Revell, via a LibraryThing giveaway. All opinions are my own. This novel is inspirational historical fiction set in the early 1900's out West (New Mexico, California, etc.) Natalie Curtis was a real person who was a renowned ethnomusicologist, American Indian activist and lecturer, a singer and a classical pianist. She wor Jane Kirkpatrick is not a new author for me. I've read two of her many novels: All She Left Behind and One More River to Cross. So I was happy to get an ARC from the publisher, Revell, via a LibraryThing giveaway. All opinions are my own. This novel is inspirational historical fiction set in the early 1900's out West (New Mexico, California, etc.) Natalie Curtis was a real person who was a renowned ethnomusicologist, American Indian activist and lecturer, a singer and a classical pianist. She worked very hard for many years to preserve the Native Americans' music, customs, food, music, and art. When she found out how the U.S. Government was treating the American Indians, she felt obligated to do something to help them. She even went as far at the White House to get President Roosevelt's help. She wrote a book called The Indians' Book in 1907. She believed her book was written by the Indians and she was just a pencil in their hands. The author did a tremendous amount of research into Natalie Curtis' life and the notes at the end of this novel are very informative and interesting.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    I like reading fiction that has a basis in fact, and such was the case with “The Healing of Natalie Curtis.” Curtis is a woman in her 20s at the turn of the 20th century. She was a talented singer and pianist, until she had a breakdown of some sort and was at loose ends, living at home, for about five years. At that time, she visits her older brother George who lives out west. She encounters an Indian reservation and is horrified by some of what she sees there. The Indians aren’t allowed to sing I like reading fiction that has a basis in fact, and such was the case with “The Healing of Natalie Curtis.” Curtis is a woman in her 20s at the turn of the 20th century. She was a talented singer and pianist, until she had a breakdown of some sort and was at loose ends, living at home, for about five years. At that time, she visits her older brother George who lives out west. She encounters an Indian reservation and is horrified by some of what she sees there. The Indians aren’t allowed to sing or dance, are mandated to cut their hair, etc. Why not? The US government came up with a “Code of Offenses” which the Indians had to follow. As I read this book, I kept making so many bad parallels to the things our federal government is forcing on us today, although now it’s not just on the Indians. It really is pretty terrifying. As one Indian said, “We did as we were asked, settled an argument without violence, and then were destroyed.” Natalie hates the injustice of this and decides to do something in the form of compiling a book putting the Indian songs and dances down on paper so they will be remembered for posterity. She visits various tribes, first those out west but then also ones throughout the country. She records the Indian songs on “Edison tubes” and then (I think; this wasn’t made totally clear) transcribes the melodies into her book. She is greatly aided in all this by the fact that her family was wealthy and was acquainted with Teddy Roosevelt, who was President at the time. She meets with Roosevelt and gains him as somewhat as an ally for the cause. All of this leads to her “healing” and to her being able to function in the world again. As for this book, it was written well enough in the respect that it flowed. There were some musical errors that stood out to me as a fellow musician: the author frequently mentions a “grace rest,” which is a term I’ve never heard as a pianist. She mentions Natalie’s life “taking on a type of prelude” — ummm, I get that she was going for with a musical theme, but that particular usage doesn’t work. Natalie herself wasn’t all that likeable to me; I found her kind of overbearing and her constant apologizing for her anglo/whiteness got old fast (“White people … we don’t understand what the songs and dances mean to you. We are a brutish people sometimes”). I hope not, but somehow I could totally see her being a proponent of CRT (critical race theory) today. I did love Natalie’s wonderful brother George, and her burro Bonita (who, sadly, was fictional). The pacing of the book was very slow; I would have preferred for it to have been cut 50 pages or so. I was surprised that it was published by Christian publisher Revell as the religion promoted in the story was more the naturalistic religion of the Indians than Christianity. “There are incredible parallels between the Judeo-Christian beliefs if only the missionaries would see that, give them time instead of forcing them into the only way to see the world.” Average book overall, although I was happy to have learned about this bit of history that was new to me.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    This is one of the most tedious books I've ever read, but in spite of the slogging plot, there are necessary issues that Jane Kirkpatrick brings to the attention of her readers. Her historical novels remind me of books I've read by Irving Stone, but her way with words in this one is not quite as prosaic. That being said, there are interesting parts of this book. Natalie is a classical pianist and vocalist who has had a heartbreak that has affected her health. Her brother has lived in the dry cli This is one of the most tedious books I've ever read, but in spite of the slogging plot, there are necessary issues that Jane Kirkpatrick brings to the attention of her readers. Her historical novels remind me of books I've read by Irving Stone, but her way with words in this one is not quite as prosaic. That being said, there are interesting parts of this book. Natalie is a classical pianist and vocalist who has had a heartbreak that has affected her health. Her brother has lived in the dry climates of the southwest for a while and his health issues have been resolved due to the drier air there. Natalie goes back west with him and learns of the natives on the reservations in the southwest and the government-sanctioned deplorable conditions they are forced to live in. They are not allowed to engage in their own cultural activities, like singing and dancing. The one thing Natalie has going for her is her family's connection to President Teddy Roosevelt, whose aid she enlists in preserving the cultural treasures of the natives of the southwest. By recording the songs, Natalie is able to share the richness of the Native Americans with others who are sponsoring her work. By throwing herself into her work, she finds the healing she so desperately needs. Natalie Curtis was a real woman who spent time among the various tribes on reservations, fighting for their rights, and this book chronicles her journey to find hope and healing for herself and for the natives. Three Stars Revell Publishing and NetGalley.com provided the copy I read for this review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I really enjoy reading the books that Jane Kirkpatrick writes because they are full of historical details. The cover of this book is one of the most beautiful and unique covers I have seen. I enjoyed this book mostly in the first section of the story. I was really intrigued on what was going to happen (which Natalie was a real person and this is a real story) and I had never heard of Natalie until reading this book. Of course her life is fictionalized in this book and I found it fascinating that I really enjoy reading the books that Jane Kirkpatrick writes because they are full of historical details. The cover of this book is one of the most beautiful and unique covers I have seen. I enjoyed this book mostly in the first section of the story. I was really intrigued on what was going to happen (which Natalie was a real person and this is a real story) and I had never heard of Natalie until reading this book. Of course her life is fictionalized in this book and I found it fascinating that a woman wanted to experience the West in 1902. Let alone spend time with different Indian tribes. It really is interesting how they traveled and who they communicated with. The main part of this book is that traditional music and dancing (among many other things) was forbidden among the Indians since the country wanted to them to be just like the settlers that took over the land. They also had control because of the reservations they were put on. It really is a horrible part of the history of the America and I am glad people are writing about it. In any case while all of the historical details were very interesting the latter part of the book was really difficult to get through. Not much happens though time spans a few years. I know Kirkpatrick was writing about a real person but I really didn't love Natalie's character. So if you enjoy historical fiction this could be the book for you. I enjoyed it but it ended up not being my favorite book by Kirkpatrick. Three Stars. "I received this book from Revell for free. All opinions are my own and I was not required to write a positive review."

  12. 5 out of 5

    June Jacobs

    An early twentieth-century historical novel set in the Southwest . . . The author performed a lot of detailed research to prepare for her composition of this account of the life of the musician, author, and Native American advocate, Natalie Curtis. The author's knowledge of the subject matter shines through in every chapter as Natalie travels from her family's comfortable New York home beginning in 1902 to California, New Mexico, and Arizona. This book failed to engage me fully because it is wri An early twentieth-century historical novel set in the Southwest . . . The author performed a lot of detailed research to prepare for her composition of this account of the life of the musician, author, and Native American advocate, Natalie Curtis. The author's knowledge of the subject matter shines through in every chapter as Natalie travels from her family's comfortable New York home beginning in 1902 to California, New Mexico, and Arizona. This book failed to engage me fully because it is written more like a biography or textbook than like a novel. Much of this story was heart-wrenching to read. The treatment of the native nations was atrocious, and many episodes in this book caused me great sorrow. However, the author did a fine job of dealing with many emotional, culturally-sensitive topics to illustrate, in plain terms, what exactly happened to the indigenous peoples of the area during this period. The author gives readers a detailed account of Natalie's journey to becoming an author and an advocate of the Native American cultures of the Southwest by painting a picture of the landscape, the people, their music, and their customs and traditions that are unforgettable. As a fan of historical fiction, I enjoyed learning how these indigenous peoples survived in their harsh desert homes and built a community of caring, hard-working families who stood up against the unfair rules and regulations imposed by the American government as best they could. In my opinion, the faith thread in this book was nearly non-existent. I enjoy Revell's historical fiction especially because of the strong faith elements woven into the stories they publish. However, I felt that this particular novel did not focus on faith. I received a paperback copy of this book from Revell through Interviews & Reviews. My thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely my own. ##########################

  13. 4 out of 5

    Monica

    The Healing of Natalie Curtis by Jane Kirkpatrick has a cover that just oozes the songs of the Old West desert. Kirkpatrick's words also are beautifully written with a rhythm that drew me in to this tale. Natalie Curtis is a classically trained pianist and singer who has lost her joy of song due to some health issues and struggles. In 1902, her brother George invites Natalie to come back with him to the West. George lived out there for a few years and was healed of his asthma and he wants good t The Healing of Natalie Curtis by Jane Kirkpatrick has a cover that just oozes the songs of the Old West desert. Kirkpatrick's words also are beautifully written with a rhythm that drew me in to this tale. Natalie Curtis is a classically trained pianist and singer who has lost her joy of song due to some health issues and struggles. In 1902, her brother George invites Natalie to come back with him to the West. George lived out there for a few years and was healed of his asthma and he wants good things for Natalie too. Natalie not only enjoys the Old West but she finds a purpose for her life and both her joy and song return. I have been meaning to read a Jane Kirkpatrick book for a long time. I am so glad that I did. I enjoyed Natalie's story, which is based on a true story. I could relate to some of Natalie's struggles. I also really felt for the Native Americans and the way they were treated. I didn't feel like there was a lot of Christian content but this was a good, clean novel. My heart was touched in many ways through The Healing of Natalie Curtis. I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions within this review are my own.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cover Lover Book Review

    This book is stunning. Not only did I learn a lot about the American Indian culture of the early 1900s, (a culture I've read very little about in fiction, prior to this) but I also enjoyed seeing the hand of God work His mysterious ways for the good. Jane Kirkpatrick is a gifted storyteller, giving life to characters that feel like neighbors and that are easy to empathize and connect with. If you enjoy the healing power of music, this work of historical fiction is a must. I love that, even thoug This book is stunning. Not only did I learn a lot about the American Indian culture of the early 1900s, (a culture I've read very little about in fiction, prior to this) but I also enjoyed seeing the hand of God work His mysterious ways for the good. Jane Kirkpatrick is a gifted storyteller, giving life to characters that feel like neighbors and that are easy to empathize and connect with. If you enjoy the healing power of music, this work of historical fiction is a must. I love that, even though this story is fictionalized, Natalie Curtis was an actual musician and activist in history. The author's added flavors and the info in her notes in the back of the book is so compelling. #TheHealingOfNatalieCurtis Dɪsᴄʟᴏsᴜʀᴇ: I ʀᴇᴄᴇɪᴠᴇᴅ ᴀ ᴄᴏᴍᴘʟɪᴍᴇɴᴛᴀʀʏ ᴄᴏᴘʏ ᴏғ ᴛʜɪs ʙᴏᴏᴋ. Mʏ ʀᴇᴠɪᴇᴡ ᴡᴀs ɴᴏᴛ ɪɴғʟᴜᴇɴᴄᴇᴅ.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Judy Hardwick

    So y'all know I'm not 'into' history... but books like this just bring it all ALIVE for me! Based on a true story, the author takes us on Natalie Curtis' journey to find herself after she lost her desire for music... We are right there with her as we tag along on her adventures in The West... and champion her on as she becomes a spokesperson for Indian rights - in the early 1900s! I am so glad there are people like her in our world! You'll love the book! So y'all know I'm not 'into' history... but books like this just bring it all ALIVE for me! Based on a true story, the author takes us on Natalie Curtis' journey to find herself after she lost her desire for music... We are right there with her as we tag along on her adventures in The West... and champion her on as she becomes a spokesperson for Indian rights - in the early 1900s! I am so glad there are people like her in our world! You'll love the book!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I really enjoyed reading this book and learning more about this time period with the indigenous peoples. I enjoyed how Natalie sought to learn more about each of the different tribes and try to record their heritage. The relationship between Natalie and her brother was also so encouraging to me. Thanks so much to netgalley and the publisher for the arc. The opinions are my own.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rosalyn

    The intriguing story of Natalie Curtis and many Indian tribes, how she recorded their stories and their music Full review to come

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lenoire

    Natalie Curtis is a classically trained pianist and singer who has isolated herself for five years after having a breakdown before her debut with the New York Philharmonic.Natalie is filled with guilt and feels that she can't reclaim the joy of music. In 1902, her brother, George returns home and invites her to join him in the West to help her heal. In the West, she is able to find her love of music through the stories, songs, and rhythms of the Native Americans. As Natalie finds herself entrance Natalie Curtis is a classically trained pianist and singer who has isolated herself for five years after having a breakdown before her debut with the New York Philharmonic.Natalie is filled with guilt and feels that she can't reclaim the joy of music. In 1902, her brother, George returns home and invites her to join him in the West to help her heal. In the West, she is able to find her love of music through the stories, songs, and rhythms of the Native Americans. As Natalie finds herself entranced by their music, she is discouraged to learn that the US government has laws in place to erase the Native American's culture. The Code of Offenses prohibits them from singing, dancing, and even speaking their own language as it will help prevents them from assimilating. Natalie is determined to help document these songs and traditions to before they are erased and she appeals to President Teddy Roosevelt for help with her task. I have read quite a few books by the author and I have mixed opinions about her novels. The author uses a true story to weave a story about a woman on a conquest to help protect the Native American's culture. I like reading about her journey but, I found the writing to be dull and boring. I didn't like the writing style and it felt like I was reading a textbook. The writing style made it hard to feel connected to Natalie. I found the book to be very slow and dull for my liking. I appreciate the author's efforts to educate readers on this remarkable woman and her cause but, I didn't like the execution.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    Thank you in advance to publisher, Revell (a division of Baker Books), for providing a complimentary review copy of the book through Interviews & Reviews. A positive review was definitely not required or requested in any way; all words are my own. This was the first book I read by the author, and I have to agree with some reviewers – it can be a tedious read despite having short chapters. There is a LOT of narrative detail. Given the complexity of the novel and its ties to a historical figure, a Thank you in advance to publisher, Revell (a division of Baker Books), for providing a complimentary review copy of the book through Interviews & Reviews. A positive review was definitely not required or requested in any way; all words are my own. This was the first book I read by the author, and I have to agree with some reviewers – it can be a tedious read despite having short chapters. There is a LOT of narrative detail. Given the complexity of the novel and its ties to a historical figure, a review will be a bit on the lengthy side. I chose this because the premise sounded interesting and the cover is insanely gorgeous. Living in the Nevada desert, I can almost feel the scorching heat by looking at the cover. The rough texture of the cover is a reminder that while beautiful, things are rough and never as they appear, a metaphor for what is being told in this book by Kirkpatrick. To be honest, I had never heard of Natalie Curtis (Burlin). As a result of reading the book and doing this review, I learned quite a bit. However, there is controversy in her work and her accomplishments. The author only covers the period of 1902-1917 in this story and it is mainly centered on Natalie’s research for The Indians’ Book. The Healing of Natalie Curtis is compelling, git-wrenching, poignant, devastating. Curtis’ desire to preserve the “culture” is beautiful and inspirational, reminding us that we can be both be in and of when it comes to two separate worlds. Given the topic – this has themes of racism (towards Native Americans), forms of cruelty, some questionable terms. It does have some political tones as well. The language and dialogue are for accuracy given the time period. Most of the characters here in this book are all real characters except for: Mary Jo Brigand (Co-Owner of Bar X Ranch), Bonita (the burro), and Mina (Hopi girl at Oraibi). Since this is based on actual events, spoilers are easy to find online. This is a fictionalized account of a real story. It is told over two parts with seven (7) interludes by some real and some fictional Native narrators in what appears to be second person format. The chapters are always from Natalie’s POV in third person. The story begins in 1902 as Natalie is “recovering”. Apparently, Natalie suffered a mental breakdown that severed her lifelong connection with performing, which is revealed in the author’s notes in the back. Readers will have to read the notes to get the entirety of the story. It is after she reads a book by George Lummis that Natalie learns about the Code of Indian Offenses. She and her brother stay with the Lummis’ and learn of what is being done to the Indians. Howard and Gertrude Gates reveal the atrocities committed by Charles Burton, an Agent/Superintendent at one of the “villages”. Gertrude reveals that the day school atrocities are unjust: 🎼No Music 💃🏻 No Dances 🎨No Art ✂️ Hair Cut 👚👕 “White Man” clothing [No Tribal Clothing] Most of this is committed by Christians who Howard claims is not professing the faith he was taught. And, it is the government’s desire to “assimilate” the Indians to be good Americans, though that means losing their culture in its entirety. George and Natalie travel to Yuma and where Natalie meets Chiparoapi, a Yuma woman. She knows something is wrong with Natalie and would “sing” for her if it was allowed. It is here that Natalie runs afoul of Burton. There is a definite and noticeable hypocrisy about the businesses who exploit the culture while punishing those who wish to practice it as part of their identity. There is an offensive part when Burton tells Natalie that her being at Oriabi as a convalescing woman is better than a university student as “they agitate the Indians, make them think their history is important, while we’re trying to wipe it away, encourage them to become good American citizens”. Natalie learns there is a price to pay for disobedience – cut rations despite the fact the people are barely given enough to eat. In part two (2), Natalie is putting into motion what she needs to do to perhaps getting the Indians better treatment. Using her connection to President Theodore Roosevelt, Natalie gets permission to record and preserve the songs, dance, and arts. She travels and gains extensive knowledge of the tribes and their customs. Along her journey she meets several influential people. Natalie, between 1902-1906, gathers information from 18 tribes and compiles over 500+ pages of material for her book. Rather, as she puts it, it is the Indians’ book and she is merely the pencil. It is her hope that by doing so, “the code” can be changed. Lummis is also hoping to dismantle the code as well. In 1907, Natalie is able to publish the book. Though the code wasn’t muted until 1920/1921 shortly before/around the time of her death. It wasn’t until Franklin Roosevelt’s administration that the code was amended. The book, and Teddy Roosevelt’s involvement merely reduced enforcement. This book ends in 1917 just as Natalie meets Paul Burlin who was 11 years younger than she was. In the author’s 9-10 pages of notes at the end, she goes into more detail and explains certain parts of the book along with more facts. I honestly feel that the best parts of the book were the towards the end. Natalie and Paul married in 1917. She was tragically killed in Paris in 1921 when she was struck by an automobile. Ironically the car was being driven by a doctor responding to an emergency. Curtis was, before her death, able to complete the projects also mentioned in this book. I enjoyed the story as I read it, but it was a bit bland for me. It did prompt me to do some research and certainly appreciate Curtis’ work and perseverance to do what was right. And, according to the website in her honor (go to my profile, click on my blog, and find the information there as Amazon doesn’t allow direct links). Curtis wasn’t an overwhelming figure as Kirkpatrick’s book would have had me believe. “But symphony orchestras don't play compositions by Natalie Curtis Burlin. Indian and black activists don't laud her as a contributor to their causes. Books on the accomplishments of American women seldom list her, much less devote chapters to her.” (http://www.nataliecurtis.org) I personally visited the prison Natalie and her brother toured in Yuma (Yuma Territorial Prison). In February 1990, my mother and I traveled to Yuma where her best friend from high school lived. This woman took my mother and I (along with her own sons) to visit the prison which has been a museum since 1961. I wish I had pictures, but it is, even after its use, it remains quite imposing. I cannot image how it felt during the time of this story. You can learn more here: https://azstateparks.com/yuma-territo... I feel there was a lot of narrative that could’ve been left out. And, while I often enjoy some historical fiction based on real life people/events, I feel this could’ve worked much better as a biography rather than a fictionalized novel. However, it does spark some interest. I think the author did a tremendous amount of research and found the book was mostly accurate. Today Curtis’ book is still available. I found a version online at Amazon. Despite being distributed by Revell, a primarily Christian/faith-themed publisher, there are very little references to Christianity. There is mention of Jesus and a few bible quotes; they are not integral to the story’s main plot and are very minor. It is a clean read – no foul language, and since this isn’t a romance per se, there are no real intimate scenes. My full review is on my blog: https://readingexcursions.blogspot.co...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Natalie Curtis was a classically trained musician with a bright future ahead of her, or so she thought. But she suffered a breakdown that left her a shadow of herself, and she hid herself away from the world, physically, mentally, and emotionally weakened. Her brother George, back home from the West where he’s been working and traveling, invites Natalie to join him. Against her mother’s wishes, and with the caveat that she’ll return home after just two months, Natalie sets off with George in hop Natalie Curtis was a classically trained musician with a bright future ahead of her, or so she thought. But she suffered a breakdown that left her a shadow of herself, and she hid herself away from the world, physically, mentally, and emotionally weakened. Her brother George, back home from the West where he’s been working and traveling, invites Natalie to join him. Against her mother’s wishes, and with the caveat that she’ll return home after just two months, Natalie sets off with George in hopes of finding healing, a new hope at living again. She finds her spark in the music of the Indian people, who have largely been removed from their homelands and placed onto reservations with the government instruction that they must assimilate. Natalie is shocked by the horrific injustice of the government’s Code of Offenses, which requires, among other things, that the native peoples refrain from singing their songs, performing their dances and ceremonies, and speaking their languages. Natalie sets out to preserve as much of the Indian music as she can, fearing it will be lost forever, and in doing so, she rediscovers and recreates her own song. Jane Kirkpatrick has a positive gift for taking little-known historical figures and bringing them to life with her words. I’d never heard of Natalie Curtis before having the chance to be on the review team for this book. But now I feel the need to learn more about her. Kirkpatrick paints a wonderful picture of Natalie as a young woman, in the public eye as a musician but still sheltered, who’s suffered a derailment of her life plans. She’s hidden herself away from public scrutiny, but she’s ready to move forward in spite of her mother’s desire to continue to protect her. She knew something had to change, and she was going West whether her mother agreed or not. “Most important, she wasn’t seeking permission. She was intentionally stepping into the grace pause, bringing the past with her, and for the first time in so long, the tempo of her life had picked up.” Doesn’t that sound remarkably hopeful? Curtis’ journey isn’t portrayed as an easy one, though. She had to learn to navigate new things like horseback riding, and travel rougher than a young lady of her social status was accustomed to. She had to find a way to reach out to the Indian people whose culture she wanted to preserve without making it about her. In Kirkpatrick’s telling of her story, Natalie Curtis rises to the occasion and overcomes the challenges she faces. Not only does she travel far and wide and record songs from a variety of tribes, she learns that the thing she thought had broken her in the past didn’t merit the importance she had placed upon it. In finding a way to free the Indians to sing their songs, Natalie finds the music hasn’t left her after all. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I’d love to track down a copy of Curtis’s The Indians’ Book and see her writing for myself. Jane Kirkpatrick’s story has me wanting to know more about the events she describes, and isn’t that what good historical fiction should do? Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the Revell Reads blogger program. All opinions here are mine, and I don’t say nice things about books I don’t actually like.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Conny Reviews

    “When was the last time you sang? When was the last time you danced? When was the last time you told your story?” Natalie is asked in Jane Kirkpatrick’s novel, The Healing of Natalie Curtis. ~ What ~ Based on a true story, this three-hundred-and-sixty-eight-page paperback targets those interested in American Indians’ music, lore, and legends. With no profanity, topics of mistreatment, abuse, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The beginning includes a list of characters while th “When was the last time you sang? When was the last time you danced? When was the last time you told your story?” Natalie is asked in Jane Kirkpatrick’s novel, The Healing of Natalie Curtis. ~ What ~ Based on a true story, this three-hundred-and-sixty-eight-page paperback targets those interested in American Indians’ music, lore, and legends. With no profanity, topics of mistreatment, abuse, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The beginning includes a list of characters while the ending has a glossary, author’s notes, acknowledgments, a dozen discussion questions, suggested additional reading, part of another novel by the writer, biography, and advertisements. In this tale set in the early 1900s in America, twenty-six-year-old musical prodigy Natalie Curtis feels no joy, having not played the piano professionally for six years. To get out of her funk, she leaves the comfort of her New York family home and travels to the West, falling in love with the Native Americans’ singing, dancing, and story-telling. Criss-crossing the country multiple times, the music ethnographer makes it her goal to write a book of the eighteen tribes she visited and their music. ~ Why ~ This is an interesting rendition of how a broken woman became an observer and agent of change as she befriends indigenous people and heals from her past. I appreciated the detail of her not wanting to be a usurper of the Indians yet was the Song Maid of the West who approached President Roosevelt to challenge the United States government’s Code of Offenses that disallowed the natives to cherish their history through music. ~ Why Not ~ Those who do not like stories of the hardship of American Indians and how they were forced to assimilate into the white man’s world may not enjoy this book. Although Biblical references are mentioned throughout the read, it may not be of interest to those who do not believe in God. Some may think the author’s notes capture more of the protagonist’s life than the novel itself that covers only a ten-year period. ~ Wish ~ As with other books by the author, there is too much information and detail on the many places the main character visited and who she met to the point it was monotonous, especially the last quarter of the book. I also wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. ~ Want ~ If you like historical fiction based on how a woman found her calling loving American Indians who expressed their heritage through song, dance, and tales, this is a good read that focuses on their culture, love of the land, and ways of life. Thanks to Revell for furnishing this complimentary book that I am under no obligation to review.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie

    Rating 3.5 Stars That's the way of life. We break. We mend and rise again to love. Natalie Curtis was a woman torn by choices and in those choices, she had lost a part of her. Living in the early 1900, she was invited by her brother George to go out west where he had found his own healing. Brother and sister were involved in the different arts of pictures, words, and music. Being rather fragile, her parents were against her going out West but with the support of her brother and the promise of com Rating 3.5 Stars That's the way of life. We break. We mend and rise again to love. Natalie Curtis was a woman torn by choices and in those choices, she had lost a part of her. Living in the early 1900, she was invited by her brother George to go out west where he had found his own healing. Brother and sister were involved in the different arts of pictures, words, and music. Being rather fragile, her parents were against her going out West but with the support of her brother and the promise of coming back home stronger, her parents relented. Her trip out west opened her eyes to the bigness of the world and to the Yuma people. Being drawn into their music, she learned how they and other Indian tribes lost their voice and their purpose. Listening to their voices, she found her voice and her purpose to bring to light what was being lost. I think this book is a bridge to what is happening today with what is going on in the United States of America. We have lost our own identity and by doing so, we many different view points on what should be now. It has become a political weapon that solves nothing but cause more division. The bridge that it brings is the value of culture and keeping different cultures alive thru knowledge, interest and value. The bridge also has common areas of interest that makes great starting points for healing. The value of our children. Music as a way to express ourselves. Not to limit to these two but Natalie's story really reflected these commonalities. Christianity was brought up in this because it is usually blamed for wiping out the culture. Christianity has its own purpose and that is the rule and reign of Christ. These are hard words and it takes a relationship with others for it be fully realized. Our hearts are hard towards the things of God. Each one of us until we come to the knowledge of who God is and our need for for salvation. In this, we find identity. It is a common identity that is different from the world. It clashes with the world. We are seeing that now and it is rooted in identity. The tearing down of systems needs to start in our own hearts or else we raise more destructive systems in its place. A special thank you to Revell and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gentiana Xhavara

    This a nonfiction novel that brings to readers the historic figure of Natalie Curtis and her work mostly during years 1903- 1908, on preserving and being a voice on protecting the rights of native Americans to their culture, songs, dances, and way of living. The book starts with George Curtis, Natalie’s older brother returning for a short break to New York in autumn 1902, after he had been working in ranches in the West. The Curtis family, parents, Natalie, and the three other siblings, all were This a nonfiction novel that brings to readers the historic figure of Natalie Curtis and her work mostly during years 1903- 1908, on preserving and being a voice on protecting the rights of native Americans to their culture, songs, dances, and way of living. The book starts with George Curtis, Natalie’s older brother returning for a short break to New York in autumn 1902, after he had been working in ranches in the West. The Curtis family, parents, Natalie, and the three other siblings, all were living in one big house. Natalie, a talented singer, and piano player couldn’t follow her dream of performing in the big New York theater, due to the mentality of the time, and all of this has brought a deep depression on her. George’s invitation to go with him in West, opened a new life for Natalie. “… Out of broken things, already gone through fire, when mixed with new clay, something totally different is created. Something stronger. (Kirkpatrick, page. 24)”. These words that author puts in the Natalie’s mouth, constitute the leitmotif of Natalie’s life to serve native Americans. Furthermore, this statement is the main theme of the book, that each one the readers can apply into her own life. Natalie journey into West opened her to the harsh treatment of the native Americans. A bold female, that loved justice, she used her musical talent to connect with native Americans. Beyond that, she utilized her family connection to Roosevelt, the President of the USA, to boldly introduce to him the harsh conditions of the native Americans, and to get the official support from the President for the protection of the music and dance of the native Indians. “The code is unjust Mr President. Inhumane. I think you know that. You can’t strip a people of their identity… These people are free spirits as we are, you and I. (Kirppatrick, page 170).” Author reveals the bold Natalie Curties, that in 1903 met with the President of the USA to ask his support against the disturbing reality of inhuman treatment of native Americans in her time. Jane Kirkpatrick again writes a great historical novel, on the great American women that have greatly contributed to this great nation.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Johnson

    Title: The Healing of Natalie Curtis Author: Jane Kirkpatrick Pages: 368 Year: 2021 Publisher: Revell My rating is 5 out of 5 stars. The year is 1897. Natalie Curtis is a woman who dedicated her life to the pursuit of a musical career. She was a child prodigy. Her big moment in the spotlight was about to happen when something happens. As a result of this, her musical career is over. She spirals into a deep depression that manifests itself with physical side effects for five years. Her brother George re Title: The Healing of Natalie Curtis Author: Jane Kirkpatrick Pages: 368 Year: 2021 Publisher: Revell My rating is 5 out of 5 stars. The year is 1897. Natalie Curtis is a woman who dedicated her life to the pursuit of a musical career. She was a child prodigy. Her big moment in the spotlight was about to happen when something happens. As a result of this, her musical career is over. She spirals into a deep depression that manifests itself with physical side effects for five years. Her brother George returns to the East from the West in 1902. He was a librarian, but due to his asthma he moved to the West for healing. He returns a changed man. He invites Natalie to join him out west for a time to see if she can also find healing. Her parents are leery about her taking a trip so far away when her health is precarious to say the least. However, Natalie is joyless at home with her parents, so she makes the decision to go with George. Natalie’s life will never be the same. She encounters Native Americans, and their songs are a balm to her soul. She embraces their songs like rain in a parched desert. She also discovers the many injustices the Native Americans endure due to The Code, which among other terrible things doesn’t allow them to sing their songs. If they sing their songs, they are punished. An entire culture is being wiped out, and Natalie decides to do something about it. She will go to the tribes and record their songs, what they mean, their artwork and their names. She will ensure that they will not be forgotten. I thought this book was fantastic! This story is based on a real person. I appreciated so much the author’s notes after the story. I was enraptured by the Native American’s songs, the reason why they sing a particular song and so much more. I learned a lot. The story spoke to my heart. I loved George’s character. He was willing to put his life and dreams on hold to share this journey with his sister. I highly recommend this book; it is one of my favorites for 2021! Note: The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mary E Trimble

    The Healing of Natalie Curtis, a historical novel by Jane Kirkpatrick, is a richly woven novel based on a true-life activist and ethno-musicologist. The story takes place in the early 1900s. Born and raised in New York, Natalie Curtis was a classically trained pianist and singer, a child protégé. At an early age she performed brilliantly until one particular concert, a performance that went awry. From that time on, she fought sickness and depression. Her brother George, thirty, invites Natalie, n The Healing of Natalie Curtis, a historical novel by Jane Kirkpatrick, is a richly woven novel based on a true-life activist and ethno-musicologist. The story takes place in the early 1900s. Born and raised in New York, Natalie Curtis was a classically trained pianist and singer, a child protégé. At an early age she performed brilliantly until one particular concert, a performance that went awry. From that time on, she fought sickness and depression. Her brother George, thirty, invites Natalie, now twenty-six, to join him in the west, thinking it will be good for both her physical and mental health. A new world opens for Natalie when she happens to hear the haunting music and witness the dancing of Native Americans. With her skill and background in music, she is able to record their music—both in the form of notes on paper, and also with the “new” Edison cylinder recorder. When Natalie learns that the US Government’s Code of Offenses bans all Indian dancing, singing and even speaking in their own languages, she is determined to capture as much of their musical culture as she can. In the meantime, Natalie appeals to President Teddy Roosevelt to repeal the unjust laws. With her brother, and sometimes alone, she travels the West and Southwest to hear the many different tribes’ music and stories. Her goal is to write a book so that native music and culture will never be lost. She will name her work The Indians’ Book. I have read, enjoyed and reviewed many books by Jane Kirkpatrick. The Healing of Natalie Curtis is high on my list of favorites. I’m always able to take away something of worth from her stories. Jane Kirkpatrick writes historical fiction, bringing to life real women, women we might not otherwise have heard about, but whose stories need to be told. Natalie Curtis was a remarkable woman and one I hadn’t known about until I read Kirkpatrick’s excellent historical novel.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    When was the last time you sang? When was the last time you danced? When was the last time you told your story? 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. Natalie can"t seem to recapture the joy music once brought her until 1902 when her brother invites her to join him in the West. Here, she encounters the haunting melodies, rhythms, and stories of Native Americans. But the US When was the last time you sang? When was the last time you danced? When was the last time you told your story? 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. Natalie can"t seem to recapture the joy music once brought her until 1902 when her brother invites her to join him in the West. Here, she encounters the haunting melodies, rhythms, and stories of Native Americans. But the US government"s Code of Offenses prohibits indigenous people from singing, dancing, or speaking their own languages. Natalie decides to document these songs before they disappear. I appreciated reading this story about a woman I hadn"t heard about before. She used her talents to make a difference and give people a voice. While the book does contain some grammatical errors, it"s an overall worthy read I recommend. Some key takeaways: New purpose could come out of what was broken. A fermata or grace rest - “A note can be carried into the pause, but it is not a rest where silence reigns.” Learn to weave a parachute of safe landings from the shards of broken songs. For the Diné, songs were prayers. Assimilation was white people wanting to win the souls of Native Americans while destroying their spirits. “I never see another author"s work as a competition, but as inspiration.” Experience and exposure had to precede change. Also, people don"t change until they"re accepted as they are. "We will be known forever by the tracks we leave." “Change comes on little steps,” Charlotte reminded her. “Your feet are small, but they keep moving.” Some people became “cultural brokers.” They allowed Ms. Curtis to learn, ask questions, be forgiven for faux pas, and be transformed in my own life by the lessons learned.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    Historic fiction has always been my favorite genre to read and it is books like The Healing of Natalie Curtis by Jane Kirkpatrick that serve as a perfect example of why. I don't recall hearing anything about Natalie Curtis prior to reading this book. There is a lot that could be said about her life and the book only touches on a brief time period. Living in New York, Natalie has isolated herself for the past five years after having a breakdown of sorts. Her health is bad and she has little desire Historic fiction has always been my favorite genre to read and it is books like The Healing of Natalie Curtis by Jane Kirkpatrick that serve as a perfect example of why. I don't recall hearing anything about Natalie Curtis prior to reading this book. There is a lot that could be said about her life and the book only touches on a brief time period. Living in New York, Natalie has isolated herself for the past five years after having a breakdown of sorts. Her health is bad and she has little desire to do the things she once loved. Her brother, who has been living out west comes for a visit and she sees how is health has improved greatly since being a way. He convinces her that it would help her too if she would go back with him and maybe if she goes she can find her love for music once again. Not long after arriving in this new land does she find out that the Native American's music and dialect is under attack. Under the Code of Offenses that prohibits the natives from singing, dancing or speaking their own language. It soon becomes Natalie's mission to preserve the songs and language of these people. She knows what she must do...appeal to Teddy Roosevelt, the president of the United Stated. While helping the native people, will Natalie find the song in her heart again or is it lost forever? When I pick up a historical fiction novel and it leaves me wanting to know more about the true life events or with a deeper knowledge of a time period or historical figure I knew little about, I know it was a good book. This one was amazing! If your a History buff like me, I think you will love this one! Thanks to Revell for proving me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Leona Atkinson

    Book Review: The Healing of Natalie Curtis by Jane Kirkpatrick I love reading historical fiction that is based on a true story and this book certainly weaves truth and fiction together so well. The story is set in the 1900's. It is a story of a young woman raised in New York society who is a classically trained pianist. She decides to travel West with her brother to search for physical and emotional healing. What she receives is more than a healing, she receives a total life transformation. The Wes Book Review: The Healing of Natalie Curtis by Jane Kirkpatrick I love reading historical fiction that is based on a true story and this book certainly weaves truth and fiction together so well. The story is set in the 1900's. It is a story of a young woman raised in New York society who is a classically trained pianist. She decides to travel West with her brother to search for physical and emotional healing. What she receives is more than a healing, she receives a total life transformation. The Western land, the Native American people she meets, and the Western Culture soon transform her into an advocate for social justice as she begins fighting for the rights and freedom of the Native American people who were being un-justly treated under the US government's Code of Offenses. Their music, dancing and voices were being silenced and Natalie was determined to find a way preserve their songs, and bring the people the freedom they deserved. Natalie Curtis was in love with music, not just the classical music she grew up with, but also the music of the American Indigenous people she met and loved in the West, and she was determined to see their music was kept alive for generations to come, as she appealed to President Teddy Roosevelt to end the government silencing of their music and dance, she documented their songs so they would remain for posterity. This book holds so many rich treasures of interests that will appeal to many a reader. I recommend it to those who love historically based true stories, especially those who love the Native American people and/or social justice advocating. I was given a copy of this book by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and comments are my own.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    Having spent 20 years on the Navajo Reservation as a missionary, I am always interested in finding good fiction about the Native Americans. Because of my experiences there I especially look for accuracy and the way the native religions are treated. The Healing of Natalie Curtis could be called a fictionalized biography. Jane Kirkpatrick based the book on the life of Natalie Curtis. I appreciated her author’s note at the end which helps readers decide fact from fiction. There is also a glossary w Having spent 20 years on the Navajo Reservation as a missionary, I am always interested in finding good fiction about the Native Americans. Because of my experiences there I especially look for accuracy and the way the native religions are treated. The Healing of Natalie Curtis could be called a fictionalized biography. Jane Kirkpatrick based the book on the life of Natalie Curtis. I appreciated her author’s note at the end which helps readers decide fact from fiction. There is also a glossary which can help readers with unfamiliar words. A set of discussion questions also lends itself for The Healing of Natalie Curtis being used in a book group I had a couple of concerns while reading the story. Some of the travel sequences do not make sense. In one chapter Natalie and George travel to Fort Defiance, AZ to visit the Keams Canyon School. Keams Canyon is over 60 miles away from Fort Defiance and I don’t think the school was ever located in Fort Defiance. Having lived in the area myself, I was often confused by the sequence of locations as George and Natalie traveled between two places - the place names indicated a lot of back and forth travel. Also the Glossary places Old Oraibi in New Mexico - Oraibi is about 100 miles into Arizona from the New Mexico/Arizona border. My final concern is the apparent syncretism of Natalie - that the Hopi worshipped the same God - just with a different name and in a different way. This is something the Native Christians I know are very careful to avoid. While I did enjoy the story and admire Natalie Curtis and the work she did, I cannot recommend The Healing of Natalie Curtis for a K-12 Christian school library because of my concerns. I received a complimentary copy of The Healing of Natalie Curtis. This is my honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dee Wolters

    "The Healing of Natalie Curtis" book review Natalie has not sung or played the piano is five years. Not since she froze and could not perform at the New York Philharmonic following the terrible break up with her "supposed" partner. He cast her away and she was devastated. But now, 1902, her brother returns from working in the west and invited her to come along on an adventure. Somewhere, Natalie finds the strength to make the journey. And it is the beginning of a whole new life for her. At a party "The Healing of Natalie Curtis" book review Natalie has not sung or played the piano is five years. Not since she froze and could not perform at the New York Philharmonic following the terrible break up with her "supposed" partner. He cast her away and she was devastated. But now, 1902, her brother returns from working in the west and invited her to come along on an adventure. Somewhere, Natalie finds the strength to make the journey. And it is the beginning of a whole new life for her. At a party, she is exposed to indigenous peoples' music and cannot get enough of it. But then she learns of the law that prevents these people, who have recently been displaced from their homes and land, from singing or speaking their first language. This is an attempt to force the embrace of American culture. Now Natalie has a cause that brings her joy and strength. For the next several years, she travels the south and west gathering recordings and first hand accounts of the songs, dances and traditions from the various people groups and nations. She befriends many and brings hope. She compiles a book that brings attention to the people and their plight. This a very detailed book of the travels of Natalie. While I did enjoy the story, from time to time, I did get bogged down in all the detail of the specific people group and location she traveled to. There was a lot of specific detail and while this gave honor to the people groups represented, it did bog down the story. I was quite pleased that in the end, she finished her book and brought positive attention to the plight of these people. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Revell. All opinions expressed are my own.

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