The healing of Natalie Curtis

Reviewed by:

Ceil Carey, retired public librarian and long time book discussion leader



The healing of Natalie Curtis


Jane Kirkpatrick








360 pages



Based on the true story of Natalie Curtis, ethnomusicologist of the early 1900’s, Kirkpatrick fleshes out her life and brings to the reader the people and cultures of Native Americans.

Curtis was a brilliant musician but has a breakdown before her first professional performance. Convinced by her brother George to travel west with him. Natalie falls in love with the

people, culture, weather, everything and totally immerses herself in her new life. She begins to heal, physically and emotionally as she starts her quest to record the melodies and stories of several tribes.  She is also determined to have the Code of Offenses revoked, a code that makes it a crime for the natives to sing, dance or speak their language.

The result of her quest is a 575 page tome that helps to preserve the culture of indigenous people and is instrumental in her personal healing. A very interesting and informative story about a little known but very important author and champion of indigenous people.


Rating (1 to 5):

Rating: 4

Suggested Audience:

Fans of historical fiction and the work of Jane Kirkpatrick; those interested in Native American music, art and culture

Christian Impact:

There is little reference specifically to Christianity in this book.

Other Notes:

-contains a glossary of terms

-contains a very interesting author’s note

-includes discussion questions

The Healing of Natalie Curtis

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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