Joyce Sequichie Hifler is the best-selling author of A Cherokee Feast of Days and Think on These Things. Descended from the Sequichie family, who were marched to Oklahoma over the Trail of Tears, she was recently inducted into the Indian Territory Hall of Fame. In this well-written memoir, Hifler pays tribute to those who nourished and nurtured her with wisdom and love during her childhood on the prairie.

"The song of the night bird," notes the author, "is a serenade to life." Listen to the melodies she presents on these pages. Her resourceful mother taught her to pray: "I learned from Mama that the true church is within each of us, and it is a personal responsibility to keep it orderly and to worship there often." When she was feeling bad about the way she looked, Grandmother E Lis I would say: "Speak to yourself. Tell yourself you are fine looking, and everything around you will agree and want you to be happy."

Hifler communes in the woods, honors the resiliency of violets that will let nothing stamp out their goal of blooming, and respects the power of the wind that carries life and changes the seasons. At one point Hifler observes: "Slowly, the prairie becomes a great sheet of white paper, unmarked and waiting for me to write with my spirit." Think of this memoir as the story of her Native American spirit.