Honor Song is the tale of a Native American man returning to his home and his roots after his beloved grandmother's death. David Turnbull left the reservation to become a doctor, the healer his grandmother knew he would be, and faces derision from his family because he left. David doesn't intend to stay for long, but his family's dire financial straits may make him change his mind.
Honor Song is solidly written and researched, and the medical, legal and cultural details hold the book together. The characters are sincere and have heart. David's character is sympathetic and believable, though his wife seems too good to be true at times. The plot is similar; while there are many exciting and very realistic moments, there are several more that come across as too convenient or heavy-handed.
Overall, this is a sweet and thoughtful debut novel about the injustices faced by Native Americans and a tribute to their culture and heritage.
Special Notes: This is not a romance.
David Turnbull, a young American Indian physician, learns that Hannah, his beloved grandmother, has died. She helped to forge his dream of becoming a healer, and, in her honor, he returns to his reservation for her funeral. In the mountains of Idaho, David reluctantly faces his fragmented family and the alcoholic father from whom he escaped fifteen years earlier. He learns that they are about to lose whatever property they have left. Saving them means making peace with his bereft mother, helping his father at last embrace sobriety, and saving his reckless brother from a brush with death. David must confront the anger and bitterness he has harbored since childhood, searching his soul for a new image of himself as a man, an Indian and a physician.