This is the account of Katie O’Toole, late of Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania, removed from her family by savages on March the 2nd in the year of our Lord 1747
The thirteenth child conceived of miserable Irish exiles, Katie O’Toole dreams of a different life. Little does she know that someone far away is dreaming of her. In 1747, savages raid her family home, and seventeen-year-old Katie is taken captive. Syawa and Hector have been searching for her, guided by Syawa’s dreams. A young Holyman, Syawa believes Katie is the subject of his Vision: the Creature of Fire and Ice, destined to bring a great gift to his people. Despite her flaming hair and ice-blue eyes, Katie is certain he is mistaken, but faced with returning to her family, she agrees to join them. She soon discovers that in order to fulfill Syawa’s Vision, she must first become his Spirit Keeper, embarking on an epic journey that will change her life—and heart—forever.
In 17th century colonial America, life is full of danger, hard work, and sacrifice. Katie O'Toole lives with her large Irish family who struggle to make a new life for themselves. With a drunkard as a father, and a mother who is cruel and abusive, and siblings who care little for each other, Katie’s only hope for the future is to escape on her own someday. Then one day, Indians attack their settlement, killing many. Those that survived, like Katie, are captured by the natives. Two Indian warriors treat her better than everyone else, creating upset among the other captives. What Katie will soon learn is that these two men, Syawa and Hector, believe she is the woman of their powerful visions who they have been searching for.
And so begins a vast journey through the American wilds – one white woman and two Indian men. In this character driven novel, the story is told through Katie’s point of view as she records her excursion in her ledger. Katie is definitely a strong heroine, driven by her past sufferings, and courageously moving forward through adversity. Slowly, she learns to communicate with her captives, and learns their traditions. The trio bonds and Katie learns to love both men.
The novel is written with much depth and insight, the characters believable and authentic. I enjoyed learning about the endurance and spirituality of the native people. The ending was a little disappointing, but not overly so. Overall, The Spirit Keeper was an enjoyable, well researched read!