Deborah Jorgenson is just four years old when she witnesses racism for the first time. Unfortunately, the hatred is directed at her. Born to Swedish parents in Minnesota in the early 1900s, Deborah believes her dark hair and skin come from a great-grandmother. When a fellow student bullies her and tells her she is an Indian, Deborah wonders why.
Taught by her elderly Hopi Indian mentor to solve all her problems without resorting to violence, the strong-willed Deborah continues to hold her head high throughout her challenging coming-of-age journey. But when she is thirteen, her parents inexplicably turn against her and one another, setting off a chain of events that change the course of Deborah’s future forever. She marries her childhood sweetheart Christian Nelson, and they have two sons, Jonathan and David. In 1929, they buy a farm in Northwest Kansas—ignoring concerns about the future economy and drought. Christian worries about those in their county who believe Deborah to be Indian. Neither can begin to predict the challenges that await them.
The Mourning Dove’s Message shares the unforgettable journey of one woman’s brave struggle to survive in the face of the chaos and adversity that overshadows 1930s America.