Where the Broken Heart Still Beats

Written by Carolyn Meyer
Review by Arleigh Johnson

Nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker’s family had been settled in Texas for two years when their home was raided by Comanche Indians. She and her siblings were carried away, separated and sent to live among the tribe. Adopted by a stern and mostly unkindly couple, she worked hard and eventually became a credit to her new family. She forgot not only the English language, but also her previous life and the violent murder of her loved ones and abuse of her early days in the camp. She married well and produced three children.

Twenty-five years after her abduction, the Indian camp was in turn raided, and the Parker family was ready to welcome her home with open arms, along with her one-year-old daughter. But Naduah, as she was now known, did not want live with the strange white people. She had forgotten everything about her early life and felt she had been ripped from her true family. Her strange behavior and stubbornness to let go of her Indian ways caused most of her family to scorn her. Shuffled through three different households, escape was never far from her mind.

Told in the viewpoint of Cynthia Ann and her young cousin Lucy Parker, this is an eye-opening account of life in mid-19th century Texas where the threats on both sides are explained—a fair assessment of the lifestyles of both the natives and settlers.