Yellow Bird's Song by Heather Miller


Yellow Bird’s Song by Heather Miller

Published: March 2024

Publisher: Historium Press

Genre: Historical Fiction, American Fiction, Native American Fiction

Available: paperback, hardback, ebooks


Yellow Bird’s Song is the tragic follow up to Tho I Be Mute, the story of John Ridge, a full-blood Cherokee and Sarah Northrup, his white wife. 

In the opening pages of Yellow Bird’s Song, we learn that followers of  Cherokee Principal Chief John Ross murdered John and his father, Major Ridge. Years later, John’s son, John Rollin Ridge, kills a man and flees to California. The books narrative jumps between John Ridge, Sarah Ridge and Rollin Ridge.

John and Sarah’s story is painful to read, but Miller handles their poignant life, love and devotion to each other with a poet’s tenderness. Highly descriptive, the author evokes a simpler, harder yet equally complicated time period than our own. 

Through their story, we read of the duplicitous words and deeds of the US Government that led to the Cherokee removal from their ancestral lands in Georgia. Despite John’s best efforts to quell the tide of white settlers, he decides his family’s only choice is to leave their beloved homeland for the West. It is a heartbreaking story, one that we should be more familiar with. 

I really enjoyed the three narrative lines of this book, each weaving a separate part of the story but blending seamlessly into an amazing ending. Miller does an amazing job with a difficult and complex subject, breaking down into its human elements.

I recommend Yellow Bird’s Song to readers of Historical Fiction, American Historical Fiction and Native American Biographical Fiction. 


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