“The Seed Keeper” is a story about Dakhóta women from many generations who are connected not only through their bloodline, but also through the seeds that they lovingly preserve to pass down to the next generations. After her husband dies, Rosalie Iron Wing finds herself both a widow and orphan and leaves the family farm to make a pilgrimage to her childhood cabin which is now empty and in disrepair. It is during her time in isolation that she yearns for connection with her relatives. Following her father’s death, Rosalie was placed in a foster system without an attempt to reunite or even notify other living relatives. All these years later, with help from an old family acquaintance, she finds her great-aunt, Darlene Kills Deer, in a nursing home nearby. It is in her visits with Darlene that Rosalie learns about her mother, and the women who came before her, forced from their land in the 1862 US-Dahkóta War. She reveals the family’s seeds that she has cared for; seeds that were kept safe in the hem of her ancestor’s skirts as they were forced to leave their beloved land. As a nature lover and aspiring gardener, “The Seed Keeper” was like a piece of candy. I found myself savoring each word, enjoying Diane Wilson’s gifted storytelling while also grieving as I learned about the heartbreaking history of the Dakhóta people in Minnesota. For anyone who appreciates nature and has an interest in indigenous peoples.
—Allison Hendrix, Snail Readers Circle
"Compelling . . . The Seed Keeper invokes the strength that women, land, and plants have shared with one another through the generations." -ROBIN WALL KIMMERER