Awara, (= Turtle ) is a child of the Turtle clan of the Haudesaunee First Nation, or Mohawk people, journeys on life's trail with her spirit helper, Pei Pei Turtle. Together they survive a wrenching divorce, leaving their beloved reservation life; and alienation in mainstream city culture. Tragically, Awara is severely abused for seven long years. Throughout, she feels abandoned by her despairing mother, Moonlight-on-the-Lake. The child holds tightly to Manitou (God) throughout her experiences of abuse, discrimination, desperation and finally, the struggle for a fine education, liberation and dignity. Somehow she discovers both humor and the power of forgiveness. Awara (Turtle) dances with God, and revels in her spiritual growth. Awara becomes a nun for forty-five years, and she delights in sharing precious memories in writing. At age sixty-seven, the missionary nun finds her priceless pearl in the Baha'i Faith, wherein she discovers Manitou, with Christ and Baha'u'llah as His Manifestations. She has found the culmination of human spirituality. Sometimes a fictionalized Pei Pei takes up the narrative of this autobiography, in which certain names are changed. Finally, the Dance goes on, at the great Forever Long House, welcoming all to join.
Winona Drift-Lineberger was born September 22, 1935 in Washington D.C. The family immediately moved to Devils Lake Lakota Reservation, ND. In her journey through life, Winona (who calls herself Turtle which is Anowara in Mohawk language, in this third-person autobiography), goes through initiation into the Lakota Nation. Sadly, divorce, poverty, abuse and adolescent rebellion mark her determined quest for spiritual enlightenment, knowledge and wisdom until she becomes a young adult. Armed with a high school diploma, Anowara enters a monastery, goes through various types of life as a nun, shares her deeply religious missionary experiences and her final revelation and enlightenment to the Baha'i Faith. Throughout she shares two messages: God is always with us, especially when we can't find Him; and never give in to the hopelessness of abuse. Anowara made it to a fulfilling life, and so can you.