For the Navajo, to "walk in beauty"-to stay in balance with the natural world around one-is the greatest gift, and the greatest task, of one's life. For Rose Destea, to walk in beauty has meant threading a difficult path between traditionalist and modernist ways. Though she worships at the family shrine, her husband was a Christian preacher. Though her son, Clifford Destea, is a respected hataalii or medicine man, her daughter, Ella Clah, is a Special Investigator with the Navajo Police and a former FBI agent.
After decades as a wife, mother, and grandmother, Rose has become a tribal activist. Briefly in the national spotlight when she spoke against bringing casino gambling to the Navajo Reservation, Rose now works to guide not just her family but the whole tribe into a balanced future.
When Navajo healers and members of the Plant Watchers society report that healing plants sacred to the Navajo are disappearing from the Rez, the tribal council asks Rose to catalog the plants and their growing places. She faces strong opposition from hataaliis reluctant to reveal their secret herb-gathering spots and from people who think the Rez should cultivate genetically engineered plants instead of native species.
Rose finds evidence that many plants have been stolen-plants that may be valuable in the growing market for alternative and natural medications. Rose's home is burgled and her plant notes stolen. Adding to her worries is the serious illness of an old friend and the apparent extinction of a plant essential to the healing ritual that is the sick woman's only hope of a cure. Then a Navajo man is found dead, apparently of a heart attack; Rose is convinced that he was murdered by the plant thief.
Rose has picked up a trick or two from her police officer daughter; she begins an independent investigation that soon has her up to her neck in trouble.
Plant Them Deep is a stand-alone novel that complements the Ella Clah series and will deepen readers' understanding of the Navajo world.