The Healing by Jonathan Odell

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Synopsis

"Compelling, tragic, comic, tender and mystical... Combines the historical significance of Kathryn Stockett's The Help with the wisdom of Toni Morrison's Beloved." —Minneapolis Star Tribune

Rich in mood and atmosphere, The Healing is a warmhearted novel about the unbreakable bonds between three generations of female healers and their power to restore the body, the spirit, and the soul.

In Antebellum Mississippi, Granada Satterfield has the mixed fortune to be born on the same day that her plantation mistress's daughter, Becky, dies of cholera. Believing that the newborn possesses some of her daughter's spirit, the Mistress Amanda adopts Granada, dolling her up in Becky's dresses and giving her a special place in the family despite her husband's protests. But when The Master brings a woman named Polly Shine to help quell the debilitating plague that is sweeping through the slave quarters, Granada's life changes. For Polly sees something in the young girl, a spark of "The Healing," and a domestic battle of wills begins, one that will bring the two closer but that will ultimately lead to a great tragedy. And seventy-five years later, Granada, still living on the abandoned plantation long after slavery ended, must revive the buried memories before history repeats itself.

Inspirational and suspenseful, The Healing is the kind of historical fiction readers can’t put down—and can’t wait to recommend once they’ve finished.

"A remarkable rite-of-passage novel with an unforgettable character. . . . The Healing transcends any clichés of the genre with its captivating, at times almost lyrical, prose; its firm grasp of history; vivid scenes; and vital, fully realized people, particularly the slaves with their many shades of color and modes of survival." —The Associated Press




From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Jonathan Odell

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JONATHAN ODELL is the author of the acclaimed novel The View from Delphi, which deals with the struggle for equality in pre-civil rights Mississippi, his home state. His short stories and essays have appeared in numerous collections. He spent his business career as a leadership coach to Fortune 500 companies and currently resides in Minnesota.
 
Published February 21, 2012 by Anchor. 354 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Healing

Kirkus Reviews

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When the daughter of a woman who has overdosed on a potion meant to induce an abortion comes into former slave Gran Gran’s care, she recalls the saga of plantation slaves to whom emancipation eventually came, an exodus for some while others remained rooted to the soil of their captivity.

Feb 21 2012 | Read Full Review of The Healing

Publishers Weekly

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To soothe the girl’s nerves and to explain the legion of mysterious clay masks that fill the dilapidated mansion, Granada tells stories about her past, launching a series of vividly imagined, but momentum-destroying, scenes of pre–Civil War plantation life.

Oct 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Healing

Star Tribune

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Set alternately in the pre-Civil War South and about 80 years afterward, Odell's second novel re-creates the lost era of midwifery through tough, tender and very memorable characters.

Feb 10 2012 | Read Full Review of The Healing

Book Reporter

While the aging healer ministers to Violet, the girl’s presence revives Gran Gran’s memories of her life on the plantation, especially those of the miraculous healer, Polly Shine.

Mar 15 2012 | Read Full Review of The Healing

Salon

But my brother took off after the nurse and told her, not asked her, that we were going to see Mother now.

Jul 29 2015 | Read Full Review of The Healing

Bookmarks Magazine

And seventy-five years later, Granada, still living on the abandoned plantation long after slavery ended, must revive the buried memories before history repeats itself.

Inspirational and suspenseful, The Healing is the kind of historical fiction readers can’t put down—and can’t wait...

Feb 15 2012 | Read Full Review of The Healing

Reader Rating for The Healing
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