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Publisher's Summary

The pre-Civil War South comes brilliantly to life in this masterfully written novel about a mysterious and charismatic healer readers won’t soon forget....
Mississippi plantation mistress Amanda Satterfield loses her daughter to cholera after her husband refuses to treat her for what he considers to be a “slave disease.” Insane with grief, Amanda takes a newborn slave child as her own and names her Granada, much to the outrage of her husband and the amusement of their white neighbors. Troubled by his wife’s disturbing mental state and concerned about a mysterious plague sweeping through his slave population, Master Satterfield purchases Polly Shine, a slave reputed to be a healer. But Polly’s sharp tongue and troubling predictions cause unrest across the plantation. Complicating matters further, Polly recognizes “the gift” in Granada, the mistress’s pet, and a domestic battle of wills ensues.
Seventy-five years later, Granada, now known as Gran Gran, is still living on the plantation and must revive the buried memories of her past in order to heal a young girl abandoned to her care. Together they learn the power of story to heal the body, the spirit and the soul.
Rich in mood and atmosphere, The Healing is the kind of novel readers can’t put down - and can’t wait to recommend once they’ve finished.

©2012 Jonathan Odell (P)2012 Random House Audio
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Critic Reviews

"Engrossing.... Bound to be compared to Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling The Help, this historical novel... probes complex issues of freedom and slavery." ( Library Journal)
"A terrific novel that will take its place in the distinguished pantheon of Southern fiction. Like The Help, that showstopping work by Kathryn Stockett, The Healing is another Mississippi-born work of art and Odell's Polly Shine is a character for the ages." (Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides and South of Broad)
"Jonathan Odell won me over with his fresh take on an 1860's Mississippi plantation, and the connective power of story to heal body, mind and community. Long after closing the novel's final pages, I'm still marveling about Polly Shine, an inventively subversive slave healer, and a character I won't soon forget." (Lalita Tademy, author of Cane River, an Oprah's Book Club selection, and Red River)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Dream on 05-19-12

I am a HEALER too

I was so amazed by this book and now relistening to this book makes me want to get back to my roots if you understand how to work with your senses/vibes and realize that some people are true HEALERS. The characters in this story are truly unforgettable. The narrator was just perfect and made me feel as if I was truly a part of this story. Overall I think this is one of the best southern old history classics that I needed to hear in order for me to understand myself and where my people come from. I have always been told by people since i was a young child that I just know things and when I start telling people whats gonna happen and it finally happens and they see it but they had already heard the story before it happens people are so amazed and they just cling to you. I would have never expected that this author is white but truth be told color doesn't matter when someone is trying to tell a compelling story. I would recommend this book during Black History month. I never realized that back in slave days OPIUM was just like the crack epidemic today. Once you read this book I think it will open doors to how to not ignore feelings with in yourself and help you re examine who you really are and what powers you hold and how to make those powers work for you. It may not be supernatural but simply a way to expand your mind.

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Marjo on 04-09-13

In the remembering this book brought me to tears

Would you consider the audio edition of The Healing to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version, but the narrator is AWESOME!!

What other book might you compare The Healing to and why?

Billy. It's a very different, very short book, but it had such insight into another child that had no idea what was happening that the stories have that in common, but Grenada grows to understand.

Which scene was your favorite?

I think the explanation of how missing names can affect a person and their line. Also, the author's note is very personal and so inspiring that it affected me in a personal way. It was the silence that kept people where they were. That's a powerful idea

Who was the most memorable character of The Healing and why?

Grenada. She grows a lot throughout the story and it makes me wonder about my grandmother's story. She was nearly 100 when she passed and like the author, she was born and raised in Mississippi during a time when it was wrong to be black. Furthermore, once again the author's note was personal to me because my grandmother who was a straight A student and had some college (even as a black woman in the mid 1900's) she dropped out when a teacher told her "You're the best student I've ever had, but why do you try so hard? You're black, you can't be anything but maid" *True Story* Her silence caused her to drop out and do domestic work for the remainder of her time in the South. Can't be a nurse, be a midwife.

Any additional comments?

This book was recommended to me by a friend and I figured (well, the Author has my Dad's name and my favorite Uncle's name, so it might be a sign) :-) I'm so happy I read this book! I also find it interesting that while I've listened to this book, I've found new family members, was told more stories from my family and it dawned on me that I'm only four - five generations outside of slavery....what other stories and people have I forgotten? Not only that, but as a woman, this story is resonates with me even more! Kudos to Jonathan Odell for weaving a masterful story of HUMAN nature and emotions. If more people took a moment to accept and acknowledge their own faults and why they may be wrong, we would have more stories like these.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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