Title: The Healing
Author: Jonathan Odell
The Healing by Jonathan Odell (similar to The Help, Beloved, Secret Life of Bees and even Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks; it takes many of the collective themes from the others listed and weaves a unique pre-Civil War historical fiction novel through 75 years of slave women on a plantation in Mississippi, one woman in particular. Rich in detail and narrative; it’s character-driven plot is complex yet intriguing. With shorter chapters and strong female characters, I would expect this to be a great book discussion read too.
–Laura at KDL’s Plainfield Township branch
“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