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
"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)
LIFE just happens that way sometimes!
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.
I didn't give myself this name.
Wow! Jonathan Odell, I would have never guessed he was white after hearin this book. And if you want to know what I'm talkin about then you'll just have to read the book, to see. I truly enjoyed this book. Granada and Aunt Sylvie had me laughin out loud, but mostly it was Granada; Polly Shine gave me a few chuckles as well. Everytime I think of Daniel Webster I can't help but to giggle, yes giggle. I want everyone I know to read or listen to this book. I want people to enjoy it as much as I did, and I want to hear their opinions about it. I also liked the interview that J. Odell added to the end of the book. It was indeed a good read.
A midwife friend of mind told me this book was "ah-mazing." She was so right! I'd rate it as one of the best books I've ever read.
Polly Shine, a true heroine.
Adenrele Ojo is a talented voice actress. She interpreted the meanings of the sentences perfectly every time, so it felt as though she were acting out the words, as opposed to just reading them. Her voice, coupled with the exquisite writing, brought the characters and the scenery to life.
I wish the cook would make dinner for me, but I'd pay her handsomely for the privilege rather than treat her like a slave. Of course, I'd love to take Polly Shine to dinner to hear her talk and see her mannerisms, but who wouldn't choose her first!
This book was a fulfilling story within another story. When the most fulfilling story about Polly Shine ends, rather than be sad the story is over, it keeps going on about Gran Gran and the girl she's telling the story to, Violet. This is why I call the book a gift to the reader. I call it a gift to humanity because the author explains in his segment at the book's end that the last thing we need is another book about a slave needing help from an enslaver. In this book, the slaves have the power, the enslavers need saving from them, and the slaves have the upper hand, winning in the end.
The characters have depth and great humanity with all their vices within the world of one southern plantation. Loved how it unfolded, I was easily able to weave my own senses of history into the story and the pictures that were painted. The narrator did a beautiful job of portraying what the author wrote into his characters. The pleasant gift at the end from Mr. Odell himself was superb! Thanks.
I LOVE what most consider Young Adult fiction, but I would call it closer to Mature Young Adult. For example, sparkly vampires...not my thing. My favorite Author so far is Karen Marie Moning but I also have favorite books like A Game of Thrones which is EPIC!
I haven't read the print version, but the narrator is AWESOME!!
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.
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
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.
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.
I greatly enjoyed the story and the narration. Please don't miss the midwife interview in the author's notes at the end. I found it inspirational.
The is an engaging story about a black healer before the Civil War on a southern plantation. Well read and easy to follow plot and characters with strong insights to that period and its social order.
Like The Help it explores being black in a world that sees blacks as inferior and in The Healing as property to be sold, used and traded. If you liked The Help, you'll like this one too. If you're interested in pre-civil war history, this book will provide insights to that era and the social order.
Listened in three sessions over three days while driving. Relatively long and good driving company.
The story was read very nicely and the way that it was written was in the form of story telling and reliving the past in many occasions. I really enjoyed that aspect and in comparison to other audiobooks I've listened to this one was just as good or better.
I really enjoyed how it was told and it's a perfect book to be listened to. Another neat feature was the author actually speaking at the end and playing his own actual clips that he used while interviewing people in the south in order to research midwives and develop his own story.
At first, I wasn't able to get into the book but once the characters got developed I was intrigued to continue listening and finished the book fairly quickly.
Very well written book and a great listen overall!
This book as a conundrum. On the one hand, it is very revealing about plantation life from the eyes of a slave. On the other hand, the writing style is uneven and wordy. The performance was superb, The book is at the same time interesting and boring, at once truth and fiction.
Audio is in Al's name but it's MaryJane who listens to the books.
Enjoyed this book very much, liked it because it had some history in it, how things were in the South when slavery was a way of life. Enjoyed the parts when slavery had ended to actually find out that it was still very difficult for the free slaves. Amazing what our country went through to get us where we are today. The reader was EXCELLENT!!
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