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Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

Created: 11/23/11

Replies: 36

Posted Nov. 23, 2011 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
BookBrowse

Join Date: 11/16/10

Posts: 43

Overall, what did you think of "The Healing"?

Overall, what did you think of "The Healing"?


Posted Jan. 31, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
shelleyc

Join Date: 01/31/12

Posts: 4

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I liked it very much. It was a very powerful story. It moved me so much that one person could affect the lives of so many people who might have died and who might not have reached freedom so early. That Polly could mold a young girl the way she did, in spite of her obstinacy, was truly admirable.


Posted Jan. 31, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
susanr

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 80

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RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I thought that it was a fantastic book. Granada grows so much throughout the book. She learns that the life she originally sees for herself is false and through Polly's mentoring, she becomes a complete person. The process is not easy but it is so interesting to see her grow and find her place in the world. The book was difficult - the suffering of the slaves was especially difficult to read about but the author had done a lot of research and presented a true picture of life at this time. I think that this book should be added to required reading lists for high school students to help them learn and understand about this time in our history.


Posted Jan. 31, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lorettaf

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 11

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

The Healing is an excellent book; one that I will recommend to my book club. I thought it was excellent for the following reasons: the characters are well-crafted and true to life with good traits and bad, the language was rich with metaphors and folk wisdom, and the plot was unpredictable like a stream carrying you onward to a satisfying ending.

I think the major theme of the book lies in the importance of family, family history, and family stories to know who you are.


Posted Jan. 31, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 138

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RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I loved this book. The writing was gorgeous. I love to read books with strong women overcoming strong odds. Maybe there's hope for me! I was skeptical at first that a white southern boy could write in the voice of black slave women but he truly did an amazing job


Posted Jan. 31, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sarahd

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 84

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RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I LOVED this book and can't speak highly enough about it. The characters were nuanced and fascinating. The language was beautiful and precise. The themes were engaging, and the plot was a page-turner. It's the whole package. I had to force myself not to read it in one sitting because I didn't want it to be over too quickly!


Sarah D
Posted Feb. 01, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
debracoley

Join Date: 08/11/11

Posts: 69

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RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

What a read! Enlightening, insightful,mesmerizing,and mysteriously powerful, and promising-no matter what your lot in life, we all hurt, beg for and beg off advice we know to be true and helpful, struggle with our own "personal"ghosts, and long to be free from that which holds us back/away from our hopes and dreams-Everyone needs, literally and figuratively, some form of HEALING!


Posted Feb. 01, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 138

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RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

well said, debracoley


Posted Feb. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
scottishrose

Join Date: 07/24/11

Posts: 11

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I really liked the book. It took me a little while to get into it, but then I couldn't put it down. I really wanted to know how Granada went from the person she was as a young girl to the person who could "pay it forward" and help Violet's healing process. It made it more interesting because of the way the story was told in her own voice, but also how many parts of the story were introduced through the clay masks Granada had created to help her remember the people that had been important in her life.


Posted Feb. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
harriettek

Join Date: 10/19/10

Posts: 22

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

It took me a while to get into it. If I hadn't treated it as an assignment and pushed, I might have put it aside. That said, I thought it was excellent. The author's language was lovely and put the stories together in a way that I favor. I like to bounce back and forth, because it keeps me more attentive. His characters, I believe, were different sides of slaves all over the South, especially those with "kind" masters . I will recommend this book. I belong to 2 book clubs that meet monthly, so this is my first foray into this format.


Posted Feb. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bonnieb

Join Date: 09/11/11

Posts: 89

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RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I ended up loving this book though it took me a while to get into it. The different stories and narratives added interest and intrigue to the book. Gran-Gran's story as an old woman and her story as Granada the child were nicely done. Polly Schine's story was the most fascinating to me. Overall, the book worked to show the awful conditions of slavery and of women in particular. It is a lesson in the necessity for freedom and the need for tolerance.


Posted Feb. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
EileenL

Join Date: 02/02/12

Posts: 8

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I love this book. I agree initially it seemed a little slow moving but then the book, and the charactars, took off. I came to like the format of Granada using her story to reach out to Violet. It is a book that truly examines and illuminates the world of slavery and the sort of caste system that existed within it. I love a book where the charactars come to life and I come to care about them.


Posted Feb. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sarahc

Join Date: 02/02/12

Posts: 6

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

An interesting read. As a Health professional, the questions posed about "practioners" other than physicians were a reflection of what actually was and is going on. There is still the delima of what is right, what is the best thing to do and who should have control. Make no mistake, control of the situation is the issue.


Posted Feb. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sarahc

Join Date: 02/02/12

Posts: 6

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

An interesting read. As a Health professional, the questions posed about "practioners" other than physicians were a reflection of what actually was and is going on. There is still the delima of what is right, what is the best thing to do and who should have control. Make no mistake, control of the situation is the issue.
I found the story facinating, I have already asked others to read, and those who did felt the same. A vivid interpretation of life in another age, both realistic and highlighting the chnges that life brings.


Posted Feb. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 235

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RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I really liked this book. It is very well written both in terms of the story told but also because the wordsmithing is amazing. Though there is a lot of switching of time periods it is easy and natural and every character is so well protrayed that you feel you know them well. The mindset of the Master and Mistress of their slaves being simply tools to use as needed and not really human was portrayed well. The black community and their daily life is also clearly defined. Some of the scenes were pretty horrific but still realistic.
I am recommending it highly to friends and family. It portrays a world that much as we would like to deny it is probably right on.


Posted Feb. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bettyt

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 118

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RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I absolutely LOVED this book. I was hooked by the third chapter. I thought he did a wonderful job with the story telling and painted a vivid picture of life at that time. I loved Polly and hated her at the same time. He made me truly care about all of the characters. Where I live nearly everything is tied to religious institutions including book clubs. I facilitate the book club at my Temple and we will be reading this book as our April selection. Also due to my recommendation one of the Baptist churches will also be reading it as one of their selections.


Posted Feb. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
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deby

Join Date: 10/21/10

Posts: 9

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I was expecting another "The Help," but from a different era. However, I have to say (and I may be a minority of one) I liked it much more than "The Help." It didn't seem so patronizing somehow - had more fire and oomph to it. I am anxious to see what his next book tackles. And I agree with Rebajane, I didn't think a white man could put himself in a black woman's world without it being obvious, but he did a marvelous job - I wouldn't have known it was a man's writing, if his name wasn't listed as the author.


Posted Feb. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 82

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A true healing

This will be quick because I'm due elsewhere. Have been waiting for this discussion so have to say a few words. First - this is the best book I've read this year, and I've read some wonderful books. Thank you for sending it and giving me the opportunity to read it before publication. To compare it with The Help is so wrong. This book is a zillion times better. The author...unbelievable that he was able to step into a black woman's psyche with such authenticity. More later.


Posted Feb. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
eileenf

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 6

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

When I receieved this book, I was going to read a chapter and finish it later. It had me from the beginning, I couldn't put it down. Through history healers have been seen as suspicious individuals, i.e. witches. The author did a good job of showing hope, and strength, where there often wasn't any. The main characters were well developed, and there weren't too many to keep track of.


Posted Feb. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
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kimberlyb

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 9

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I haven't quite finished the book, because believe it or not it was kind of slow for me at first? I hated the back and forth between the past and the present...But now I am almost done, I am totally intrigued. I would like a picture of the author? I am always intrigued when men write so well from a woman's perspective, very similar to how Kathryn Stockett crossed racial lines with "The Help".

I love the rich characters and vivid scenery.
Plus it is feeding my curiosity about people with "gifts". I do believe there are people in this world who have that "extra" sense and special connection with those other than the living.


The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who'll get me a book I ain't read.
-Abraham Lincoln

Posted Feb. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
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kimberlyb

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 9

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

Seems the consensus was the same across the board, this was an excellent book but for whatever reason it took quite a few of us a while to get into it and then through it...

Am I right?

That is exactly how it was for me!


The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who'll get me a book I ain't read.
-Abraham Lincoln

Posted Feb. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
gracie

Join Date: 01/16/12

Posts: 6

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

It is the best book I have read in the past year. Odell is an accomplished storyteller with a real gift for bringing in the heart and soul of his characters. His vivid descriptions and interweaving of characters and events are so well done. I can't wait to read his next novel!


Posted Feb. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
dianes

Join Date: 05/16/11

Posts: 53

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RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

This book was positively mesmerizing. I will long remember the characters of Polly Shine and Granada. Loved the prose and the mystical elements of this story. I did not want the book to end.


Posted Feb. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
susann

Join Date: 04/28/11

Posts: 10

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I am obviously in a small minority, but I did not think this was a particularly good book. The writing was choppy, the dialogue was stilted, and the author didn't make me care about any of the characters. I wasn't entertained, I wasn't educated, I wasn't inspired. I fear this will not find its way into the canon of great literature of the American South.


Posted Feb. 02, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Reader

Join Date: 08/11/11

Posts: 11

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I agree the book is wonderful, although it took me a few chapters to get into the story. I recently read some of the WPA's slave narratives and found the author's depiction of these characters to be true to those voices. In the end, I felt that Granada made the right choice to stay and care for the people who needed her and that she had lived the life she was meant to live. It is a good and satisfying read.


Posted Feb. 03, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Tennis Chik

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 4

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I have got to say that it was certainly one of the best books I have read this year (as some of you have said). I have felt badly every time I have thought or said that it is beyond the scope of The Help or related to The Help. I think I am just attempting to highlight that The Help was spectacular - but this book - goes way beyond. While the same theme exists in both books (racism) for certain, I feel quite strongly that The Healing represents something a bit different. While written by a white man of the south, it truly hits home on the true issues of being a woman - being a mother. It's about bringing it forward - bringing truth, generational connection, wisdom of womanhood, friendship, motherhood, beyond race...and perhaps I think...it strikes a cord on what all women are looking for and looking to give to the next generation...an understanding, a guide, a gift. The reality is that slavery existed and when told in such a light as The Healing - women of today - can powerfully relate to black women of yesterday who struggled and tried always to provide the wisdom of being a woman. The obstacles and abuse are beyond my understanding but yet I understand perfectly the love and connection. I truly loved the book and can only hope that the spirituality of the book will be scene by others as well. It's not The Help - but thankfully...The Help paved the way for a more clear path for The Healing to explode.


Posted Feb. 03, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kate

Join Date: 01/22/11

Posts: 31

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I really enjoyed the book. I found the writing very descriptive and almost poetic in parts. I thought the author did a great job of weaving together so many lives and different stories. I found it fast paced, and enjoyed it from beginning to end. I was a bit sad to have it end because I felt like I was involved in so many characters lives. I kept the characters in my head for days after finishing the story.


Posted Feb. 06, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
suez

Join Date: 02/06/12

Posts: 2

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I loved this book. I was hooked from the first page and had a hard time putting it down. Living in a "slave " state, it gave me an even greater insight into how truly dreadful slavery was for all, but especially for women. Polly Shine was forced in body to be part of the system but her spirit was always her own and that strength of character made her a force to be reckoned with. I will definitely recommend this book to my book club


Posted Feb. 06, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
barbarab

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 29

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I really enjoyed this book & have told a lot of my friends about it. I love historical fiction & I was able to jump right into this book.
I have read a lot of books about the Antebellum South, but this one gave a different perspective, from the slaves point of view. Many are about the plantation family.
I would have liked to learn more about Polly, a backstory would have been great. We were told she was part Choctaw, but not much else. She was such an unusual character, I think the book might have been more interesting.
The Master "Lord", was a despicable person. I felt so sorry for Amanda. She was very depressed, losing numerous children, especially her daughter, who was probably the only one she could relate to. She was taken away from her family, was lonely & miserable in the low country. I'm sure there were many women like her during this time, especially if they were idle day by day.
The slaves were there for each other & had a strong sense of family & community, unlike the plantation family.


Posted Feb. 07, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
beth

Join Date: 07/17/11

Posts: 4

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I thought this book was amazing. I was so sorry to see it end...Can't wait to see what the author will write next, and I am going to see if the library has a copy of his first book, The View From Delphi.


Posted Feb. 07, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
barbarab

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 29

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I enjoyed this book very much. i had no trouble getting into it & I loved both time periods. I thought all of the characters were strong characters & I could picture them in their environment. I even had an impression of the deceased Becky & could see her & Rubina as young friends.
Polly Shine was mysterious to me. I wish we would have had more backstory about her past.
Great read!!


Posted Feb. 14, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
janec

Join Date: 09/06/11

Posts: 12

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

This is one of the best books that I have read about the history of slavery in the United States. The author made the book come alive and kept my interest throughout. Loved the strenght of characters and their inter-ralationships.


Posted Feb. 25, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
tracyb

Join Date: 09/22/11

Posts: 29

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

One of my favorite books. I loved the vivid characters and the "quaint"sayings throughout the book. I am also a lover of radical, strong and loving women. A Healer brought to a plantation was a surprise to me. OK it is the name of the book. $5,000 was a lot of money then. Did this really happen? The strange circumstance that Granada was put in at birth. There were so many threads to tie and I loved the way that they ended up. I think that there was a confusion that plagued almost any child that was brought into the "House". Where did they belong?


Posted Mar. 17, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
barbarab

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 29

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

I liked this book a lot, though it took me a while to get through it. Unfortunately a topic that I was interested in wasn't covered & that was Amanda's mental health illness. I wonder what Polly would have done for her. Did anyoune else care about Amanda's state of mind? I think it started when she moved away from her family, into the deep South.


Posted Mar. 18, 2012 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jonohoh

Join Date: 02/07/12

Posts: 13

RE: Overall, what were your impressions of The Healing?

Dear Reader, as the author, I tend to agree with you. In the final edit, Amanda got short shrift. I cut out several chapters of her background--her childhood, courtship, marriage, the many still births and her gradual decent into a paralyzing depression. But as the book focused its narrative, as often happens to me, I had to decide whose book this was going to be--the Satterfiields or Polly and Granada's. Sadly, Amanda's story remains hidden from the world, in my "Cut out" files.

Jon Odell


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