Reader reviews and comments on The Healing, plus links to write your own review.

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The Healing

A Novel

By Jonathan Odell

The Healing
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Feb 2012,
    352 pages.
    Paperback: Nov 2012,
    352 pages.

    Publication Information

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Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

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There are currently 8 reader reviews for The Healing
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mainlinebooker (03/02/12)

Run to the store
If I could give this book a 6, that would be well earned. Quite simply,I adored this book which explored slavery and subjugation in a prose so lyrical and moving that I heard the characters lilt in every phrase I read. I was also so astonished at the sensitivity by the author to write in such a uniquely female voice. It is a book that will stay with me for a long time and one that begs to be made into a movie.
Debra (02/16/12)

The Healing
I really enjoyed this book from beginning to end. It was sweet, funny, and sad. You know a book is great when that happens. I loved the way the story unfolded, and thought the author did a good job of developing characters relevant to the time period and believable. I felt Gran Gran's loneliness and Polly's inspiration. There were certain things left for the reader to wonder, for example, how Shineville comes to be, why Granada chose her path and what happened in the years she did, but overall a very good effort.
Jeanette (01/31/12)

The Healing
I read The Healing in two sittings it is a fascinating story of plantation life at the beginning of the Civil War. Granada, a slave newborn child whom the plantation mistress takes from the slave mother to fill-in her grief over the lost of her own child, is raised in the big house as the mistress pet; then there is Polly, the Healer, whom Master Satterfield has paid quite a bit of money to acquire and heal his sick slaves from a mysterious plague sweeping thru his plantation. When we are introduced to Polly we learn that she has the gift of healing both body and soul, she is the only one who dares stand up to the boss and while she is healing she is also planting ideas of freedom and escape. Polly recognizes “the gift” in Granada and requests her as an apprentice; this begins a battle of wills between Polly and Granada. All the characters are well developed; we feel their pain and their joy and become part of their every day’s life. I loved this book and highly recommend it.
Grace (01/25/12)

The Healing: A Novel
Rich in description, The Healing:A Novel is an engaging and poignant book, full of heart and wisdom. Jonathan Odell is an extraordinary storyteller, and this is a wonderful book.
Diane S. (01/20/12)

The Healing by Jonathan Odell
What an amazing and magical read. I absolutely loved it and so did not want it to end. It is the eve of the Civil War, on a large plantation in Mississippi and the master pays a unprecedented sum of money for a woman slave said to be a healer. Things are not going well on the plantation, slaves are dying and the mistress is going insane after the death of her daughter. Enters Polly Shine, a character I will never forget. I read an interview by this author and he includes much in his afterword, on how he felt after being raised in white man's Mississippi he felt he was missing a great part of his history, he actually talked to former midwives and other blacks raised in that era for the information in his novel. Comparing it to The Help is doing this book a disservice, because though I did like that book, this book immerses the reader in the plantation system, it is told from the viewpoint of Polly Shine and Granada, a young house raised slave that she takes to train, because Polly Shine feels that she has the same gift as herself. He explains exactly what freedom meant to the slaves and how some were not able to move on. It is a fascinating, historical read and I highly recommend it.
jw (01/19/12)

A true healing
The best book I read in 2011. 'The Healing' is a healing in itself and so much more than expected in story line and characters. Absolutely terrific book. Way beyond 'The Help' and other stories about African-American women. The greatest surprise to me is the fact that a man wrote it!
Kris (01/11/12)

The Healing
I finished this book very late last night. I honestly believe it is one of the best books I have ever read. The themes are so multi-dimensional - ranging from historical fiction, the power of generations, mother-daughter themes, social inequality, spiritual connection, and the truly amazing gift of womanhood. I enjoyed this book and suspect it will be a book shared in classrooms and book clubs through the years. bravo!
Miz T (01/08/12)

A Different Sort of Plantation Story
I thoroughly enjoyed this story of plantation life, primarily because it's written from the POV of a former slave woman as she looks back on her life and the people in it with the wisdom of hindsight. None of the characters is without fault in this tale; both masters and slaves commit and experience love, hate, cruelty, deception, and redemption, making for an fascinating read that should have wide-ranging appeal. At the end, I found myself sorry that the story had ended, and wanting more - which is the difference between a "4" and a "5" in my personal rating system.
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