BookBrowse Reviews The Healing by Jonathan Odell

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Discuss |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Healing

A Novel

by Jonathan Odell

The Healing
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2012, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2012, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

Buy This Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A novel about memory and healing, set in pre-Civil War Mississippi

Jonathan Odell's powerful novel takes us to a familiar place: a plantation in the Deep South before the Civil War. Readers will recognize the columned house, the working slaves, the inhumane master, but The Healing is not merely a portrait of slave life. It is a penetrating analysis of identity - the acquisition of it and the ways in which a person can claim an independent self when all forces seem to be against them. In this case, the forces are the slave system and the individual struggling to understand her role in the world is a young slave girl named Granada, who has the misfortune of crossing the path of her sociopathic mistress. Mistress Amanda believes she can reclaim some semblance of her daughter's life by dressing up Granada in the dead girl's old clothes and parading the slave girl in front of white guests, just as she would a real daughter. The result is half-comic, half-...

Additional Info
As a part of his research for The Healing, in 2002, Jonathan Odell interviewed Mrs. Willie Turner, a 91-year-old retired midwife who - like his character Polly Shine - was responsible for providing midwife services to African-American women in Mississippi. Click on the video below to hear a portion of the interview or click here to go to the complete interview page.

(Most of the photos used in the video are of ex-slaves, midwives, and sharecroppers taken in the 1930s by artists working for the WPA, archived in the Library of Congress. Video was developed by James Kuether and Random House.)



For more reading about midwives, check out the "Beyond the Book" feature for Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away, a story about a young girl who is training to be a midwife in Nigeria.

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and "beyond the book" articles are part of the many benefits of membership and, thus, are generally only available to subscribers, including individual members and patrons of libraries that subscribe.

Join Today


Member Login


Library Patrons

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...
  • Book Jacket: I Contain Multitudes
    I Contain Multitudes
    by Ed Yong
    If a stranger were to accost you on the street and tell you that, from birth, you have never been ...
  • Book Jacket: Night of the Animals
    Night of the Animals
    by Bill Broun
    Debut novelist Bill Broun is a gentle, exquisite literary surgeon. His protagonist, 90-year-old ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.