The Healing

The Healing

A Novel

Book - 2012
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"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

Publisher: New York : Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, c2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780385534673
Characteristics: 340 p. ; 25 cm.


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HCL_staff_reviews Aug 16, 2018

Polly Shine is a strong, charismatic slave healer on a plantation in the pre-Civil War South who takes a reluctant girl named Granada in her care. Years later, Granada remembers how Polly taught her to heal others when she finds herself in charge of a motherless girl. This novel is beautifully written and inspired by true-life events. — Susan L., Hopkins Library

Aug 06, 2015

"In the beginning God created. That's all anybody need to know about God, it ain't never over with God."

It didn't get to being interesting until the Barnabus and Charity fight...

It's exasperating to think that our lives depended on some ratchet Charlatan white doctor who hated he was drawn to our people, but keeping appearances in his own community pronounced something so ridiculous, like starving a slave because their bodies thrive on near death; the psychological damage that was done to our people in the name of commerce is painfully described again. It puzzles me how even though there are educated and world wide web information today, some people feel that the psychological damage done to our people should just disappear with the passing, the long difficult and deadly passing of a civil rights bill.

For me I saw two distinct themes in this story. First, was the theme that Oneness of everything, everyone is connected, and the lies we tell ourselves to stay in our comfort zones.

Second, The whole story is of the Orisha, Polly representing Yemoja, and the other orisha are represented too; Shango (fire) Oya (wind), Elegba (riddles)... the awakening before the Europeon influence, and destruction of our Spiritual beliefs.

I'm taking away some of the most precious and wise affirmations:

"A flapping tongue puts out the light of wisdom."

"Flies can't fall in a tight closed pot."

"No one told you about the ingredients of life, only the biscuits."

"The person who wears the shoe knows where it pinches."

Overall, it demonstrated how we can be so consumed with materialism, we miss the riches of the ancestors.

Aug 29, 2013

This book was written from the point of view of Grenada both as an old person and as a child in the slave years. It would have been better to tell the story from her childhood up rather than fluctuating back and forth between her life as an old woman helping an unfortunate child and her previous adventures of being a child on the plantation. Too much back and forth but well written with good descriptions of the place, time, and emotional content

Aug 15, 2013

This book is so well written. I took loads of notes and quotes as I read. The story is engaging and so vivid. Imagine my surprise when I learned the author's background. A definite must read. I still might recommend it for my book club. Excellent writing! Takes you there.

Aug 10, 2013

This book was my favorite this summer. The characters were well developed and interesting. O'Dell does a beautiful job of keeping your curiosity peaked so you want to keep reading and at the same time don't want the story to end. The ending was a wonderful surprise.

Jun 22, 2013

I read this book far to quickly enjoying every moment. I did not want this book to end and do hope there is a sequel.
From the beginning I found myself quickly attached to each of the characters wondering what would happen next.
This book is a treasure.

Feb 12, 2013

I didn't just read this book, I drank it in through my eyes and let the river flow into my heart and soul. Amazing!

Sep 27, 2012

A virtual extravaganza of memorable characters, and seething with descriptions of the intolerably hot, swampy lands of the South that slaves were forced to toil on.
This book has something for everyone, but particularly for women willing to commit to the long-term goal of freedom from the mental and physical abuse of ownership, rather than the short-term goal of 'favors' from the Master.
This is one of the few books which underscores the beauty of being a dark girl.

Sep 19, 2012

What a fantastic story!! I am recommending it to everyone I know who loves reading books. Like 'The Help" this book too looks at the relationship between African Americans and white Americans but goes so much further into the times of slavery, subsequent abolition, and shows the power of women slaves who contributed to the freedom of others. Extremely well written and highly recommended. Oh...and keep your hankies at the ready. You will need them.

Mar 07, 2012

Excellent story, well-written, highly recommended.


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