Publisher Nan A. Talese/Knopf-Doubleday, February 21, 2012
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.
Plantation Mistress Amanda Satterfield’s grief over the loss of her daughter crosses the line into madness. She takes a newborn slave child as her own and names her Granada. 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 slavewoman with the reputation as 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.
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.
“Long after closing the final pages of the novel, 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
“When the young slave Granada Satterfield reluctantly undertakes a quest to recover her own identity, she finds that she must begin by asking: Who are my people and what are their stories? The Healing is a lyrical parable, rich with historical detail and unflinching in the face of disturbing facts.”
— Valerie Martin, author of the Orange Prize winning novel Property
“The Healing is a moving cri de coeur for all those who yearn to be free, and for the wise women among us who understand that to subjugate one person is to subjugate all of humanity.”
— Robin Oliveira, author of My Name if Mary Sutter
“Jonathan Odell gives voice to strong women at a time in history when their strength might have been their undoing. This moving story is a must read for fans of historical fiction.”
— Kathleen Grissom, author of The Kitchen House
“Mississippi will always remain the mother lode of southern fiction. Jonathan Odell has written a terrific novel that will take its place in that distinguished pantheon. Like that show-stopping work by Katherine 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 Beach Music