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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.

Mississippi plantation mistress Amanda Satterfield loses her daughter to cholera after her husband refuses to treat her for what he considers a “slave disease.” Insane with grief, Amanda takes a newborn slave child as her own and names her Granada, much to the outrage of her husband and the amusement of their white neighbors. 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 reputed to be 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.

Seventy-five years later, Granada, now known as Gran Gran, is still living on the plantation and must revive the buried memories of her past in order to heal a young girl abandoned to her care. Together they learn of the power of story to heal the body, the spirit and the soul.

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.

The Healing is an American Booksellers Association (ABA) Indie Next selection!




Read an Excerpt

Reader’s Guide

Reader’s Guide for African American Book Groups

Polly Shine

Audio Interview with Mrs. Willie Turner

Essay in Minnesota Monthly


How Black Midwives Brought Me Home Again


    • Rand L Holmes
    • Posted March 19, 2012 at 10:31 pm
    • Permalink

    The Healing is a profound mix of history, spirit and mystery. I am stunned by the scope and beauty of this journey into one of the darkest periods in our history. I am also somewhat perplexed by the many comparisons to The Help. They share little in common but the physical locale these extremely distinct stories are placed in. The texture and poetry of The Healing is much more readily compared to Toni Morrison’s Beloved. What a brilliant achievement – thank you, Mr Odell !! [Posted to]

    • Jon Odell
    • Posted March 19, 2012 at 11:05 pm
    • Permalink

    Rand, thank you for those lovely words. And I’m blushing at the comparison to Toni Morrison, a hero of mine.

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