The Healing

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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

From the Hardcover edition.
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About the author

JONATHAN ODELL is the author of the acclaimed novel The View from Delphi, which deals with the struggle for equality in pre-civil rights Mississippi, his home state. His short stories and essays have appeared in numerous collections. He spent his business career as a leadership coach to Fortune 500 companies and currently resides in Minnesota.

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Additional Information

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Published on
Feb 21, 2012
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Fiction / African American / Historical
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Cultural Heritage
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection: this special eBook edition of The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis features exclusive content, including Oprah’s personal notes highlighted within the text, and a reading group guide. 
The arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction. 
A debut of extraordinary distinction: Ayana Mathis tells the story of the children of the Great Migration through the trials of one unforgettable family.

In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented.  Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave.  She vows to prepare them for the calamitous difficulty they are sure to face in their later lives, to meet a world that will not love them, a world that will not be kind. Captured here in twelve luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage and the journey of a nation. 

Beautiful and devastating, Ayana Mathis’s The Twelve Tribes of Hattie is wondrous from first to last—glorious, harrowing, unexpectedly uplifting, and blazing with life. An emotionally transfixing page-turner, a searing portrait of striving in the face of insurmountable adversity, an indelible encounter with the resilience of the human spirit and the driving force of the American dream.
La apasionante historia de una curandera que cambiará la vida de los esclavos y de una niña que se convertirá en la depositaria de todos sus secretos.

Mississippi, 1847. La niña Granada nació para ser una esclava más en la plantación Satterfield y deslomarse trabajando en los campos de algodón, pero el destino la sacó de las míseras barracas y la llevó a la casa grande para convertirse en la muñeca que un ama desquiciada viste con la ropa de su hija muerta.

Sin embargo, esa vida cómoda, alejada de sus orígenes, termina de repente con la llegada de la curandera Polly Shine, quien escoge a la pequeña como ayudante. Negra y vieja, sabia y deslenguada, el amo accede a las exigencias de Polly porque sabe que es la única capaz de curar a los esclavos enfermos y de asistir los partos. Pero lo que el señor Satterfield desconoce es que la curandera pretende hacer algo más que sanar esos cuerpos maltratados: quiere devolver el orgullo y la dignidad a esos corazones maltrechos... Empezando por el de Granada, la niña negra que ha olvidado de qué color tiene la piel.

«Una fantástica novela. Como ocurre en Criadas y señoras, Corazón blanco, corazón negro refleja magistralmente el sur de Estados Unidos, y su protagonista, Polly Shine, es un personaje difícil de olvidar.»
Pat Conroy, autor de El príncipe de las mareas

«Cautivadora y emocionante.»
AR, La revista de Ana Rosa

«Impresionante. Llamada a ser comparada con Criadas y señoras, esta novela histórica aborda temas tan complejos como la libertad y la esclavitud.»
Library Journal

«Con una verosimilitud cautivadora, Odell nos ofrece una saga sureña tan rica en sus personajes como en su trama.»
Publishers Weekly

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