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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4.5
28 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Anchor
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Published on
Feb 21, 2012
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780385534680
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Language
English
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Genres
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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WINNER of the 2017 American Book Award

WINNER of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work (Fiction)

2017 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award Nominee (Fiction)!

A Washington Post Notable Book of 2016

"Simply miraculous...As her saga becomes ever more spellbinding, so does the reader's astonishment at the magic she creates. This is a story about the triumph of the human spirit over bigotry, intolerance and cruelty, and at the center of The Book of Harlan is the restorative force that is music."
--Washington Post

"McFadden's writing breaks the heart--and then heals it again. The perspective of a black man in a concentration camp is unique and harrowing and this is a riveting, worthwhile read."
--Toronto Star

"The Book of Harlan is an incredible read. Bernice McFadden...has created an amazing novel that speaks to lesser known aspects of the African-American experience and illuminates the human heart and spirit. Her spare prose is rich in details that convey deep emotions and draw the reader in. This fictional narrative of Harlan Elliot's life is firmly grounded amidst real people and places--prime historical fiction, and the best book I have read this year."
--Historical Novels Review, Editors' Choice

"McFadden packs a powerful punch with tight prose and short chapters that bear witness to key events in early twentieth-century history: both World Wars, the Great Depression, and the Great Migration. Partly set in the Jim Crow South, the novel succeeds in showing the prevalence of racism all across the country--whether implemented through institutionalized mechanisms or otherwise. Playing with themes of divine justice and the suffering of the righteous, McFadden presents a remarkably crisp portrait of one average man's extraordinary bravery in the face of pure evil."
--Booklist, Starred review

"Through this character portrait of Harlan, McFadden has constructed a vivid, compelling narrative that makes historical fiction an accessible, literary window into the African-American past and some of the contemporary dilemmas of the present."
--Publishers Weekly

"McFadden's impressive achievement offers us a window into the often very difficult lives of African Americans from the Jim Crow era up to the present--and, unexpectedly, in wartime Germany. Highly recommended for showing us that however badly black citizens have historically been treated, black lives matter."
--Library Journal

The Book of Harlan opens with the courtship of Harlan's parents and his 1917 birth in Macon, Georgia. After his prominent minister grandfather dies, Harlan and his parents move to Harlem, where he eventually becomes a professional musician. When Harlan and his best friend, trumpeter Lizard Robbins, are invited to perform at a popular cabaret in the Parisian enclave of Montmartre--affectionately referred to as "The Harlem of Paris" by black American musicians--Harlan jumps at the opportunity, convincing Lizard to join him.

But after the City of Light falls under Nazi occupation, Harlan and Lizard are thrown into Buchenwald--the notorious concentration camp in Weimar, Germany--irreparably changing the course of Harlan's life. Based on exhaustive research and told in McFadden's mesmeric prose, The Book of Harlan skillfully blends the stories of McFadden's familial ancestors with those of real and imagined characters.

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.

Reseñas:
«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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