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Extended Audio Sample The Healing, by Jonathan Odell Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,435 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jonathan Odell Narrator: Adenrele Ojo Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 to be 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 slave 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 the power of story to heal the body, the spirit and the soul.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Compelling, tragic, comic, tender, and mystical.”

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune

  • “A terrific novel that will take its place in the distinguished pantheon of Southern fiction…Polly Shine is a character for the ages.”

    Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides

  • “A storytelling tour de force.”

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • “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.”

    Associated Press

  • “Jonathan Odell won me over with his fresh take on an 1860s Mississippi plantation, and the connective power of story to heal body, mind and community.”

    Lalita Tademy, author of Cane River

  • “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

  • “A haunting tale of Southern fiction peopled with vivid and inspiring personalities.”


  • “Jonathan Odell finds the right words, using the language of the day, its idiom, and its music to great advantage in a compelling work that can stand up to The Help in the pantheon of Southern literature.”

    Shelf Awareness

  • “Odell has written one of those beautiful Southern tales with unforgettable characters. Required reading.”

    New York Post

  • “Engrossing…This historical novel probes complex issues of freedom and slavery.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • The Healing is a lyrical parable, rich with historical detail and unflinching in the face of disturbing facts.”

    Valerie Martin, author of Property

  • “Rich in character and incident.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • 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 is Mary Sutter

  • Selected for the March 2012 Indie Next List
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Bridget | 2/18/2014

    " This book was great!! You could feel the setting leap from the pages. This would make a great book club selection. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Helene | 2/18/2014

    " Story of slaves and a Healer was wonderful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Melinda | 2/12/2014

    " This a great historical fiction piece! It takes place in Mississippi and is the story of a slave girl trained as a healer by one of the best and her life on a plantation. Part of the story is told by Granada as a girl and part from her reflections as Gran Gran, an elderly woman remembering and sharing her stories with Violet, a very special girl for whom she is caring. This book was recommended as one for people who liked The Help, but it is a very different sort of story. The Healing is wonderful rich writing and Odell pulls readers right into this incredible life in Mississippi at a pretty bleak time in our country's history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Loie | 1/29/2014

    " Really enjoyed this book. Well written, great characters and story line. Held my attention from the beginning to the end. I would recommend this book to a book club as I think the discussion would be great. "

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