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The Resource The healing : a novel, Jonathan Odell

The healing : a novel, Jonathan Odell

Label
The healing : a novel
Title
The healing
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Jonathan Odell
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • Bringing exciting verisimilitude to an overworked genre, this Southern saga from Odell (The View from Delphi) is rich in character and incident, but suffers from an awkward generation-bridging flashback structure. In the 1930s, elderly former slave Granada—a longtime midwife and healer—lives in the old kitchen of the once-imposing Satterfield Plantation and takes in Violet, a terrified seven-year-old. To soothe the girl’s nerves and to explain the legion of mysterious clay masks that fill the dilapidated mansion, Granada tells stories about her past, launching a series of vividly imagined, but momentum-destroying, scenes of pre–Civil War plantation life. As a young girl, Granada first served Amanda Satterfield (the opium-addled plantation mistress) as a house servant, plaything, and instrument to embarrass her husband. After the arrival of Polly Shine—a healer purchased to treat the slaves—Granada is banished from the big house and sent as a reluctant apprentice to Polly’s four-room hospital. The relationship between the two women evolves in predictable but engaging fashion. Despite the novel’s nuanced characters, Odell insists on uniting the two time lines with a hokey stab at significance toward the end. Had Odell allowed his vibrant characters to guide the narrative, rather than relying on a clichéd plot structure, this might have been a small Southern masterpiece. (Feb.) --Staff (Reviewed October 3, 2011) (Publishers Weekly, vol 258, issue 40, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ The white, male, Mississippi-born author (The View from Delphi ) of this engrossing novel about an African American female healer growing up as a slave on a Mississippi plantation makes up in soulfulness for whatever he may lack in authenticity. Gran Gran, the healer, an old woman by 1933, isn't called on much anymore for midwifery or folk remedies when a newly motherless girl is abandoned at her door. By vividly relaying stories about people she loved as a child—especially Polly Shine, the courageous slave woman healer/midwife who taught her to use her own gift—Gran Gran brings traumatized, grieving Violet back to the land of the living. Recalling Polly Shine's blend of African traditions and Old Testament beliefs heals her own ailing soul as well. VERDICT Bound to be compared to Kathryn Stockett's best-selling The Help , this historical novel relegates its few white characters to distinctly minor status and probes complex issues of freedom and slavery, such as the dangers of an owner's favor, making it more like Dolen Perkins-Valdez's acclaimed Wench . [See Prepub Alert, 8/15/11.]— Laurie A. Cavanaugh, Wareham Free Lib., MA --Laurie A. Cavanaugh (Reviewed October 1, 2011) (Library Journal, vol 136, issue 16, p71)
  • When the daughter of a woman who has overdosed on a potion meant to induce an abortion comes into former slave Gran Gran's care, she recalls the saga of plantation slaves to whom emancipation eventually came, an exodus for some while others remained rooted to the soil of their captivity. Young Granada enjoys the relatively privileged life of a house slave with the added perk of being the mistress's pet, occasionally dressed up in the finery of a deceased daughter whose demise remains shrouded in the whites' refusal to admit their daughter succumbed to a disease that afflicts slaves. The odd charade of Granada's special treatment is a sticking point between Master Ben and his laudanum-addicted, unstable wife, who blames her husband for their daughter's death. Enter Polly Shine, purchased at great expense for her renown as a healer in the hopes that she will save slaves from plagues that ravage the plantation. Shine needs an apprentice and sees something in Granada, despite the girl's ill-placed affection for her white masters. Granada finds herself exiled from the plantation house, relocated to Polly's quarters, the plantation hospital. The high-spirited, mysterious and shamanistic Polly is feared and reviled for her strange ways until her undeniable healing powers gain her almost universal acceptance among the field slaves after she cures them of black tongue. But the latitude this earns her, unusual for a slave, is resented by some: the house slaves, a white overseer and Granada, who pines for her former comfort. Polly overcomes Granada's recalcitrance, cultivating the girl's vision, a unique perceptiveness that is essential to her becoming a healer. Granada vacillates in her loyalties between her master and his house and Polly, who urges her to explore her origins and who gains, to some extent, Granada's love and respect, despite the old healer's acerbic tongue and unorthodox speeches about the coming of freedom. Granada cannot deny the increasing vividness of her dream visions, as well as the pull of her origins. Plantation life is dangerous to body and soul, and Granada finds herself caught in a plot against Polly, torn between betrayal and self-discovery. Will she play Judas to her mentor? Will she ultimately obtain redemption and become a healer? Odell (The View from Delphi, 2004) stirs lyricism and sentiment into a well-researched epic of slavery and emancipation that will endear itself to the spirituality inclined.(Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2012)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10028866
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1951-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Odell, Jonathan
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
Interest level
UG
LC call number
PS3615.D454
LC item number
H43 2011
Literary form
fiction
Reading level
5.6
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Healing
  • Catatonia
  • Loss (Psychology)
  • Mississippi
Label
The healing : a novel, Jonathan Odell
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
840523
Edition
First edition.
Extent
pages cm
Isbn
9780385534673
Isbn Type
(hc. : alk. paper)
Lccn
2011005998
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780385534673
  • (OCoLC)702941771
Label
The healing : a novel, Jonathan Odell
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
840523
Edition
First edition.
Extent
pages cm
Isbn
9780385534673
Isbn Type
(hc. : alk. paper)
Lccn
2011005998
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780385534673
  • (OCoLC)702941771

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