Reading Group Center

Video: The History That Inspired The Healing by Jonathan Odell

The Healing by Jonathan Odell is a masterfully written novel about a mysterious and charismatic healer. After mississippi plantation mistress Amanda Satterfield loses her daughter to cholera, she takes a newborn slave child as her own and names her Granada. Meanwhile, concerned about a mysterious plague sweeping through his slave population, Master Satterfield purchases Polly Shine, a slave reputed to be a healer. Polly recognizes “the gift” in Granada, and a domestic battle of wills ensues. Seventy-five years later, Granada must revive the buried memories of her past in order to heal a young girl abandoned to her care.

“A terrific novel that will take its place in the distinguished pantheon of Southern fiction. Like The Help, that show-stopping work by Kathryn Stockett, The Healing is another Mississippi-born work of art and Odell’s Polly Shine is a character for the ages.”
—Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides and South of Broad

Download our reading group guide, read an excerpt from the book, and watch the book trailer, which features an interview with Jonathan Odell:

On his website, Jonathan Odell has posted excerpts from an interview with Mrs. Willie Turner, a midwife from Midnight, Mississippi who was born in 1911. Says Odell, “…In writing The Healing, I often drew from Mrs. Turner’s spirit, her compassion and the fierce love and pride she for her calling.” Click to read more about Mrs. Turner and to hear portions of the interview.