In The Healing, Jonathan Odell introduces us to 12 year old Granada, a slave girl on a Mississippi plantation. She’s an anomaly – a dark-skinned slave brought up from infancy in the master’s house, dressed in his dead daughter’s finest gowns on Preaching Sunday. One day, Granada is stripped of everything she knows and cherishes and is given as an apprentice to the new healing woman the master has purchased to cure the sick slaves on his plantation. Polly Shine knows Granada has “the sight,” but Granada doesn’t want it. She becomes an unwilling pupil as Polly teaches her about what it means to “remember” her people, remember herself, and about a place called Freedom Land.
Ultimately, The Healing is about the stories of a people. As Odell writes in his Author’s Note, “If you want to destroy a people, destroy their story. If you want to empower a people, give them a story to share.”