From My Bookshelf: The Healing

By Lynn Willoughby

The Healing ~Jonathan Odell

What to say about this novel?  It was not what I expected for a setting in Antebellum Mississippi, but it did have a certain mood for the times.  It deals with three generations of female healers.
It is  subtle, almost gentle in the descriptions of people, period and place we know was brutal and soul-destroying for many.  Indignities, starvation, brutalization are not down-played, but the “families” the slaves cobble together are the redemption.  “The threads that tie all women together is a strong theme and on that I found empowering.”  That is the big difference between this novel and “The Help”.
Freedom is also central to the story.  Freedom to say yes or no, freedom to make your own mistakes and learn from them.  There is so much compassion in this book compared to anything else I’ve read about those times.  The practice of midwifery receives a lot of attention and I found it extremely interesting.
Did I love this book?  No, but the stories of conflicts and the hardships of life as a slave were very well done.  Small rebellions gave the slaves moments of pride and self-respect and also explain what freedom meant to them.  Some were not ever going to be ready to move on, others shone and became real, well rounded people.
  •  The View From Delphi
  •  Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League
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