Mississippi native Jonathan Odell paid us a visit today. He was in the state touring his new novel, The Healing, which is receiving great acclaim from readers and critics. The story spans a generation of lives on a Delta plantation, from pre-Civil War to Jim Crow days. It begins in the 1930s with a former slave woman, a healer, who has been put in charge of a sick young girl. To heal her, she'll have to revisit her own past at the same plantation in the early 1860s. As a baby, she was claimed by the plantation's mistress in a fit of madness after losing her own daughter in a cholera outbreak. The mistress' claim on the slave baby upsets the balance of the plantation and calls into play a mystical slave healer, a fantastic character who causes further unrest.
Pat Conroy praised the book, "Like The Help, that showstopping work by Kathryn Stockett, The Healingis another Mississippi-born work of art, and Odell's Polly Shine is a character for the ages."
Odell grew up in Laurel, Mississippi, and lives in Minnesota today. He told us that he based his fictional county after our own Leflore and Carroll Counties, and his town of Delphi bears a striking resemblance to nearby Carrollton. He has published one earlier novel set in this locale, The View From Delphi, but this book is soaring.
We're pleased to offer signed first editions for a limited time. Enjoy!