Right from the start, Layla Tompkin’s way forward is full of detours after her mother dies in breech birth, leaving only her and her devoted, sorrowful father, Ed. Then, at the age of five, Layla is rendered mute after a horrible accident. “God is leading Layla to speak in new tongues," proclaims Pastor Simpson at the local serpent handling church. Soon after, Layla is found to possess the gift of healing and her reputation spreads. Even Doc Fredericks, the area’s skeptical physician, is forced to re-examine scientific tenets when Layla's healing touch is the only treatment that brings relief to his son Brian, whose legs were blown off by a landmine in Vietnam. Doubt and the miraculous, loss and survival, hurt and forgiveness collide when a secret challenges what everyone holds true, leaving Layla, her family and the community profoundly changed in a story about what it means to be truly healed.
First Line: Rain - two weeks of relentless downpour - and for the second Saturday in a row, I was cooped up indoors going crazy.
Random Quote: Layla was in a quandary, Even though when she laid her hands on people, she had sensations - heat, tingle, color and emotions - deep in heart she felt most of what she did was give comfort. She wished she had some confirmation otherwise, but just last week, Mr. Leos, who she'd been treating for a while, died from heart failure. And though many claimed she eased their pain, Layla could see that the bulk of ailments would, left to their own devices, run their course with or without treatment, just like Doc said.
Review: I was attracted to The Healer of Fox Hollow because it deals in matters of healing (faith and otherwise) and is set in the Smoky Mountain region of Tennessee. I grew up in Memphis - far from the Smokies - but I've been there and know a bit about the culture there (especially their folk tales) and also know that they are beautiful in ways you can't imagine.
The Healer of Fox Hollow is an excellent book with a troubled and traumatized main character who finds her way through her gift of healing. Industrialized nations are fond of denying traditional methods of healing, but are more and more incorporating these ideas into their practice. The main thing about healing in my mind is whether or not it works in the mind of the patient. Sick people come from many cultures and their disease processes will benefit from modern healing methods, but sometimes those just aren't enough. Sometimes people need healing that is traditional to their cultures to become well, to feel cured.
|Great Smoky Mountains (image source)|
An ode to the Smoky Mountains, to the power of faith to heal oneself and others, and a journey from trauma to wellness taken by one amazing character. This is an excellent read and would be a good book club choice - so much to talk about.
FTC Disclosure: Copy from publisher for the author's virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours
Publishing Information: Vantage Press - July 1, 2012
|Joann Rose Leonard|
About Joann Rose Leonard
Wisconsin born JOANN ROSE LEONARD was Texas-raised and has chigger bite scars to prove it, theatre-trained and frostbitten at Northwestern University, and worked as an actress in New York. She studied mime in Paris with Marcel Marceau while dubbing films into English to earn her daily baguette; raised 9 kids (2 human, 7 goats) in State College PA, where she was founder and director of MetaStages, the youth theatre program at Penn State University, and, with her husband, Bob, a retired professor and theatre director, has relocated to CA to be nearer their sons, Jonathan (DJ Child, an award-winning music producer and founder of the multi-media company, Project Groundation) and Joshua (actor/filmmaker including The Lie, Higher Ground and The Blair Witch Project.) Joann is author of The Soup Has ManyEyes: From Shtetl to Chicago; One Family’s Journey Through History, “From Page to Stage,” a chapter in Holt Rinehart Winston’s Elements of Literature and two collections of multicultural plays, “All the World’s a Stage Volumes I & II” (Baker’s Plays). In her research for The Healer of Fox Hollow, Joann discovered that the truth the novel is based upon is infinitely stranger than the fiction she wrote.
For more info on Joann and her work, please visit her website, JoannRoseLeonard.com.
Joann Rose Leonard’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, July 16th: Savvy Verse and Wit
Monday, July 23rd: Indie Reader Houston
Wednesday, July 25th: Broken Teepee
Thursday, July 26th: Just Joanna
Wednesday, August 1st: Mom in Love with Fiction
Thursday, August 2nd: Silver and Grace
Monday, August 6th: Chaotic Compendiums
Tuesday, August 7th: Deco My Heart
Wednesday, August 8th: WV Stitcher
Thursday, August 9th: So Simply Sara
Monday, August 13th: The Book Bag
Tuesday, August 14th: When Life Gets You Down…Read a Book
Wednesday, August 15th: Chaos is a Friend of Mine
Thursday, August 16th: HopefulLeigh
Monday, August 20th: The Lost Entwife
Date TBD: A Novel Source
Date TBD: A Fair Substitute for Heaven