Monday, March 26, 2012

Defending a Book

I'm not the only one who uses a blog to review books. I enjoy seeking others who do the same. While I respect each reader's opinions, why do I find myself feeling compelled to respond to someone who rips a book I love? I know we can't all like the same things; if we did, it would be a dull existence and a lot of writers would be out of business.
But how someone could profess to loving THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett and then rip THE HEALING by Jonathan Odell is beyond me.

I like a book that teaches as well as entertains. Stockett did no research other than talking to her sister's maid, and even with all she gleaned from the maid, she didn't bother to give her one sentence of acknowledgement. She made an historical mistake in the book and she made up things that simply would not have happened. Needless to say, the black community didn't take to THE HELP too well.

As he wrote THE HEALING, Odell did hours of research and made sure the people he interviewed were given their deserved credits. This fact alone makes me give more credence to his work.

I read this review: and was dumbfounded. The reasons the reviewer gives for her poor rating for THE HEALING would make sense if what she says is true about the book. But my view from the rocking chair is nothing like what she sees. I hope nobody by-passes this book because of her review.


  1. Dear Gayle, Each individual is entitled to her opinion. As you noticed in my review I said that the content was marvelous - I loved that. I also told the readers that some people LOVED the book but the written style of the book "missed the mark." I would not degrade your opinion so I would appreciate your not degrading mine. I left the option open for people to decide if they would choose to read the book. If you read the entire review you would have seen this at the very bottom. I gave the author a lot of credit for all the work that he did researching the work. He did a great job! But in actuality John O'Dell spent two hours talking with the midwife that he based the entire book on. I guess that we will just have to agree to disagree. BUT when I read a book - I look at more than content. Blessings, anita:)

    1. Thank you. I rely on more than content also. I'm a freelance proofreader and have read many, many books. Last year alone I read 150+. I didn't have any problem at all following his story.
      By the way, his name is Jonathan Odell. No apostrophe.

      I'll try to be gentle next time:)

  2. Gayle-

    Bless you for this. I found The Help vapid and was disturbed that hordes of people seemed to consider it great historical fiction. No need to be gentler so far as this writer is concerned.

    Ann Bauer