I love being surprised by a book. I picked up The Healer of Fox Hollow for one reason - the blurb on the front from Naseem Rakha. Once I read the description of the story I acknowledged there were a few more elements that appealed to me: the southern setting, the touch of "magic," the idea of overcoming physical adversity.
I don't even know where to begin in gushing over this absolute gem of a novel. Because from the first chapter, I was hooked. Completely and totally hooked. And the reason for that? Layla.
Every once in a while I come across a book where the author is in so deep, knows his/her character so well, that the character seems to become an extension of themselves. When this happens, that character blossoms and is lit up on the page. My imagination caught and burst into flame when I read Layla's story - I couldn't get her out of my mind. I had to know her more.
The Healer of Fox Hollow is the story of Layla's life - from five years old when a devastating event happens which robs her of her speech through the twilight years of her life. It deals with horrifying issues such as abuse, abandonment, depression, and war but counters those with the gentleness of spirit within Layla and those close to her, the open love, forgiveness, and most of all, hope. I was moved to tears several times, I'm moved to tears writing this and remembering how intimate this picture was to read. There were moments I felt as if I not only knew Layla, but she knew me and I was able to take comfort away from what I was reading, tuck it away for those moments when my own life seems dark.
The Healer of Fox Hollow doesn't have a flashy cover or a thrilling story that will have you turning pages as your heart pounds with excitement. But what it does offer is something precious, relevant, and beautiful to experience. I hope you'll take the time to experience it as well.