Read The Healer of Fox Hollow by Joann Rose Leonard Online


According to folklore in the Smoky Mountains,“When you enter the world with your feet pawing the air before your eyes can see where to put them, it’s a strong sign you’ll lose your way from time to time.” 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,According to folklore in the Smoky Mountains,“When you enter the world with your feet pawing the air before your eyes can see where to put them, it’s a strong sign you’ll lose your way from time to time.” 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....

Title : The Healer of Fox Hollow
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781936467358
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Healer of Fox Hollow Reviews

  • Patty
    2019-04-28 18:39

    Layla lives with her father Ed in a small house in a rural area of the Smokey Mountains. Her mother died while giving birth to her but she and her father have managed to get along through life as best they can. Ed loves Layla and cares for her with all the love a father can have. While he works he leaves her with the neighbor family. A very religious group who go to a church of "snake handlers." Ed isn't much for church but feels Layla needs some religious instruction so he sends her off with this family so she can learn about the Bible. One night Layla wakes up screaming and Ed rushes into her room to find her covered in blood. He rushes her to the doctor to find that she has suffered a strange and horrifying injury. Out of her suffering though, comes Layla's ability to heal people. She uses her skill and is used for her skill throughout her childhood until she reaches adulthood and then she starts learning how to heal herself.I found myself completely lost in Layla's story. While at turns shocking and sad it was also uplifting and full of hope. Ms. Leonard managed to capture the essence of childhood and wrap it all up into this hurting, mute character and let her speak without talking. The writing takes you into the magical place that is the Smokey Mountains; if you haven't been through the area you really need to see them. There is a true sense of the time period as well. A time before cell phones and computers when life moved more slowly.I didn't want the story to end and if I had to put the book down it was an almost physical leave taking as the writing had wrapped me up and sucked me into Layla's world. I didn't see the twists coming and I had tears in my eyes at the end. Not many books engender that reaction from me. I'm keeping this one for another read. It's magic in a paper cover.

  • Margalit
    2019-05-04 01:51

    This book has a little bit of everything: romance, violence, religion, a-religion, cheesiness that makes you roll your eyes, cheesiness that makes you grudgingly tear up just a little bit... Any way, I enjoyed it. It was easy to read. Between a 3 and a 4 star read for me.

  • Tia Bach
    2019-05-10 00:50

    Some characters enter your heart from page one and maintain a place there through each page of the story and beyond. Layla is one of those characters. Not since Fannie Flagg's Daisy Fay, from Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man, have I so cherished a character.Layla faces unspeakable tragedy very early in her life, from the death of her mother moments after her birth to losing her tongue in a horrific scene at the age of five. The town whispers behind her back, talk of a serpent taking her tongue and God's hand in it. When Layla's touch saves a neighbor's dog, people start coming to her for faith healing.From school to the early teenage years, Layla's confidence in healing grows. The local doctor, originally skeptical, even turns to her when his son comes back from Vietnam wounded. But the wounded don't just need healing from medical pain. Layla decides to stay in town, turning down higher education, because people need her. A stranger knocks on her door and changes her life by stirring up feelings she never thought she'd experience. But his own pain sends him fleeing. Not long after, another tragedy befalls Layla. One that makes her question everything she's ever believed in.The story is seamless. Layla gently takes your hand in the beginning and leads you on a journey, never letting go. When she rejoices, you will. Her pain becomes your own. At the end, I had tears streaming down my face--for Layla, for all the lives she touched, and for all my own struggles. It's hard to read such an emotional book and not see the parallels in your own life, or in the life of someone you love.I also must mention how much I loved other characters. Layla's father is tender and sweet, but strong when he needs to be. Thanks to Aunt Avis and her daughter, Abbey, Layla has women to turn to. Finally, Doc Fredericks, along with his wife and son, is another charming character. One who is willing to look past his education to acknowledge the power of Layla's unconventional healing.Rich in characters and overflowing with emotion, The Healer of Fox Hollow is a touching story that will leave you asking your own questions and hugging all your loved ones. If your ideal dinner date with authors would include Billie Letts and Fannie Flagg, then pick up a copy. I know Joann Rose Leonard would now be sitting at my imagined author table.Note: I received a complimentary copy for review purposes. A positive review was not requested or guaranteed; the opinions expressed are my own.

  • LeighKramer
    2019-05-01 00:03

    Layla's story mesmerized me right from the start. Leonard captures the thoughts and level of understanding of a young child, without infantilizing the plot or losing her reader's attention.The way in which Layla perceived the world around her struck me. While her family loved her, they were limited in their ability to address her concerns. She had no one, really, to help her interpret the trauma she experienced or what she experienced in church. Because of her inability to speak, she has to find other ways to communicate until she's old enough to write but impressions have been made by then. Impressions which shape the next 14 years of the story. I understood Layla's confusion and how she yearned for someone to explain her gift to her.Some characters are more richly drawn than others. While I grew frustrated at times on Layla's behalf, their responses make sense given their specific circumstances. (I realize this is cryptic but I don't want to spoil the story.) The way Layla's father cared for his daughter from infancy and through trauma was beautiful and sacrificial. The stories of people Layla met with for on-going healing rang true. And then there's a character that rides into town on a motorcycle who holds a special place in my heart. That's all I'm saying about that.Leonard progressively reveals Layla's gift of healing to us, first through others' reactions and then inside glimpses of how Layla connected with those who sought relief from their ailments. Layla's inability to speak makes her a good listener but her gift also shows her the root of peoples' pain, past whatever they told her. In spite of the manipulations and those wanting to use Layla's gift for their own gain, we also see the beauty of healing and how the Spirit can draw us closer.Leonard doesn't make any statements about the charismata or Layla's church; the reader is left to draw their own conclusion. This in itself was healing for me. In fact, by the time the book ended, I was moved to tears. I believe I'll be pondering Layla's story for some time to come.

  • Lydia Presley
    2019-05-16 03:02

    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.

  • Caitlin
    2019-04-25 19:05

    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. In the Smoky Mountains - and anywhere that there are Pentecostals - this means faith healing or the "laying on of hands." There is also a strong tradition of healing using herbal methodologies that have been around for centuries - many of which are highly effective and have been incorporated into modern medicines. Think of aspirin, derived from willowbark tea - mentioned for its analgesic and blood thinning properties in Egyptian papyrus.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.Visit me at chaotic compendiums for reviews and more!

  • Joy
    2019-05-06 22:52

    This was a different kind of book... a good different though. It's the story of Layla, a 5 yr old that wakes up one night with a snake in her mouth and it bites her tongue off. The doctor is suspicious and asks the sheriff to investigate. Nothing turns up and the investigation is closed. Once Layla is well enough she is dropped off at the sitter's and during the course of the day the family dog dies. Layla touches the dog, her hands get very hot, and the dog returns to life. Her sitter, who attends one of those serpent handling churches, declares that Layla has the gift of healing given to her by God. We follow Layla into adulthood with all her experiences of being bullied, healing folks, and dealing with being unable to speak with words she does learn how to talk in other ways. One day she meets a stranger with an eerie serpent tatoo on his neck and cheek. She senses a kindred spirit and their day together is interesting...then he disappears.Though the book is shocking and sad it was also uplifting, I didn't want the story to end. The characters are endearing though some are just plain odd. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.I received a copy of this book free from TLC Tours in exchange for an honest review.

  • Lynna Banning
    2019-05-12 21:43

    This is a unique book! Set in the Tennessee hills of the 1950s, it is the moving story of people and culture I had no idea about. The writing is inventive and at times lushly sensual, for instance a "July afternoon full of insect hum" and a breeze described as "trees exchanging breaths like lovers."I particularly liked the portrait of the father, Ed, a down-to-earth, unlettered, hard-working and loving man with whom I suffered as he agonized about his daughter, Layla. Layla as a child is presented most charmingly--her thoughts and feelings so fresh and natural it gave me a little shiver of pleasure when I'd come across one.Also of note is the setting--the places, the people--from the kindly doctor to the sheriff to the preachy preacher and the loving and solicitous Aunt Ada... and more-- the culture, so different from ours in the 21st century (we could certainly learn a lot from theirs!) and the almost magical story line. It also has a sensitive and tender description of blooming love...Highly recommended!Lynna Banning

  • Rachel
    2019-05-17 22:52

    The Healer of Fox Hollow takes place in the Smokey Mountains during the 1950s through the 1970s. It's a heartwarming story about people being there for each other in the face of tragedy. The story moves at a slow pace, sometimes too slow. I was very anxious to find out what really happened to make Layla mute and my impatience made the story drag in the middle for me. Also, I expected a love triangle to form between Brian, Damian and Layla. That would have added a little drama to the story in the middle I think and spiced things up a bit.I liked that this book is one of those Southern novels where the people of a small town band together to help each other in times of need. When Layla has her accident, the townspeople are mostly supportive. (Some people are selfish and only care about Layla healing them - those people made really angry for Layla.) I loved how hard Layla's dad Ed tried to be a good dad. Her aunt Avis was also a wonderful and wise character.Overall, I thought The Healer of Fox Hollow was an engaging and uplifting story.

  • kim
    2019-05-22 20:00

    This book was a little slow to get started, but once it did, it was interesting. Layla's mother died in childbirth, and Layla was left with her father, who loved her very much, but struggled with being a single parent. Her aunt, her mother's sister, was very supportive, especially when Layla lost her tongue and became mute at age 5. How she lost her tongue was a bit of a mystery. She attended church with her neighbors who attended a church of 'snake handlers', and Layla was convinced a snake visited and stole her tongue. As she grew, she was recognized as a healer, able to heal people with her touch. The town doctor is a skeptic, both about how Layla lost her tongue and about her abilities to heal. Though the story is slow moving, it is a good story with much to think about. It is a book that is improved by discussion, and our book club was lucky enough to be able to discuss it with the author. If you are looking for a good 'discussion' book be sure to take a look at this one!

  • Lisa Roney
    2019-05-11 23:04

    A new book by my friend Joann Rose Leonard, The Healer of Fox Hollow is a beautifully written story of a young girl whose tongue is mysteriously ripped out when she is a child in Appalachia. The novel follows her years of growing up, coping with her disability, her love of nature, and her spiritual struggles. Raised in an atmosphere of fundamentalist belief, Layla is early on taken as having the "gift" of healing, and how she comes to think of that gift forms the key underpinning of the book. Layla and her father, Ed, are both terrifically rendered characters, who defy stereotypes of mountain folks. The novel also captures very well the tensions of rural areas during the Vietnam era--the way in which the war seemed so far away and yet so close all at once. As in her earlier book, The Soup Has Many Eyes, Joann writes with lyrical attention to the biological facts of life--hunger, pain, sensuality. She can catch a breeze on the page like no one else I know.

  • Serena
    2019-05-01 19:07

    The Healer of Fox Hollow by Joann Rose Leonard is a story of change, struggle, and perseverance in the great Smoky Mountain town of Fox Hollow between the 1960s and 1970s (around the time of the Vietnam War). Layla and Ed Tompkin live a hard life, carving it from the mountains that surround their home without a feminine hand to guide or support them. Layla spends parts of her day during the week with the Yeagleys, who tend to take the Bible and its teachings literally, while her father works to keep them clothed and fed. After a tragic accident, Layla is rendered mute and must find her way once again in the face of adversity.Read the full review:

  • Jennifer
    2019-05-21 20:49

    I read this for my library book group. 3.5 stars