Have you ever thought what would you do if everything you have right now is taken away from you? What will be your next step? What are the things you will consider and how will you handle the challenges you will face? If not, then you need to read Joyce Shaughnessy’s book ‘A Healing Place’.
A dust storm hits the area where Amos and Molly Miller live happily with their small three daughters. No income source is left for the people of that area. On top of this, the bank takes away their land and all their possessions. What will the Millers do next? Will they starve to death leaving everything on fate or will they be courageous and give a chance to try something to better their life?
It is a tale that will make your hairs stand on their end while you read the challenges they faced while they struggled to find a place as peaceful as heaven. I relate myself a lot with the character Jed in the book. It may be because of his determination to be strong, to be mature and learn through practicality over theory. The character who chose the hard way to survive rather than the easy way, where he met a professor who taught him the lessons of life which changed him completely.
Even after struggling and facing the various challenges such as financial crisis, food crisis or feeling of hostility from other families the Millers keep moving, and finally found the healing place – Texon, teaching us that no matter how hard the situation is, if we just keep moving, we can find and reach the destination. While all this happens, Jed becomes completely out of your mind, as if it is a minor character. But no, Jed actually is the major character. The author very creatively used Jed to carry on the story. Jed comes back after 4 years, not to live at more ease but to find his love Addie, the eldest daughter of Millers. To the surprise, even she loved him.
Now they all think that everything is perfect in life. But does life remains perfect when you say “everything is perfect in life”? Jed enlists himself in the military and is promoted very early because of his swift logical reasoning. Then everything repeats again. The World War II starts, and there is torture, dieing, screaming and hostility everywhere in Jed’s life, just like it was 7 years ago when he was 12 years old and met the Millers, fled from his house to find enough food to feed his body.
Learning through various bitter life’s lessons from his experiences on the railroads, he learnt to endure till you can take it, and he did so while he was in Japs’ hands. Tortured like it was hell, Jed decided to commit suicide, end his life by slashing his wrists when he receives a parcel from Addie. That single parcel with the letter made Jed to bear all the torture and enmity, he got rescued and was finally home with his wife Addie and their son Richard.
This is a small picture of the Gigantic World War II. The author unveils the big secret of life: ‘A healing place did not have to be a place on the map; it could exist just as well in one’s heart’ If you care for your fellow being, definitely you will be no less than a healing place for him; a hand for support when he falls; a shoulder to cry on while he is down; an ear to talk to when he needs someone.
‘A Healing Place’ is not just a story about World War II, but it is an enthralling tale of peace blended with struggles, burglars, bravery, robbery, courage, voyage, love, dove (emblem of peace), defeat, conflict, laughter, slaughter and at last, the path to peace.