Healer by Peter Dickinson.
Delacorte Press: NY.
First published by Victor Gollancz: Great Britain, 1983.

Young Barry is convinced that an old school friend, though much younger, is being held captive by her stepfather at the Foundation of Harmony. Pinkie seems to have a gift of healing, and while her talent is about all that matters to her, she is being exploited.

Barry gains access to the Foundation through a request for the healing of his migraine headaches. He is given a job at the Foundation - maybe because of his character, maybe because of his friendship with Pinkie, maybe to convince him of the good of the Foundation.

On a visit to Pinkie's rooms, it is confirmed in his mind that she is indeed imprisoned, and he vows to break her out, at least long enough to deliver her to her grandfather.

The story is strange and mysterious, but highly captivating and convincing. Not only is Barry faced with the adventure of spying within the Foundation and freeing Pinkie, but he also has an alter personality he is trying to understand and control. Pinkie is also hard to fathom, unlike anyone else he has known, and most certainly capable of things beyond understanding.

It may be a strange subject, but Dickinson is a master storyteller. One of his strengths is that his content is so far ranging. Not one of the stories that I've read of his has been like another. Nor like other authors. To top it off, much of his career was based on writing at an adult level (though shorter in length) for teens before YA literature became a norm. Targeted for teens without the dumbing down. That's what I want to see for YA books.

related-healers, paranormal healing, healing the sick for profit, exploitation

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