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The Well

by Catherine Chanter

The Well by Catherine Chanter X
The Well by Catherine Chanter
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  • Annie P. (Murrells Inlet, SC)
    The Well
    The Well is a beautifully-written book. The plot is scarily possible, the people wholly identifiable. I can't say I loved the book, because it isn't that kind of story. I found myself going back and forth on the 'whodunit' right up until the moment the truth was revealed. The author's prose was deliciously poetic, particularly the natural environment. The sadness ingrained in Ruth was given to us with such raw-ness, it was easy to feel the hurt, the anger, the grief along with her. There were many words unfamiliar to the American dialect (I'm still not quite sure what a Rayburn is; a stove, maybe) but they added to the story and kept us in place.
    The Well kept me turning the pages and reading on into the night; it's a story to keep your attention and drags out all sorts of emotions, so keep your tissues handy, as well as something tough to bite on so you don't start talking back in the middle of the night. Also give some rein to the possibility of climate changes brought about by man's thoughtlessness.

    [editor's note: a Rayburn is indeed a type of stove - cast iron with an enamel finish. Traditionally wood or oil fueled, many keep them burning all year round, providing an instant source to cook on and in, and also heat all or part of the house. Nowadays many run on electricity so retain the traditional look and feel but can be turned on and off more readily]
  • Anna R. (Oak Ridge, TN)
    So different
    This is one of the most unusual books I have ever read. That said, I couldn't stop reading it. The writing is amazing and kept me wanting to know "what happened?"
    It is amazing how someone could be so taken in by another person (s). I would love to know what has happened to the characters five to ten years from now. I will recommend this book to my book group just as soon as it is in paperback.
  • Tracy D. (Indianapolis, IN)
    Frighteningly real! Couldn't put down!
    "The Well" grabbed me from the first page. Ruth has been released from prison and is under house arrest at her former home, a place of horrible memories. A drought has hit everywhere except Ruth's land, The Well, and this is where the story and tragedy begins.

    Everything that happens is frighteningly real. The announcement about the megadrought coming in the near future came as I was reading this. As Ruth wrestles with her past and and the present, I had to refrain several times from jumping ahead to find out what happened! I spent much of the book trying to decide who was "good" or "bad", always a sign of a great book for me.
  • Laure R. (Fresno, CA)
    Brilliantly written with characters beautifully detailed and their environment brought to life. One of those rare authors that left me thinking about this story and its' people long after I had finished the book.

    Amazing this is Catherine chanter's first novel. I'm most anxious to find more from this talented author soon.
  • Lori L. (La Porte, IN)
    The Well
    The Well, a debut novel by author Catherine Chanter, is a beautifully written meditation on one woman's search for answers in the mysterious death of her grandchild. The author's beautiful, poetic prose makes the setting for this novel come alive in ways that feel dream-like, and yet startlingly real. Ruth and her husband have left their old lives and troubles behind in London to start over as farmers at the Well. A drought has struck the rest of the UK, but somehow the Well continues to receive rain, growing and thriving while the rest of the country crumbles to dust. This mysterious set of circumstances draws travelers, pilgrims, and the Sisters of the Rose to the Well, all in search of answers. Ruth struggles to determine whom she can trust, including herself, and what she can believe. This makes for an interesting psychological mystery, with a narrator that may or may not be entirely credible. The author incorporates themes that are as timely as they are timeless: environmental concerns, scarcity versus plenty, religious faith versus fervor, and the struggles of married life and parenthood. This book would be an excellent choice for book clubs, as there is much fodder for discussion. I look forward to more works from this talented author.
  • Carol R. (Weymouth, MA)
    Destined to Become a Modern Classic
    I liken this book to the creation of a quilt, stitched together with different dark shades of cloth which, upon completion, became a story so deeply moving and sad, but one which, I believe, is destined to become a modern classic. I so loved the author's talent in communicating the relationship between Sister Amelia and Ruth by omitting any graphic details. I swallowed this book in three gulps and I loved every one of them.
  • Portia A. (Mount Laurel, NJ)
    An extraordinary book
    I found this to be a book of many layers; mystical, a mystery, a woman in turmoil..and more. The author has used her skills well. I heartily recommend this book.

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