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The Well

by Catherine Chanter

The Well by Catherine Chanter X
The Well by Catherine Chanter
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  • Vicki C. (Franklin, TN)
    The Well
    I loved this beautifully written book. Always a lover of mysteries, this book did not disappoint. But I think it important to emphasize this is not just a mystery! The main character, Ruth, is fascinating in her vulnerability and her incredibly confused approach to her closest relationships. Amelia, one of the Sisters and her complicated relationship with Ruth mesmerized me as it exasperated me! I thought the approach to spirituality and its risks when embraced without rationality fascinating to consider.

    I would highly recommend this book for book clubs. There are so very many paths discussions might take with this book...I am going to recommend for my own book club! Thank you Catherine Chanter!
  • Francine E. (Shirley, NY)
    Be Proud of Ordinariness
    We are at the mercy of Mother Nature. Sometimes a weather event such as a tornado can cut a path of destruction through a town or city but leave one house untouched. A so-called blessing can often be a curse. Catherine Chanter shows us a different stroke of luck. An ordinary family trying to make positive life changes are pulled apart as a result of their good fortune; verdant farmland in an area that has been experiencing a drought.

    Ruth Ardingly and her husband Mark deal with the envy of their neighbors and government interference consisting of mandates. The isolation each spouse experiences plays out differently. Chanter expertly portrays Mark's anger. Ruth's religious fanaticism is palpable. The tension builds to a tragic outcome.

    Ms. Chanter's character development is reminiscent of Kate Southwood's "Falling to Earth"; a fragmentation of family as a result of extraordinary events. Ms. Chanter has written an excellent study of the frailty of human relationships. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
  • Melissa M. (Leesburg, FL)
    Fresh and different.
    This book is not something I normally read, which is YA. I was pleasantly surprised. It was an easy read with many layers.
  • Mary M. (Dallas, TX)
    Tapestry of the Well
    The Well is the beguiling story of a family's small holding that seems to have magic properties that exclude it from the rest of the world that is rapidly running out of water. Amid the beauty there is murder and betrayal, growth and disintegration woven in a beautifully written tapestry of a story.
  • John W. (Saint Louis, MO)
    The Well … a modern Garden of Eden????
    Dark and captivating… Once I started reading it was difficult to stop – finished in four evenings. What made the book so compelling for me? Chanter does an incredible job of making her characters and the patch of land called The Well come alive. Some of the characters you'll love and most of them you'll hate! All have their flaws as do each of us although like the characters we often attempt to hide them.

    I was captivated by Ruth's narrative of the events that led up to her husband and her move to The Well. The story begins years later as Ruth returns home after a prison sentence for suspected murder and is set to finish with house arrest. The story quickly shifts to Ruth recounting the past that led to tragedy – the death of her grandson. There were the accusations against husband Mark that led them to move, the religious craziness brought by the Sisters of the Rose, and the normal strains of marriage and family. Although she pleaded innocence she ponders could she have done it and if not then who? Slowly she retells the story as if searching in her memories clues to who committed the crime.

    A great debut novel! The mystery isn't really a detective story, but interesting nonetheless. The scope of the book is very narrow – it's literally life within The Well that's explored and nothing more.
  • Anne C. (Herndon, VA)
    I was immediately drawn into this story!
    This is an amazing book to read as the first book from a new writer, and I can understand why the author has already won at least one prestigious award even before its publication. The language, the characters, the plot, and the settings convey an absolute assurance and control of the novel. I was immediately drawn into the story and felt great sympathy for Ruth, the main character and narrator. She tells her account of life at the beautiful English farm called The Well both in flashbacks and in her present situation of house arrest. Gradually the tragic story unfolds, and at one point I felt I might not want to read on, because Ruth had at that point lost everyone and everything she loved, and I was afraid the rest of the story would just be too depressing. But I read on, since I needed to write this review, and I am happy to report that there is at last a sense of peace and hope that comes to Ruth. Questions are answered, mysteries are solved, and the story comes to a surprising and comforting conclusion.
  • Rebecca G. (Havertown, PA)
    A Sign of Our Times
    There are things that happen in the world; natural disasters, terrorism, deadly diseases, e.g. These things very often lead to mass hysteria, create religious fanatics, foster suspicion between neighbors and family. People often comment how they personally would never react in negative ways. The Well is the story of a devastating drought. In the amidst of this drought lies The Well, a place of abundance and rain and beauty. This oasis eventually has dire consequences for those that live and love within it. The Well is the best kind of science fiction. It dances on the edge of reality. Could something like this happen in the world of today, the world some worry we are slowly destroying and if so, how would we act? Excellent

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