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This week’s review: The Well
The Well | Catherine Chanter | 2016, 400 pages | Literary Fiction/Suspense Thriller
Set in Great Britain on a small farm that is the only place to have regular rainfall in a country experiencing a multi-year drought, Ruth and her husband Mark find themselves the unintentional and unwilling focus of a nation in search of answers. But Ruth has questions of her own, and she is driving herself mad trying to get to the truth.
The couple struggle to find their feet and keep their marriage alive on their miraculously fertile new farm while dealing with countless intrusions from the outside world. Amidst the chaos of hostile neighbors, government regulators and scientists, accusations from Mark’s past, cultish religious fanatics, and a drug-addicted nomadic daughter, there is only one thing that anchors Ruth and Mark – their young grandson. And then he is murdered and her beloved farm becomes her prison.
Haunting and suspenseful, poetic and thrilling, The Well keeps you guessing. Its author sweeps you through a myriad of intriguing and complex themes that occasionally leave you feeling disconnected and stretched. However, the descriptions of the landscape and its abundant life become a compelling and vivid force driving the novel to its conclusion.
This novel makes us question the nature of miracles and the clarity of our own recollections. It asks us who and what we turn to when tragedy strikes and the world we know is turned inside out. Will it be family, love, faith, or the natural world?
Lainey Heartz, Library Page