June 25, 2009

Review: The Well and the Mine

The Well and the Mine
by Gin Phillips

I loved this book!

Nine year old Tess Moore is daydreaming by the well in the backyard when she sees a stranger drop a baby in it. This event challenges her imaginative view of the world as a happy and wondrous place. Within her family there are varying degrees of disruption and fascination with determining who the baby is and what would motivate a woman to commit such a terrible act.

Far from depressing, this book was the perfect combination of To Kill a Mockingbird and Little House on the Prairie. We hear the inner workings of each member of the Moore family as they wrestle with this dilemma while getting on with their life in a mining community in Alabama during the depression. Each of the characters is thoroughly different but all of them lovable, especially little Tess. The baby in the well is not so much what the book is about as the plot devise used to show how a family deals with the mystery and what it does to their ideas about life.

The writing is pitch perfect. There is a subtle dialect that is charming without being over-powering. It conjured images of Sissy Spacek and Reese Witherspoon for me. If you have seen Witherspoon's breakthrough movie, "The Man in the Moon", then you have a pretty good idea of how this book feels in portraying the daily life of this memorable family. The details of their life were plentiful and pleasant to experience. It made me wish for a simpler time like this. Though the family struggles with living on a low income and the injustice of the mining field back in that time period the author manages to make it sound appealing.

There is so much to love about The Well and the Mine. I know that my clumsy review doesn't do it justice. I highly recommend this novel to everyone of any age.

I received this book as an Advanced Review Copy. It is Gin Phillips first novel. And it's only $9.99 at Amazon right now.

Buy this book at Amazon.


Jeane said...

To Kill a Mockingbird and Little House on the Prarie? I have difficulty imagining a mesh of those two styles, but it certainly sounds like a good book!

bermudaonion said...

That book sounds wonderful. We've lived in Alabama twice and our son was born there, so it holds a special place in my heart and I love to read books set there.

Petunia said...

Jeane - the seriousness and moral strength of Mockingbird with the endearing characters of Little House. It's a great combo.

Bermuda Onion - I hope you will read this one. It is so wonderful.

Jenny said...

I'm not usually a big fan of books set in the Depression - but I love the title, and your review makes it sound great!

Zibilee said...

This sounds like a fabulous book. I love novels set during the depression, and I also love things that deal with the daily minutia of life during different time periods. This one goes to the top of my list. Thanks!