The Well and the Mine has one of the best opening lines I’ve ever come across:
After she threw the baby in, nobody believed me for the longest time. But I kept hearing that splash.
The book is set in a small American mining town during the 1930s and gives a vivid portrait of a community struggling to cope with the Depression.
The blurb implies that the book is a mystery revolving around who threw the baby into the well, but anyone looking for a mystery will be disappointed. The identity of the person who throws the baby is revealed, but is really of no consequence. Instead the book is more like a character study; revealing the thoughts and relationships of those living in the American South at the time.
Unfortunately the book was too slow for me. Very little actually happens. I admired the quality of the writing and the rich characters that were described, but I longed for the people to actually do something.
Recommended to people who enjoy gentle books.
Others enjoyed this more than I did:
The writing is pitch perfect. There is a subtle dialect that is charming without being over-powering. Educating Petunia
A real gem of a book paved with so many perfect moments that I can do no justice… Leafing Through Life
I loved this book. The writing style is sparse and yet at the same time lyrical. Page After Page