Monday, 15 March 2010

Book Review - The Well and the Mine

The Well and the Mine - Gin Phillips

'After she threw the baby in, nobody believed me for the longest time. But I kept hearing that splash.'

This book was lent to me by my friend Kate, who thought that it was something I would like. And she was right, I really enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down and although its not that long (just shy of 300 pages) and I'm a quick reader, I finished it in 2 days, which is always testament to a good book :)

It's set in the 1930s in a small mining town in Alabama and follows the story of a family who find a dead baby in their well. Ok, that sounds a bit gruesome and depressing, but along the way we get to see a portrait of a strong loving family emerge fighting against the Depression. The characters are very vivid and in each chapter the narrative switches between them so we get to see the main events of the story retold from lots of different points of view. Some of the language that Phillips uses to describe things from a child's point of view is pretty great as well. Simple, but hits the nail right on the head.

If you liked To Kill a Mockingbird then you'll definitely enjoy The Mine and the Well as they both deal with some of the same issues and themes. For some reason there's something about the Depression in America that I like to read about, hence why my favourite book is The Grapes of Wrath. So, if you're like me and enjoy a book about 'the best and worst of human nature', family unity, childhood and growing up then you'll like this one too :)

Also, how lovely is the cover? I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover but I love the tarnished silver spoon against the hard grain of the wood.

4 out of 5 stars

And if that didn't persuade you it also won the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize!



  1. This sounds like my kinda book! I'm hoping to do reviews on books on my blog soon! :) xxx

  2. I just finished this book too. I thought it was great. Here is my review on Rose City Reader.

    If you would like me to add a link to your review, please leave a comment on my review post and I will add it.


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