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The Well: A Novel (Living Water Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The well takes a known story and puts a twist in it that kept my attention throughout. I am very critical of biblical fiction. And what I appreciate about Stephanie Landsem is while she does take liberties, she remains true to the Bible for the facts that we do know. I don’t know how she does it. But what is most interesting about her writing style is that she puts enough twists and spins in her books that it is impossible to guess the plot. In fact, I spent most of the book trying to figure out which character would end up being the woman at the well mentioned in the Bible. Stephanie Landsem is a fascinating author and I can’t wait to see what she writes next. In the meantime, her book The Tomb is the next read on my list. And I would recommend her books to anyone as I think it would appeal to a wide audience.
Life begins to change in Sychar when two men arrive. The first man is Shem, who is wealthy and worldly. He moves in with his grandparents, Abahu and Mechola, to help them in their olive grove. Throughout "The Well," we learn of Shem’s past, his desire for justice and his struggle with faith. He is drawn to Nava’s beauty, and various situations continue to put them together. Then, there is Jesus, who miraculously cures Nava of her depressive state and forgives her of her sins. She is a new woman and a transformed mother, after her encounter with Jesus, and she joyfully shares her experience with the entire town. This, of course, causes quite the uprising, and after Jesus leaves Sychar, many townspeople still want Nava to pay for her countless sinful acts, which results in a sentence of stoning.
Mara is desperate to save her mother, and she knows the only way to do that is to find Jesus, the Tehab, which is what the Samaritan people call the Messiah. She sets out to find Jesus, with the help of Shem, and their journey brings them more adventure, love, heartache and sacrifice than either of them could have imagined.
"The Well" is an absolutely beautiful story about faith, love, hope, trust and surrender. It is adventurous, moving and inspiring. I could not put it down, and I did not want it to end, as I read the last several pages through tears of overwhelming joy, heartache and compassion for these characters. What I loved most of all was Landsem’s beautiful way of writing a story about unconditional love so strong that we are willing to sacrifice our own hopes and desires for the good of another person and for the glory of God.
If you enjoy historical fiction and/or Biblical fiction, "The Well" is a must-read! Add it to your list and start reading today!
The Well is expertly written with one of the most moving endings I’ve read.
The author is a fellow member of the Catholic Writers Guild.
It also had the feel of Biblical fiction. The author did a great deal of research, or I assume so, to write it. The scene was well set, the characters fleshed out. I liked both Mara, who I constantly sorrowed for, and Shem, who had a lesson to learn. The writing was ponderous at first and the story dull until about chapter ten, then the pace of the plot picked up nicely. It kept me guessing and the pages turning. I wanted to know how it would end.
But ... by the time I did, I no longer liked this story and didn't believe in it at all. Yes, Jesus ministered to the Samaritan woman, and it COULD have happened as was suggested here. Perhaps if the author included more of her thoughts on why she wrote it as she did, I wouldn't feel so peeved. I hated the ending. In order to not give it away I won't fully say why except I do not like characters being put together and then torn apart. Even Enosh, as sweet as he seemed to be, couldn't save that for me.
But biggest of all, the story was scripturally unsound. A book review is not the place to debate why. I appreciate the author's attempt to tell this tale, but regret spending my money only in the sense of the story. I'm glad to support other authors in their efforts and this one has a creative imagination. But for Biblical fiction, I've read many others that tried to read between the lines and convinced me. This story did not.
2 stars. Cannot recommend.
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