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The Well: A Novel (The Living Water Series) Paperback – June 4, 2013
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"Mara is an unforgettable character, and the writing is sharp. Landsem’s fresh interpretation of the familiar biblical story of Jesus and the woman at the well will be well received by fans of T. Davis Bunn. An excellent first outing by a promising writer." —Library Journal (Library Journal)
"...an interesting and imaginative work; highly recommended." —The Historical Novel Society (The Historical Novel Society)
“In The Well Stephanie has written a biblical novel that tells about a little known woman's encounter with Jesus that will resonate with readers. I felt I was right there, struggling with Mara, aching with her in all her agonies and cheering for her to struggle through them. Stephanie Landsem is a writer to watch.” —Lauraine Snelling, author of the Red River of the North series and Reunion (Lauraine Snelling, author of the Red River of the North series and Reunion)
“Stephanie Landsem breaks into historical biblical fiction with an intriguing and compelling story. The Well is sure to win the hearts of readers, and Landsem is a welcomed new voice to the publishing world.” —Rachel Hauck, bestselling, award winning author of The Wedding Dress and Once Upon a Prince (Rachel Hauck, bestselling, award winning author of The Wedding Dress and Once Upon a Prince)
“It's a rare story that you can't put down. Even rarer is a story that compels you to set it aside, reflect, and pray before you can go any further. Stephanie Landsem takes a tale you think you know and leaves you breathless with unexpected discoveries. I found myself stunned by The Well and humbled and inspired by the faith journey of her characters. This is a masterpiece.” —Regina Jennings, author of Love in the Balance and Sixty Acres and a Bride (Regina Jennings, author of Love in the Balance and Sixty Acres and a Bride)
“A captivating account based on a familiar biblical story, Stephanie Landsem brings clarity, hope, reflection, and plenty of enchantment to The Well.” —Alice J. Wisler, author of Rain Song (Christy Finalist) and other southern fiction (Alice J. Wisler, author of Rain Song (Christy Finalist) and other southern fiction)
"As you open the pages of Stephanie Landsem’s The Well, get ready to embark on a journey through the places where Jesus traveled—breathe the scent of an olive grove, taste the barley bread and sweet melon, walk along the dusty road to Galilee. Most of all get ready to have your own faith stretched as you read about those lives Jesus touched and how they were never the same again." —Ruth Axtell, author of Her Good Name and Moonlight Masquerade (Ruth Axtell, author of Her Good Name and Moonlight Masquerade)
“Stephanie Landsem breathes fresh life and understanding into the story of the woman at the well. Under her skilled pen, the characters, the setting, the history of ancient Samaria spring to life. The Well is a debut to stir the soul.” —Elizabeth Ludwig, author of No Safe Harbor (Elizabeth Ludwig, author of No Safe Harbor)
About the Author
Stephanie Landsem writes historical fiction because she loves adventure in far-off times and places. In real life, she’s explored ancient ruins, medieval castles, and majestic cathedrals around the world. Stephanie is equally happy at home in Minnesota with her husband, four children, and three fat cats. When she’s not writing, she’s feeding the ravenous horde, avoiding housework, and dreaming about her next adventure—whether it be in person or on the page.
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.
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.
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!