The Well and the Mine by Gin PhillipsTess is only nine the moonless night she watches a stranger step upon their back porch and drop a baby into the covered well. At first no one believes Tess. A fanciful child, her imagination is readily engaged. As family and neighbors buzz about this bizarre occurrence, Tess begins a new phase of her young life, pondering improbables, questioning things she has always taken for granted. At fourteen, the beautiful Virgie is far less frivolous, facing the challenges of boys and high school, but frequently the girls put their heads together, making lists of possible mothers. The baby becomes a theme throughout these months, although events conspire to change their priorities.
Book Review: Dörte Hansen - This House is Mine
The Well and the Mine by Gin Phillips
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again.
I n Alabama, little Tess has her quiet place, curled on the porch in the evening shadows with the family's creek-fed well keeping her company. But one night a woman appears, throws a swaddled — but living — infant into the water and then disappears. These are the opening scenes of Gin Phillips's novel. But in some ways, the baby-in-well business is misleading, because it goes on to command relatively little dramatic tension in the book, despite preoccupying Tess's thoughts. Instead, the old Southern tensions run throughout, as deep as the coal seams that Tess's tired, loving father works to keep the family alive. Though they work side by side down the mines, his black colleague Jonah won't come in for supper for fear of reprisals; the breathtaking poverty of their neighbours is nothing compared to the broken shacks of "Niggertown". Phillips writes in the first person, moving between family members every few pages, a shame because their voices are distinguishable only through their references to one another.