Family, Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

The Well by Catherine Chanter

When I first read the teaser about this book, I thought it would be about ghosts and spirits and the like. It certainly had a lot of elements to it that sounded like something supernatural was about to happen. I was planning on reading it in eBook version but I found it in the public library on a whim and decided to borrow it right then and there. Given my current stressful life, I thought I would have a better chance of reading it if I had a physical hard copy of it as a daily reminder to get through it! Anyways, I’m done now so here is my review:

Ruth and Mark Ardingly need a break from their life in the city, especially after Mark was under investigation for pedophilia. So when they see the listing for the Well, they rush to put in an offer. This farming area in the countryside is exactly the break they need. And when they arrive there, everything is perfect. Everything is in full bloom, their crops are growing well, and Mark and Ruth are filled with optimism. When their daughter Angie and grandson Lucien come to visit, they couldn’t be happier. But when the drought hits, everything changes, especially when they discover that The Well is the only place unaffected. Suddenly, they are the envy of their neighbours and the government is putting pressure on them. When a fanatic religious order called the Sisters of the Rose arrive, the situation gets worse, culminating in a shocking crime that threatens to rip this family apart.

Although this novel wasn’t a ghost story, it certainly was a thriller and it definitely gave me chills. The story is told in Ruth’s voice and it switches from past to present beautifully, connecting the story and giving lots of clues to the reader. It is more than just a who-done-it mystery; it deals with issues like mob mentalities, public vs private life, and fanaticism at its core. I was able to guess the ending about halfway through the novel but it was still a delightful read and got me really thinking hard. I really enjoyed this novel and I look forward to reading more by this author in the future!

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