Customer Reviews for

The Well and the Mine

Average Rating 4
( 78 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Terrific Debut Novel

Gin Phillips deserves every ounce of attention she receives for The Well and the Mine. This is a breathtaking first novel. Phillips paces the story in perfect rhythm with the lives of these deceivingly simple characters. Her research into the everyday details of 1931 ...
Gin Phillips deserves every ounce of attention she receives for The Well and the Mine. This is a breathtaking first novel. Phillips paces the story in perfect rhythm with the lives of these deceivingly simple characters. Her research into the everyday details of 1931 rural Alabama is matched only by her deft craftsmanship and pitch-perfect voices. The plot here (which is very compelling) moves at the pace of the river, slowly unraveling each member of this vividly rendered family into fully realized human beings, wrought with their own loves and hopes and worries and fears. We face heightened racism, poverty, and suspicion in Carbon Hill, Alabama, but we also witness the irresistible goodness of a devoted family holding each day to a standard long lost in modern culture. Late in the novel, the youngest child in the Moore family says, â¿¿Iâ¿¿d listened to Pop good enough to make his story mine.â¿ Phillips has listened well, very well, and while her story navigates a gulf of southern traditions, this gorgeously complicated novel is entirely her own.

posted by Anonymous on March 7, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

The What and the Who?

I did not care for this book. After I finished reading it, I thought Ok, that was lame. It was not thrilling, or dramatic or even really interesting. I was hoping it would get better but it stayed slow and dry.

posted by Jennlvs2read on December 9, 2009

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  • Posted March 20, 2009

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    Haunting, well-crafted

    Gin Phillips truly deserves the honor of winning Barnes and Nobles' Discover Award for Fiction. Her novel is well-crafted, shifting through the first-person narratives of the family to move the story over the course of several weeks. Each family member emerges with a different voice but also united as one cohesive unit. Set in Alabama in the early 1930s, Phillips allows each narrator to fill in the realities of the time period, whether Albert musing on the idea of unions, the state of the mining industry, and segregation or Virgie on the trials of growing up pretty or whether to further her education beyond high school. The picture of the period is complete without bogging down the narrative. For all the excitement of the novel's opening chapter, the story flows quietly like the stream that feeds the titular well.

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