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Journey to the Well: A Novel

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Overview

One of the most well-known and loved stories of Jesus's ministry is the encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. Now the creative mind of Diana Wallis Taylor imagines how the Samaritan woman got there in the first place. Marah is just a girl of thirteen when her life is set on a path that will eventually lead her to a life-changing encounter with the Messiah. But before that momentous meeting she must traverse through times of love lost and found, cruel and ...
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Journey to the Well: A Novel

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Overview

One of the most well-known and loved stories of Jesus's ministry is the encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. Now the creative mind of Diana Wallis Taylor imagines how the Samaritan woman got there in the first place. Marah is just a girl of thirteen when her life is set on a path that will eventually lead her to a life-changing encounter with the Messiah. But before that momentous meeting she must traverse through times of love lost and found, cruel and manipulative men, and gossiping women.

This creative and accurate portrayal of life in the time of Jesus opens a window into a fascinating world. Taylor's rich descriptions of the landscapes, lifestyles, and rituals mesh easily with the emotional and very personal story of one woman trying to make a life out of what fate seems to throw at her. This exciting and heartwrenching story will fascinate readers and lend new life to a familiar story.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

This imaginative retelling of the biblical story of the Samaritan woman who encountered Jesus at Jacob's Well traces her path to that fateful meeting. At 13, Marah, forced into marriage with a man she does not want to wed, must say good-bye to Jesse, the boy she had hoped would be her husband. Her life takes many twists and turns before she meets Jesus at the well. Set in a vividly depicted first century, this absorbing debut novel is populated with charming characters. Readers who enjoyed Anita Diamant's The Red Tent or D.S. Lliteras's The Silence of John will appreciate this fine effort. Recommended for CF and historical fiction collections where biblical tales are popular.


—Tamara Butler
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780800733094
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/1/2009
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 274,179
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Diana Wallis Taylor is the author of Journey to the Well and Martha, and has published many articles, and has contributed stories to several books. Taylor lives in California. Find out more at www.dianawallistaylor.com.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 70 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(44)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 70 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2010

    New perspective on scripture.

    Knowing the scripture about the Samaritan women meeting Jesus at the well, I was of the understanding that she was a sinful woman when it came to being with several men or "husbands". I never really thought more about it than that because of the lack of information provided about her in scripture. However, this book has open my eyes as to the possible life circumstances that may have lead her to the conversation she had with Jesus. The book portrays her as a woman that has gone through unfortunate circumstances when it comes to her being married and the law which dictates what marriage is.

    This was an enjoyable read and gave me a new perspective about the interaction between the Samaritan woman and Jesus at the well. It is full of emotion, history and ultimately the transforming power of what happens when people encounter Jesus.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 11, 2012

    Highly Recommend this read!

    If you like biblical novels - this is one you won't want to miss. It was recommended to me by a co-worker who couldn't put it down. I know what she means! It was hard to put down and gives one food for thought about jumping to conclusions. (You'll know what I mean once you've completed this story.)
    I really enjoyed this author and plan to read more of her work soon.
    In-Joy the Journey!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    Great book

    Love this story. Hard to put down. Reminds me of Francine Rivers.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2011

    Different perspective on well known biblical story

    Great read..could not wait to read about what else Marah had to endure. Has you rethink your prayer habits.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 8, 2011

    Highly recommend, By Mimi

    Very very good must read

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2011

    Very good story about the Samaritan woman

    I don't know how accurate the story is but it gives a good example of what her life could have been and it is a touching story. I did not give it 5 stars because sometimes it was slow but I recommend this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 14, 2011

    Loved it.

    Our pastor has touched on this story of the woman at the well many times and I often wondered why she had so many husbands....now I know

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    AWESOME!!!!

    Step through the pages and journey through ancient times with a young girl as she faces a life that will leave you thanking God for all the blessings in your life. You will find yourself desperately wishing you could offer her your hand, your money, and a shoulder to cry on. It is a magnificently crafted story that will build your faith and warm your heart.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Liveing Water

    This book was 25 years in the making. The author paints an amazing story which will take you back in time - a time when Jesus lived. I have to admit I had always thought of the 'woman at the well' to be a woman of poor moral character. Diana describes a tale of a faithful woman, a woman after God's own heart, who is thrust into circumstances beyond her control. How quickly people judge someone without knowing all the facts...but once all the facts are known, and they can't pin it to one bad choice that brought about all the bad luck. People start to speculate things or imagine stuff. You can't win - especially back then. There is no redemption except through Jesus. Forgiveness, love, compassion...those are just a few things Marah finds at Jacob's well that day.

    The author not only tells the tale of Marah and how women were treated back then, but she also tells of other characters that could have or did intersect with her life. Some of the people discussed at length were Reba, Zibeon, Shimei, Jessie, Hamon, Ahmal and Jesus. To me, a good book brings the bible to life in a very creative way. I love that it caused me to turn to scripture and see what else I can glean from its pages. Diana Wallis Taylor walks you through Jesus' time customs and the many people he met and healed along the way. After reading "Journey to the Well", scripture will come alive for you and you'll find yourself (like I did) digging though its pages and coming to your own conclusions of what could have happened back then.

    www.psalm516.blogspot.com

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2014

    Simply delicious

    It is a blessing to enjoy books based on The Word of GOD. To read history along with GOD's Word allows us to review our lives and give thanks.

    This book showed me many emotions -- lost, compassion, anger, confusion, love unconditional, hope, judgemental, forgiveness, life but most of all dependance on GOD and HIS love for all people. GOD does wish for no one to perish but for all to come unto Salvation. For me, that is a sweet and lovable GOD.

    The book caused me to worship, sing, praise and thank GOD for HIS provisions in my life. To read that this book was also pressed upon by GOD to Diana is another blessing.

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  • Posted October 27, 2013

    This answers a lot of Biblical questions

    If you ever wondered how the woman at the well got all those husbands, here it is. I liked the reasons that caused this humble woman to into the This position. The problems women had to live through gives more insight into those times. Would be a good discussion for a woman's reading club.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2013

    An amazing read!

    Loved this book!

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  • Posted February 14, 2013

    Thank you so much for writing this story. Although we can't know

    Thank you so much for writing this story. Although we can't know the exact circumstances the woman at the well may have faced, her story as portrayed in this book certainly could have happened. Like others I always assumed (or was taught) the woman was a prostitute. This book reminded me not to judge or assume about others. We don't know their history or what circumstances may have happened to put them in the situation they're in. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. It was not only entertaining but also a life lesson.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 4, 2011

    Good..

    But a little confusing at times. But all together, this is a very touching book.

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  • Posted August 26, 2011

    Great book!

    This book really brings the story of the Samaritan woman to life. It gave her character and really made me wonder if this was how her life progressed and eventually led her to the Well of Living Water. Beautiful!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 8, 2011

    LOVED THIS BOOK!!

    Always questioned "the woman at the well" and this story captures the life of a woman who has been through tough times, but still retains her dignity and faith.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    highly recommended

    highly recommended. a good read!!!

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  • Posted June 10, 2011

    LOVED this book!

    Would recommend this book to everyone. Such an amazing story and very well written!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2011

    Love it!!

    I can not believe this book is free. I am about half-way through it and don't want to put it down. If you have a Nook, don't miss out on reading this one. I like it so well that I am going to get a hard copy of it for my mom for her birthday.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A Better Understanding to a Familiar Story

    I don't know if it's because this was ingrained in me from years of Sunday School, but my impression of the woman at the well was always negative. I mean, she had five husbands so to my childhood mind back then, anyone who had five husbands couldn't be good! For some reason, I never thought of her situation to be not her fault. I mean seriously, why did becoming a widow, abandonment or abuse never get brought up at all in Sunday School? Reading this book put that story in a totally different light and helped me to understand her a whole lot better.

    I felt so sorry for Marah throughout the book. To be forced to marry at the age of 13 is just unthinkable. You're barely out of your childhood and then forced to become a married woman. Her aunt was NOT a nice character so it was good that she had Hannah as a surrogate mother to help her out throughout the years. Each man that she ends up with brings other joy or unhappiness for Marah. However with each husband, we see how she is able to adapt and begin a new life for herself, no matter how much heartbreak or sorrow she had felt before. I don't think I could have been as strong as she had been and I admired her greatly for it. The situation with Shimei was rather interesting. The issue mostly likely did happen back during that time period but it would have been taboo and never brought up in polite society. It was totally unexpected to read in the book but it does shed light on the lives of people during that time.

    Taylor does her research for this book and it's a wonderful blend of history, Biblical fact, and a page turning story. If you're a Biblical fiction fan, you will enjoy this book for its rich storytelling and descriptive narrative. If you're not a fan of Biblical fiction because you think that it's sacrilegious to add things to the Bible, you will still enjoy this book. Everything from the scene at the well is included in this story keeping that whole passage intact. What Taylor does though, is draw out the story and helps you to understand what exactly Marah was going through and why she became a believer.

    It's one of the best Biblical fiction novels I've read this year and I hope to read more of Taylor's works in the future. HIGHLY recommended.

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