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The Sacred Well

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  90 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
A young reporter in 1923, Alma Reed accompanies archaeologists to the ruins of Chichen Itza, where a fortune in Mayan artifacts has been stolen from a sacrificial well. It's believed a curse was unleashed by the theft—yet the career-making story it offers the ambitious journalist seems a godsend. It also leads her to a passionate love affair with revolutionary governor Fel ...more
Paperback, 380 pages
Published March 24th 2009 by Harper Paperbacks (first published March 11th 2009)
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(showing 1-30)
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Tara Chevrestt
I have been to Mexico on two separate occasions and not once have I been to visit the Chichen Itza ruins. Now I am seriously regretting that decision and the destination is going on my PLACES TO VISIT BEFORE I DIE list. This historical novel tells the true story of Alma Reed, a reporter in 1920s San Francisco that after saving the life of young Mexican boy on death row, makes an archealogy expedition to the ruins. She uncovers shocking information and hears incredible Mayan legends as well as be ...more
Katherine Marple
Sep 22, 2009 Katherine Marple rated it liked it
Antoinette May's "The Sacred Well" is about two women. One is Alma Reed, an aged 27 girl from early 20th century. She is one of the first female writers who is sent on an archeological expedition to find the true meaning behind the ruins of Yucatan. She is bright, determined, polished and intriguing. The second woman is Sage Sanborn, an aged 40s woman and present day novelist who finds herself researching Alma's previous life because it so resembles her own. She discovers ties to Alma's life whi ...more
Olivia Quijano
Aug 16, 2011 Olivia Quijano rated it liked it
I find the Maya fascinating, I am hooked on Mexico and its history, and I have long meant to research more about Alma Reed, the San Francisco journalist who met and fell in love with Felipe Carillo, governor of Yucatan 1921-1923. This is based on their love story. I think it is good - although it ends too sadly to be (by definition) a romance.

It has one of those double stories - a San Francisco journalist finds out about Alma and Felipe and does some research and writes about them (which product
Jenny GB
Oct 04, 2012 Jenny GB rated it liked it
A very sad but relatively well written and engaging novel. The novel tells two love stories. Alma and Felipe are the couple from the past. She was a reporter following an archaeological crew and he was a governor in Mexico who advocated progressive reforms. They fall passionately in love and have a tragic love story. Then there is Sage the modern writter/report that does travel pieces about Mexico and has a long-term boyfriend who is terminally ill. She is torn between staying with him for the r ...more
Jen Adams
Jun 12, 2013 Jen Adams rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book more than I did, but May didn't really make the love between Alma and Felipe resonate with me. Also, Sage's side story seemed superfluous. Not only did I find her a bit irritating, but I felt a sense of non-closure regarding her part of the story.

I did, however, gain the desire to learn more about Alma and Felipe's stories, and found myself doing some basic research on them. What a fascinating couple, both advocates for the underprivileged and underrepresented. Theirs
Dec 09, 2014 Cathi95 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2014
(Fiction/Romance 2009) Not sure how I came into this story, but it was written by local author Antoinette May. It is a dual story, of the romance in 1923 between Alma Reed, reporter, and revolutionary governor Felipe Carillo Puerto, and a budding romance in current time between Sage Sanborn, writer, and David, a scientist. The narrative switches between the stories of the two women. I was not expecting much from the story, but soon found myself reading more intently to see where it was going and ...more
May 21, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
A poignant book that evoked feelings of longing and hopes for second chances at love and life living. There are two journeys, both really beautifully written. They are probably better appreciated by a more mature woman. The main setting is heady and the stories are steeped in exotic culture, ancient myths, love and loss.

I came away with a strange, yet peaceful feeling. it gives me my own desire for my own second chance.The Sacred Well
Apr 28, 2012 Dana rated it really liked it
I really liked this book, mostly because I have always been fascinated with pre-Columbian art. The older story is the most intriguing of the two story lines, especially as the novel nears the end and the more modern of the characters' plots become a little contrived. I am really glad to have learned about Alma Reed and Felipe Carrillo Puerto--their real-life adventures are probably better than anything an author could have invented. Visiting Chichen Itza is for sure on my bucket list.
Jen Reardon
Sep 06, 2011 Jen Reardon rated it really liked it
This story was intriguing. It's a fictional account of two real people who lived in the 1920s and shared an incredible love. The story is told by a modern day journalist who is researching the live of Alma who was a journalist and adventurer in the 1920s and falls in love with Fellipe who is the governor of Yucatan in Mexico. It's such an interesting read and I highly recommend it.
Nov 12, 2014 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a story within a story. The story about the young journalist who in the early 20th century
goes to Yucatan, Mexico, for an archeological story, was especially interesting to me.
She falls in love with the governor of Yucatan and the story moves on from there. It is based on historical fact.
I found it most interesting.
Jul 19, 2012 Joyce rated it really liked it
Initially, the book did not resonate with me, but slowly it drew me in, till finally it had me hooked. It was not only an enjoyable read, but also quite the story. Most of the book took place in the Yucatan, before tourists. Nevertheless, it would me amazing to see the Mayan sights and now to know a little something about the real peole who brought the Yucatan to the world is pretty cool.
April Hochstrasser
Aug 20, 2012 April Hochstrasser rated it really liked it
It was a cool story to read since much was set in Chichen Itza, a fascinating place. What made the people here abandon their whole civililzation? The story is based on real people that lived and is very fascinating.

The author alternated between two women connected with the Yucatan in different time periods, but it was never confusing, the way some similarly written books can be.
Sara S
Aug 03, 2009 Sara S rated it really liked it
This was an interesting parallel between a modern author and a journalist from the 1920s who are both drawn to the Yucatan and the Mayan ruins there. It touches on history and relationships. It's an easy read that kept me engaged the whole time. I would definitely recommend it!
Oct 29, 2009 Jeana rated it really liked it
Shelves: mexico-trip
I read this book while vacationing in the Yucatan. It was such a cool story to read since much was set in Chichen Itza, a fantastic place I got to visit on my trip. The story is based on real people that lived and is very fascinating.
Jan 13, 2015 Anna rated it liked it
Entertaining especially to read while in the Yucatan.
Aug 04, 2009 Crystal rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. It was based on historical fact.
Pearl Yusuf
Dec 29, 2014 Pearl Yusuf rated it liked it
Nicely done with the history
Jane Gruber
Jan 08, 2014 Jane Gruber rated it it was amazing
I really loved this storyline. I found the Yucatan history intriguing and this real life story made into fiction.
Mar 13, 2013 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Way better than it sounds! And based on a true story...
Katie Davis
Aug 18, 2009 Katie Davis rated it it was amazing
I just finished this historical fiction novel about the Yucatan Peninsula through the eyes of two different ladies in two time periods. It was a great read!
Stacie (BTR)
Aug 26, 2012 Stacie (BTR) rated it it was ok
Too much description; not enough action.
Patti rated it it was amazing
Sep 19, 2011
Shelly rated it liked it
Jan 13, 2017
Lisa rated it really liked it
Jul 07, 2010
Lisa rated it it was amazing
Aug 03, 2014
Penny rated it did not like it
Apr 10, 2009
Jason Sheats
Jason Sheats rated it did not like it
Apr 02, 2014
Vanessa rated it liked it
Jul 27, 2011
Helen rated it liked it
Sep 09, 2011
Liz Lenz
Liz Lenz rated it really liked it
Dec 12, 2014
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