Jackie's Reviews > The Well and the Mine

The Well and the Mine by Gin Phillips
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Apr 12, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: work-review-related-reading, 5-star
Read in April, 2009

This book, Phillips' debut novel, came out last year on Hawthorne Books, which has now belongs to Penguin, who will be re-releasing it sometime in the not too distant future. And well they should--this is a marvelous novel. Set in 1931 in Carbon Hill, Alabama, this book is more of a snapshot of life in a southern coal town than anything else. There is a bit of a mystery--a nine year old girl sees an unfamiliar woman throw a baby in a well on night--but it's biggest asset is the wonderful, detailed and delightful character development throughout the book. It centers on a family--Albert, who has mined coal his whole life; Leta, his hardworking and kindhearted wife; Virgie, the couple's teenage daughter whose beauty terrifies her parents; Tess, the middle child who is 9 and longing for adventure; and Jack, the ornery 7 year old little brother of the family. In some ways this reminds me a great deal of The Waltons, but the depth of the characters and the carefully crafted atmosphere transcend that similarity by light years. I was left aching for more when the last page was turned. I'm going to miss this family. And I'm going to watch out for Gin Phillips books--she's going to be an amazing southern voice in literary fiction.
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Reading Progress

04/12/2009 page 94
37.45% "Penguin just bought the rights to this book and will be re-releasing this soon. I'm glad I was asked to review this--it's unputdownable!" 3 comments
05/03/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Cindy Great review! I really enjoyed this one too!


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