The Well and the Mine

By Gin Phillips
(Riverhead Trade, Paperback, 9781594484490, 304pp.)

Publication Date: April 8, 2009

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall '09/Winter '10 Reading Group List
“Young Tess Moore watches as someone throws a baby into a well. This starts a remarkable adventure through 1930s Alabama, in which two girls try to find out whose baby died and the Moore family just tries to survive. This has been our favorite this year and elicited a great discussion on class, race, and family.”
-- Mary McHale, Fox Tale Books, New Durham, NH


Description

A novel of warmth and true feeling, The Well and the Mine explores the value of community, charity, family, and hope that we can give each other during a time of hardship.

In a small Alabama coal-mining town during the summer of 1931, nine-year-old Tess Moore sits on her back porch and watches a woman toss a baby into her family’s well without a word. This shocking act of violence sets in motion a chain of events that forces Tess and her older sister Virgie to look beyond their own door and learn the value of kindness and lending a helping hand. As Tess and Virgie try to solve the mystery of the well, an accident puts their seven-year-old brother’s life in danger, forcing the Moore family to come to a new understanding of the power of love and compassion.

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About the Author

Gin Phillips lives in Birmingham, Alabama. The Well and the Mine is her first novel.




Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. Virgie recollects, "Papa said it was an abomination what that woman did. That God would judge her" (p. 25). However, she refrains from judging and imagines the circumstances that might have driven the Well Woman to the deed. Where does Virgie's compassion stem from?

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