Friday, March 13, 2009
Book Review: Journey to the Well
Taylor, Diana Wallis. 2009. Journey to the Well.
Ever been curious about the woman at the well. The Samaritan woman that Jesus spoke to that so shocked his disciples. For those that are clueless--and that's an okay place to be--the story is found in John 4. This novel is inspired by that passage of Scripture. What do we really know about her? Jesus told her that she had had five husbands and the man she was living with then was not her husband. Around these bare facts, Diana Wallis Taylor has woven a richly detailed back story.
When we first meet our heroine, Marah, she is an orphan--a young girl on the verge of becoming a woman. Just thirteen. She's a girl just beginning to think about life, about love, about marriage. But life doesn't always go as planned. Especially when you're an orphan. Especially when you're living in a culture that is all about arranged marriages. Though she hopes Jesse, a young shepherd boy, will one day be her husband. Her kinswoman, Reba, has a different husband in mind for her, the sandal maker, Zibeon, who is rumored to have quite the temper. She returns home from Jacob's well to discover that she is betrothed to a much older man, a man who gives her the creeps. But there is no choice in the matter. Marry him she must. And so it begins...
The book is well written and compelling. Marah's story is tragic in turn (after turn after turn) but it's redemptive as well. I became absorbed in the culture, in the back drop of this one. It was a very enjoyable read.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible