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Journey to the Well by Diana Wallis Taylor

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Review of Journey to the Well

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Journey to the Well by Diana Wallis Taylor

Reviewed by April Gardner

"Diana Wallis Taylor, is another author I’ll be keeping an expectant eye on."

The scandalous life and ultimate redemption of “the woman at the well” is a story familiar to many Christians around the world, but never has it been told in such a way as you’ll find in “Journey to the Well.”

The basic plot is no mystery. “You have had five husbands…and this man that you have now is not your husband,” Jesus said. It’s what’s left to the imagination that prompted Diana W. Taylor to create a novel about rejection, shame, and the hope Christ brings.

Marah, a girl having just come of age, is married off to the first man willing to fill her benefactor’s greedy coffers. Torn from her childhood friend and sweetheart, Jesse, Marah is forced to enter a world of misery with the first of five husbands.

Life has few kindnesses to offer Marah. Loss, grief, and censure are her constant companions. That is until the day, she returns to Jacob’s well…

“Journey to the Well” is based on one of the many Biblical accounts that has always intrigued me. Why would a woman ever have five husbands? What kind of horrible sins must Jesus have forgiven? What a desperately lonely person she must have been! These are the questions that fill the pages of this absorbing book.

Marah’s continuous struggles reminded me of Elizabeth’s in Jerry Jenkin’s “Though None Go with Me”, although I might add (to Diana W. Taylor’s benefit) that Marah’s journey gave me a greater sense of hope than Elizabeth’s.

After husband number four, I began to grow listless and bored, but the author did a superb job of swinging the story around in a new direction and sweeping me off my feet again.

From a historical perspective, “Journey to the Well” delves into the lives of the Samaritans, which lived and thought more differently from the Jews than I had known. It’s a very interesting peek into their lifestyle and religious rituals, and it’s all woven unobtrusively into the story.

Marah is a character I’ll not soon forget, and her creator, Diana Wallis Taylor, is another author I’ll be keeping an expectant eye on.

April GardnerApril W Gardner writes adult and middle grade historical fiction. Her first novel, Wounded Spirits, releases with Vintage Romance Publishing in November of this year. She is a member of ACFW and reviews for Title Trakk, At Home With Christian Fiction, and FIRST Wild Card Blog Tours. A military spouse, April has performed the art of homemaking all over the world. Currently, she lives in Georgia with her darling Hubby. A homeschool mom, she fills her mornings talking fractions and phonics with her two sweet kiddos. In her free time, April enjoys reading, gardening, and DIY. In no particular order, she dreams of owning a horse, visiting all the national parks, and speaking Italian. Visit April's Website or her blog, A Writer's Journey. You can also get to know April on Facebook and Twitter.