An assured, inspiring debut which demonstrates the power of the human
spirit to give comfort in times of hardship. In 1931 Carbon Hill, a small
Alabama coal-mining town, nine-year-old Tess Moore watches from the
darkness of her back porch as a strange woman lifts the cover off the
family well and tosses a baby in without a word. It is the height of the
Depression; while Tess's father, Albert, performs backbreaking and
dangerous work at the mine, her mother, Leta, makes do without meat on her
table. But the family are luckier than most; the food they can grow on
their plot of land has so far saved them from the crippling poverty and
near-starvation that besets their neighbours. As Tess tries to unravel the
mystery of the woman at the well, a portrait emerges of a family and a
community struggling to survive the darkest of times. Resonant, vivid and
clear-eyed in its portrayal of both the best and the worst of human nature,
The Well and the Mine is a stunning novel about love, hope and the
importance of doing the right thing.

Author: Gin Phillips
Publisher: Virago Press
Publication Date: 2010

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