eBook publitags.co ´ The Well eBook ¶

In the rich tradition of Francine Rivers’s Lineage of Grace series comes a beautiful retelling of the biblical story of the woman at the well—bringing to life this poignant young woman struggling to survive love and heartbreakFor the women of the Samaritan village of Sychar the well is a place of blessing—the place where they gather to draw their water and share their lives—but not for Mara and her family Shunned for the many sins of her mother Mara struggles against the constant threats of starvation or exileBut Mara and her mother Nava’s lives are forever changed with the arrival of two men Shem a mysterious and wealthy young man from Caesarea and Jesus a Jewish teacher Nava is transformed by Jesus with his talk of forgiveness but his teachings come too late and she is stoned by the villagers for her past sins Desperate to save her mother Mara and Shem embark on a journey to seek Jesus’ help—a journey that brings unexpected love and hope despite great difficultiesIn The Well debut novelist Stephanie Landsem brings to life the culture and people of Jesus’ day skillfully demonstrating how redemption can bring about the life changing effects of forgiveness and love


10 thoughts on “The Well (The Living Water, #1)

  1. says:

    Mara is a fifteen year old Samaritan girl who lives with her younger crippled brother and her mother in a small clay house in Sychar Nava – Mara's mother – is mentally unstable and unable to care for her children So now Mara is trying to take care of her mother and brother She is scorned in the village because of her mother's sins Life is not easy for herA pagan man named Alexandros stops by their house once in a while to stay the night with Nava No one may know because Nava will surely be stoned if they ever find out Mara often worries about it and tries to persuade Nava to turn Alexandros down next timeShem is a young man from Caesarea where he received a good education and where he could live a good lifeif only he hadn't gotten himself into trouble His father is sends him away to his grandparents in Sychar Once there he rescues Mara from three boys who bully her on her way to the well—and in doing so he makes his first enemies in SycharOne day Nava is going to the well where she meets Jesus He knows all about her husbands and doesn't condemn her She receives new life at the well and is changed But the village people refuse to believe she's changed—they really want to punish her for her sinsWhen something bad happens to her mother Mara is called in a dream by Jesus Meanwhile Jesus has left Sychar and has gone elsewhere Mara and Shem go after him—together they travel from Sychar to Nazareth and further On the way they get into several dangerous situationsWill they find Jesus? Will her mother get healed? And what is the reason Jesus called Mara to come to him?I enjoyed this book immensely It is hard to believe this is a debut novel The writing is excellent; the author has a pleasant voice the plot is very well done the characters are so real easy to love and easy to identify with From the first till the last page this book is a pure delight I highly recommend this book


  2. says:

    I just finished this novel and it was so intense I'll never look at the woman at the well the same way again Landsem did a wonderful job drawing us into her world and showing us through the eyes of her daughter why this woman had so many husbands and such a difficult life I also appreciated the biblical way Jesus was portrayed in this story I didn't see the ending coming but it was a gripping twist Looking forward to Landsem's next book The Thief


  3. says:

    Teenage Mara works hard to take care of herself her crippled little brother and her depressed mother and wishes for the days when her mother didn't sleep all day the days when her brother's father lived with them It's only a matter of time before the villagers discover her mother's most recent sin and when they do the food will stop coming They might even be driven from their homeTrouble finds Shem wherever he goes and this time its set him up for a lifetime of olive picking in Sychar with his grandfather Well long enough for the Romans to calm down and stop looking for him in and around Caesarea But trouble finds him even in Sychar and this time it has the face of a beautiful girl with jade amber eyesI expected the main character to be the woman Jesus conversed with in John chapter four but it was rather her fictional daughter Mara though the well scene was done in the mother’s POV I also expected the book to climax with Jesus’ crucifixion at the end as the back cover specified “a journey that brings unexpected love and unimaginable heartbreak”My hat is off to an author brave enough to write a story incorporating Bible stories involving Jesus I was a little wary of how Jesus might be stretched to fit a work of fiction and was delighted with a careful echo of Scripture surrounding His commentsreplies though one of His replies to the woman in John chapter four was omitted and put into a later fictional scene The author wasn’t afraid to use her imagination in the story which proved satisfying on the fictional side but a bit jolting as it strays from Sychar's response to Jesus in John 440 42As I reached the end my feelings about the story were mixed and muddled “Unimaginable heartbreak” is the right description but it didn’t involve the crucifixion scene I have to hand it to the author she really surprised me And while a good and impactful ending it did not leave me with happy sighs as I turned the last page Rather it made the characters memorable and gave me lots to ponderIn case I sound too disappointed I do plan on picking up The Thief which revists a few of the characters introduced in The Well When you come across an author who proves herself a master storyteller of a genre you love and delivers pacing action and tension layering in way that makes you want to study her work you're not going to let an unexpected ending keep you away from Especially when so many other authors out there are predictable Yes you find those masters of plot twists and you hang on to them PI would recommend the “The Well” to those who can enjoy Biblical Fiction with some improvisation fans of Francine Rivers and those who enjoy stories they can’t predict


  4. says:

    The Well is the debut novel by Stephanie Landsem but you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise I’ve read fiction regarding the woman at the well before and I was curious to read this take by an unknown writer We know little about the woman except that she was a Samaritan with a dubious past Who was she? What was her past? What happened to her after her encounter with Jesus? With so little known there is freedom to create a fascinating story But how similar would this version be to the others already out there?The answer is not much Landsem has taken a different direction from the norm Her focus is not so much on the woman but on those around her How did her actions impact her family? Was it still possible for them to love her despite having had five husbands and then a relationship with a sixth man? How did the Samaritan community regard her and her family? Did her sins mean her family was also forsaken and treated like outcasts? How did they react when she came into the village talking of having met a man who knew everything about her? Did they believe her? And what did they think about the Jewish man who had spoken so freely with her?In The Well Landsem responds to these uestions with a beautifully detailed narrative The first half of the book details the life Mara has in Sychar and her interactions with the other villagers and Shem who is a newcomer The second half is about the journey Mara makes to find Jesus She believes he can heal her mother’s horrific injuries Shem accompanies her only because he is looking to atone for his only trouble He doesn’t believe Jesus is who he says he is but he wants a way for Nava’s accusers to pay for their actions When they finally catch up with Jesus however it is Shem who receives a message from the Nazarene What will it take for Shem to listen and believe? The striking final chapters and epilogue give us the incredible answer Thank you to Howard Books for my free copy of The Well which I received in exchange for an honest review


  5. says:

    I enjoyed this Biblical fiction novel It had a different twist to it than other versions I've read In this book the main character was the daughter of the woman who went to the well in Samaria the one who said Jesus told her everything she'd ever done not the woman herself There were a lot of tense moments in the story but at times Mara got on my nerves She was such a worrier and very stubbornThe way the author had several different stories going at the same time was cool and the way they were merged together when Shem met Mara worked well The scene with Nava at the synagogue was pretty intense At that time I grew to admire Mara's faith and her pursuit of Jesus The people in their town were cruel and judgmental but I suppose that self righteous attitude is pretty prevalent with a lot of religious peopleI liked Shem a lot The tension between him and Mara was well done Poor Mara had no clue that he would be fond of her as a woman Even though in theory I should not have liked how things turned out in the end I was satisfied with the resolution The twist with Shem was pretty cool I'm sure that's all fiction but I still liked itI would recommend this novel to people who enjoy Biblical fiction and don't mind a lot of improvising with the facts There are a lot of stories that don't have the details needed to make a complete novel As long as it goes with the culture of the times I enjoy seeing how different authors use the setting to bring out different points


  6. says:

    Stephanie Landsem's The Well gives us an unforgettable character in Mara a young woman shunned and harassed because of her mother's sinful choices Determined to provide for her crippled younger brother Mara must rely on the begrudging charity of the townspeople but the unexpected attentions of a stranger provokes jealousy she can't affordWanted by the Roman government Shem has fled Caesarea to hide at his grandfather's farm in the village of Sychar but trouble seems to always find him He must respond to injustice even if he doesn't always respond wisely Will his rash actions hurt those he's trying to protect?I can't tell you how excited I am about this book Although familiar with the first century stigma against adultery I never stopped to consider the social implications for the children of an adulterous womanand these women almost certainly would've had children Landsem takes a story that you think you know and leaves you breathless with unexpected discoveries I found myself stunned with the turns in the story and setting the book down to reflect and pray before I could go any further This is a book you'll tell your friends about


  7. says:

    I do love a good Biblical fiction and this is one great Biblical fictionMara is the daughter of the Biblical woman at the well Nava and the sister of a cripple Asher Many of the people at Sychar have decided they should be shunned Nava because she sent her husband away and indulges in things she shouldn't; Asher because he is crippled and it must be because he or his mother deserve punishment; and Mara by associationShem is the son of a wealthy Jewish merchant and a Samaritan mother and the possessor of a hot temper and arrogance that doesn't endear him to the Romans in Caesarea A fight with two soldiers one night first to protect a woman about to be raped and then to protect his younger brother results in the violent death of one of the soldiersNow Shem's father must send him to Sychar to his grandparents to hide Shem is mortified at least until he catches a glimpse of Mara


  8. says:

    Wow This is a fictional retelling of the Samaritan woman Jesus meets at the well in Sychar yet it is so much Although very few other characters in this story are actually mentioned in the Bible the way the author wove their stories together was fascinating The book is very very bittersweet in a way that reminds us that this world is not our home and the greatest treasures are found in heaven not on earth I highly recommend it


  9. says:

    I don’t know if I’ve ever cried while reading a bookuntil now This one got me good


  10. says:

    Title The WellAuthor Stephanie LandsemPages 284Year 2013Publisher Howard Books The Well is an intriguing story that is set in biblical times in the Samaritan village of Sychar Mara has been taking care of herself her sick mother and her crippled brother since she was eight years old She cooks cleans plants a vegetable garden and tends it gets water raises goats weaves wool into thread to barter for food and much She is now of marriageable age but knows no one in the village will want to marry such a poor girl with a lame brother and scandalous mother to take care of as well Her mother Nava has been married five times and currently “entertains” a pagan from a nearby town some evenings Mara lives in fear that the people of Sychar will find out about her mother’s visitor and stop their charitable donations to her family so they will starve to death or exile them from the village Mara has lived with persecution because of her mother’s deeds all her life but most of the people have still tried to help out she and her brother when they could What will happen when they find out about her mother’s latest goings on? Will she be forced to marry a shepherd old enough to be her grandfather in order to provide food for her brother and mother? Nava is still beautiful at age 30 She however does nothing to take care of her children She sleeps most of the day and when she is awake just sits and stares at the wall She has been like this since the birth of her lame son Asher She begins to think her children would be better off without her One day when they are visiting her sister she forces herself off of her pallet and walks to the city well She is almost to the point of throwing herself into the well which would make it ceremonially unclean and force the villagers to walk uite a distance for water and in her mind is just revenge for how they have treated her and her children Just as she is poised over the lip of the well a man asks her for a drink of water She is surprised and astonished enough at this man talking to a Samaritan woman that she complies with his reuest Soon they have a conversation that will change her life Shem arrives in town as a spoiled rich young man to stay with his maternal grandfather until the trouble he created in Caesarea blows over His grandfather thinks he is there to learn about the olive farming business so his grandfather will have a male heir to take over when he dies Shem only plans to be there a few months but says nothing about this to his grandfather Shem has always had a tender spot for the underdog and jumps in without thinking to defend the downtrodden He rescues Mara from some village youths and thus begins their friendship Will it develop into something ? When the most difficult decision of his life has to be made can Shem release his vengeance and give his whole heart and soul to Jesus? Can Mara who has come to believe fully Jesus is who he claims to be do what is best for everyone with the choice she must make? This is just a wonderful story of self sacrifice total surrender to God journeys taken and lives forever changed The depths of the character development are compelling I found it fascinating to think about the different aspects of this story the historical accuracy and events as well as “what might have been” I would recommend reading this very entertaining story and I’m looking forward to the author’s next book SiloamMy rating is 4 starsNote I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility Other reviews can be read at Also follow me on Twitter lcjohnson1988 FaceBook at