Journey to the Well  -     By: Diana Wallis Taylor
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Journey to the Well

Revell / 2009 / Paperback

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Product Description

One of the most well-known and loved stories of Jesus's ministry is the encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. Now the creative mind of Diana Wallis Taylor imagines how the Samaritan woman got there in the first place. Marah is just a girl of thirteen when her life is set on a path that will eventually lead her to a life-changing encounter with the Messiah. But before that momentous meeting she must traverse through times of love lost and found, cruel and manipulative men, and gossiping women.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: Revell
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0800733096
ISBN-13: 9780800733094
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

One of the most well-known and loved stories of Jesus's ministry is the encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. Now the creative mind of Diana Wallis Taylor imagines how the Samaritan woman got there in the first place. Marah is just a girl of thirteen when her life is set on a path that will eventually lead her to a life-changing encounter with the Messiah. But before that momentous meeting she must traverse through times of love lost and found, cruel and manipulative men, and gossiping women.

This creative and accurate portrayal of life in the time of Jesus opens a window into a fascinating world. Taylor's rich descriptions of the landscapes, lifestyles, and rituals mesh easily with the emotional and very personal story of one woman trying to make a life out of what fate seems to throw at her. This exciting and heartwrenching story will fascinate readers and lend new life to a familiar story.

Author Bio

Diana Wallis Taylor is the author of Journey to the Well and Martha, and has published many articles, and has contributed stories to several books. Taylor lives in California. Find out more at www.dianawallistaylor.com.

ChristianBookPreviews

In Diana Wallis Taylor’s Journey to the Well, if you know the story of the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:1-42, you know the outcome of the story. But, do you know how the Samaritan woman got to that point in life? In Journey to the Well, Taylor presents her idea of what could have taken place prior to the woman’s encounter with Jesus. With her eloquent style of writing, Taylor, who happens to have a strong background in poetry and songwriting, helps readers understand Samaritan and Jewish traditions and customs while endearing us to the personal story of “Marah,” the Samaritan woman at the well, along with as a few unexpected tie-ins at the end.

Living in a time when marriage is necessary for survival, Marah, a Samaritan girl, is sure of whom she wants to spend the rest of her life with: Jesse, her childhood friend. Though he is a lowly shepherd, she knows they could be happy together. However, her aunt Reba has different plans for her and arranges a marriage between Marah and Zibeon, a local tanner and widower. Marah becomes unsure of her future. With a recurring, as well as foreshadowing, dream as her only constant source of peace, Marah does what she can with the situation that is thrust upon her, putting her determined, yet caring, personality to good use.

As more characters are added to the plot, Taylor does a good job of keeping each person separate. She describes each individual down to his or her personality traits, which results in excellent character development. Since the events in Marah’s life take place throughout a number a years, the passing of time is quick, but it is achieved smoothly, highlighting the main experiences in a usually simple, repetitive life. The author also does well with placing the reader in the story. As you read, you are there, experiencing Marah’s pain and heartache, as well as her joy and peace. This is present from the beginning, when she finds out her aunt has arranged an unwanted marriage for her, through to the end, when she meets Jesus face to face at the well. The only thing I did not like was that many of the events were described as memories, not present actions. It can be confusing at times, because the narrative switches back and forth, leaving the reader temporarily wondering whether or not events have already taken place. However, it is not large enough of a flaw to keep readers from enjoying an otherwise well-told story. I could not stop reading.

Overall, Journey to the Well is a timeless tale filled with controversy, love, fear, anger, loss, and peace, showing how someone faced with difficult times can continue with hope for the future. I highly recommend this book. – Nicole E. Dynes, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Library Journal

This imaginative retelling of the biblical story of the Samaritan woman who encountered Jesus at Jacob's Well traces her path to that fateful meeting. At 13, Marah, forced into marriage with a man she does not want to wed, must say good-bye to Jesse, the boy she had hoped would be her husband. Her life takes many twists and turns before she meets Jesus at the well. Set in a vividly depicted first century, this absorbing debut novel is populated with charming characters. Readers who enjoyed Anita Diamant's The Red Tent or D.S. Lliteras's The Silence of John will appreciate this fine effort. Recommended for CF and historical fiction collections where biblical tales are popular.

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