Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Summer Book Club! The Well, Part 2...
Today we're discussing Chapters 5-8 of The Well by Stephanie Landsem. Last week was definitely a setting-the-scene type of feel, and now we're moving more into character development. Here are the most significant things I remember from this deeper foray into the book:
Shem is adjusting to life in Sychar. He's come to see the life of an olive farmer as satisfying in a way that he did not expect. He's also grown in love and respect for his grandparents. He tells them the truth about why he has come to Sychar, and how his father wanted him to be dishonest about it, as well as his plans for the future. His grandparents respect his honesty.
Shem also meets Mara at this time. She's a little in awe of the handsome stranger, and he finds her just odd at first in her skittishness. But we're clearly about to move into him finding out more about her and her warm and generous ways towards her family. I'm excited to see how a friendship blossoms between them.
Poor Mara is still busting her backside caring for the family because her mother is often too ill to get out of bed. She's trying to teach Asher to walk since he is getting so much bigger, and she cannot carry him for much longer. She also finds out some shocking information about her mother backing out of a betrothal that her own father had set up for her, bringing shame onto the family. This piece of family history explains some things to Mara about the way her mother is treated amongst the other villagers.
The one day Mara's mother is able to get out and about and do the shopping, she comes home to find the creepy Alexandros being creepy with Mara. My heart is just in my throat about where this particular storyline is headed. :-\ But her mother doesn't see him as creepy at all. She seems him as this exotic friend who comes into town to romance her. She spends the evening talking to him, and then clearly intends to have him spend the night. The awkwardness of this situation for Mara is painful to read about.
Once Asher is safely sleeping, Mara runs off for some alone time and bumps into Shem. That's where we leave off.
These chapters really grabbed me. I read them even faster than I read the first four! We're getting deeper into Mara and Shem's world, and they are both very likeable characters. I SO want Mara to end up with Shem, and thus not only find a good man as a partner, but also get her family out of the poverty they currently live in. Naturally, I envision lots of roadblocks along the way. And gosh, the way people treated each other! The differences in social class, as well as how (some) men treated women. It's startling. Mara is clearly a lovely young woman who gives of herself so readily for the betterment of her brother and mother. I want her to have a happy ending.
What did you all think?! Do write in!