Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Summer Book Club! The Well, Part 6...

Welcome all! We're actually nearing the end of our Summer Book Club if you can believe it. Today, we are discussing chapters 21-24, and after this we just have two segments left to go! In today's chapters, we witness a lot of character growth between Shem and Mara, and the story focuses solely on them and their dilemma. Let's grab our tea cups and get started!

So Shem and Mara are on the road to find Jesus. They encounter some challenges along the way, but Shem is always protective of Mara. When they get to their destination, they are disappointed to find that Jesus is not there, he has proceeded on with his disciples. Shem is concerned about continuing, because their chances of encountering Roman soldiers will increase, and as we know, this would be a death sentence for him if he is recognized. Mara though, does not know about any of this, and is determined to press on to find Jesus, with or without Shem. Shem will not allow Mara to go alone, so they continue together. They have a long talk about Jesus, and their differing feelings about Him and His message. Mara can't fully explain why, but she believes in Him. Shem is skeptical, and does not see how He could be the Chosen One. Not only that, but Mara's belief that Jesus could heal Nava from afar is utter nonsense to Shem. For the first time, they stew a bit over their disagreement.

Eventually, they encounter a man who knows Shem's father. He is very wealthy, and insists that Mara and Shem stay overnight at his house. Shem does not trust this man, and this man is super creepy and lecherous with Mara, but Shem knows that if they refuse his offer they will offend him. And offending this guy could set off a chain reaction that is VERY bad for Shem, given that he is a powerful man and he knows about Shem's prior run-in with the Romans. So Shem reluctantly agrees, telling Mara to stay silent. He has told Creepy Guy that Mara physically cannot speak to keep him from asking her anything and suspecting anything about her.

When we leave off, Shem is lounging with their host, trying to get him to believe his story that Mara is his cousin, and that they are on some innocent errand. He wants to escape without this guy getting offended or suspicious of them. The guy, though, appears to be a bit of a hothead, and I am very anxious for Mara's safety. Shem and Mara need to press on the next day to get to Jesus, but their host wants them to stay for several more days. Now we need to see what happens the next morning. 😬

I enjoyed the dialogue this week between Shem and Mara very much. Mara's childlike faith in Jesus is very inspiring to me, though I relate to Shem's initial skepticism quite strongly. I am incredibly worried for both of them, and positively FLEW through these chapters. Next week we have 5 chapters (25-29) instead of the usual four, and I'm rather glad, because I didn't want to stop reading! Even though Nava didn't appear in these chapters, I still felt her presence. Her conversion and courage in promoting honesty and integrity, and in protecting her son, are an inspiration to me. I really hope that she makes it, and that she can continue to be a witness for Jesus's message.

What did YOU think this week, dear reader?! I'd love to hear from you!


  1. Yes, the book ended on a rather large cliff hanger. I was glad that Mara was able to explain how Nava had five husbands. That part of the story was interesting and gave an insight into how Nava and her dynamics with men are. On the one hand I feel bad for Nava attracting all sorts of vermin on the other hand I also feel she was terribly spoiled and ungrateful because of it. She's a three dimensional character. Mara seems to be a little too perfect for me and I have harder time relating to her as a character.

    1. Hi Delta! So glad to get your insights on the book. Indeed, Mara has had to be a grown up for pretty much her entire life, and she has done an ideal job at it. I do very much relate to Nava because she has made mistakes that she regrets and wants to overcome, and that sort of human nature situation is something most of us have struggled through in one form or another.

      I got a giggle out of the word "vermin." Very apt, ha ha. :)

  2. You divided the readings up perfectly because each week seems to end on a little cliffhanger that makes me want to keep on going! Really enjoyed the juxtaposition of Mara's faith and Shem's doubts -- and I totally agree with you, his skepticism is quite relatable. I hope to be more like Mara, but too often hold back as Shem does. Love your point of feeling Nava's presence even though she didn't appear in this week's chapters. Her perilous situation drives Mara on and that can really be felt as she desperately seeks Jesus.

    I'd also just like to add that I really look forward to reading this book club post each week. Your impressions and thoughts always add a lot to my understanding and appreciation of the book!

    1. Kevin,

      I'm so glad God had it work out that way with the chapters, lol! This truly has been the most productive book club that I've ever done. And I have some ideas for future installments, so be sure to listen to Tea Time this week! :0

  3. I liked that we finally got the story of Nava's five husbands. From what I know of Biblical times (so not much) it seemed reasonable the way she had five husbands. Shem and Mara are continuing to develop their relationship and I wonder when Shem will tell Mara the secrets of his past. Shem now knows Mara's life story but she doesn't know as much about him.

    Someone here mentioned before that they thought Enosh liked Mara and the information Mara told Shem about how he and his father help her with the goats reminded me of this.

    I was also struck by the old woman in Nazareth that believed in Jesus. Why it is that it is often the old and the young that show such faith.

    I hope Mara and Shem get away from Silas soon. He is described as worse than Alexandros which doesn’t bode well.

    1. Melanie, agreed on Nava's back story. As soon as she started to fill Shem in, all the pieces fell into place for me. And you're totally right about Mara not knowing Shem's secret when he now knows all of hers. Mara is going to feel quite shocked, I think, because she doesn't even have reason to suspect that Shem HAS a secret!

      Silas! yes, that's his name. *shudder*


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