Reviews - Gin PhillipsThis gentle debut novel set in Depression-era Alabama kicks off with a startling opening scene. Nine-year-old Tess Moore is resting in the porch when she sees a stranger toss a swaddled baby into the family well. It's only later, when a small corpse is fished up in a bucket, that anyone believes her tale. The adults may inured to misfortune but, haunted by the terrible "splash", Tess and older sister Virgie decide to investigate an apparent infanticide. Phillips switches between narrative voices as the girls' journey takes them into the homes of impoverished neighbours and relatives and the shacks of "Niggertown".
The Well and the Mine by Gin Phillips
Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book.
Your Truth or Mine?
I n Alabama, little Tess has her quiet place, curled on the porch in the evening shadows with the family's creek-fed well keeping her company. But one night a woman appears, throws a swaddled — but living — infant into the water and then disappears. These are the opening scenes of Gin Phillips's novel. But in some ways, the baby-in-well business is misleading, because it goes on to command relatively little dramatic tension in the book, despite preoccupying Tess's thoughts. Instead, the old Southern tensions run throughout, as deep as the coal seams that Tess's tired, loving father works to keep the family alive. Though they work side by side down the mines, his black colleague Jonah won't come in for supper for fear of reprisals; the breathtaking poverty of their neighbours is nothing compared to the broken shacks of "Niggertown".