With the drought in Southern California, it wasn’t hard to get into The Well, a story about a nationwide drought felt everywhere except for the plot of land owned by Ruth and her husband Mark. I guess I expected this to be an apocalyptic science fiction story similar to The Returned. Instead the drought was the catalyst that pushed Ruth into an emotionally unstable state and caused her twenty year relationship with her husband to crumble.
The stream of consciousness style of writing, which reminded me of The Girl On The Train, left no doubt that Ruth was becoming crazier as the novel progressed. It was easy to see how the author’s poetic background influenced her word choice that resulted in a rhythmic narration. Those elements were the highlight in comparison to the plot, which revolved around a cult, religion, and the destruction of a marriage. When the Sisters of the Rose of Jericho infiltrated The Well, Ruth was completely brainwashed. For example, there was a question as to whether Ruth or the Sisters were involved in the murder of Ruth’s grandson, and whether Ruth allowed the murder as a sacrifice. Those plot lines were a little beyond my reading interests. It was predictable when Ruth’s reliance on the cult interrupted her marriage, an event that wasn’t much of a plot peak given that they never really seemed to be that in love in the first place.
This was an odd book, and not quite I expected. For writing style, this earns 4 stars, but for plot, it ends up at 3.