Monday, March 8, 2010

A New Voice in Southern Literature

On a summer night in 1931, in a small Alabama coal town, Tess Moore is sitting in her favorite place in the world- the porch of her small family home, overlooking an old stone well in the yard. Someone, thinking they are not being watched, creeps into the yard, removes the heavy cover from the top of the well, and dumps what Tess thinks is a baby, down the well.

Although, her family does not believe her at first, her story is born out when the baby is brought up from the well bottom. Thus begins a chain of events that causes Tess, and her older sister Virgie, to explore the composition of their small town in more depth, learning kindness and compassion along the way. Tess comes to understand hatred and racism, community and family, and life and love during the midst of the Great Depression.

The Well and the Mine by Gin Phillips is exceptional Southern literature, reminiscent of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, yet with a voice and style distinctly her own.