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The Silver Well

Ratings:
325 pages4 hours

Summary

One English village. Two thousand years of stories.

People have always come to make wishes at the Silver Well: in Pagan times and Christian, during revolution and war. When Rosie arrives in the tiny village of Cerne Abbas with a broken heart, she becomes connected across the centuries with others who have yearned for something. Seven stories, set in seven time periods, reveal the deepest longings of the human heart.

“One tale at a time, Kate Forsyth and Kim Wilkins immerse us in the fabled waters of Cerne Abbas, plunging us deeper and deeper into the lore of this village, further and further into its past. Here we meet a cast of characters whose lives span two millennia—charming artists and shopkeepers, forsaken lovers, cunning-women, severe Puritans, proud warriors, shell-shocked soldiers, bereft parents, fierce and fragile children, and many generations of Brightwells. Across the ages we hear their carefully hidden thoughts. Their worries and fears. Their hopes and losses.” — From the introduction by Lisa L. Hannett

"In this transcendent collaborative collection, Forsyth (The Beast’s Garden) and Wilkins (Sisters of the Fire) touch the heart and speak to the soul, weaving tales rich with magic, love, and loss. The collection of seven stories—all connected by a small place in England, Cerne Abbas, home of the titular well—begins in the present and winds backward through history; the well, which has a reputation for granting wishes, plays a pivotal role in each character’s story. Two souls find love unexpectedly in “The End of Everything,” and the high cost of love’s spite is revealed in “The True Confession of Obedience-to-God Ashe.” Religion and war both play prominent roles, with abundant historical and folkloric references adding further depth. Perhaps the most striking offering to the well can be found in “The Blessing,” which takes place at the height of World War II. The septet is followed by an epilogue that very neatly brings everything full circle. All the stories are vivid, with a full range of emotions and intricacies meant to enrapture and engross. This is a splendid achievement." -- Publishers Weekly Starred Review

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