Review: Elizabeth Jolley’s “The Well”

by writereaderly

WARNING: Cover dysphoria!

WARNING: Cover dysphoria!

Esther is old; takes on Katherine as a 16 year old orphan to be her household pet (aka ward and entertainment); several years later Kathy hits and kills a man and they dump his body into the whistling well on the drought-stricken wheat-and-sheep farm. It’s a solid horror novel, but more horrifying than the “is he dead or is he not?” was the lovelessness of the lives of the two main characters. Relentless. So trapped by circumstances, so limited by impossibility and fear. A powerful and awful book, recommended in a quaking kind of way.

Where it came from: KJM’s bookshelf
Time and manner of reading:
Afternoon read
Where it went: Home
Reminds me of/that: That short story about the well that was on This American Life
Who I’d recommend it to:
Those in need of some rural horror
Also reading: Being Alive edited by Neil Astley; The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper; Belonging by bell hooks; Simone Weil by Francine du Plessix Gray