My rating: (5 / 5)
I feel so blessed to have gotten a chance to read an ARC of this books. When it hits the shelves, you MUST read it, and I’ll explain why.
I classed this as general fiction for shelving purposes, but really it’s a little bit dystopia (that is to say, the rest of the population is living in a dystopian world of water shortages), a little bit murder mystery, and a little bit women’s fiction, as everything is told from the perspective of a forty-something woman trying to come to terms with life after marriage, after some bad choices, and uncertain of her path.
Ruth and her husband have been through some tough times, like any other couple who have been together for twenty years. They think that maybe a change of scenery is what they need, so they disembark from London’s city life and take up residence at The Well, an idyllic country estate. As the outside world slips deeper and deeper into an economic and political disaster due to intensifying drought, The Well remains green, with seemingly no limit to the fresh waster from its underground spring. But it’s not only that; it rains there, when the rest of the country is turning to dust.
Some hate Ruth and her husband Mark, sure that they are somehow diverting other peoples water for their own purposes, especially the community of farmers. Others worship Ruth, and it is the intoxicating high of reverence, of specialness, of feeling wanted and of belonging that draws Ruth into a dangerous collaboration with a group of women that believe men have poisoned the earth. What do their beliefs mean for her husband Mark? For her grandson Lucien? You should read and find out.
The authors voice is reminiscent of Margaret Atwood, but with a fresh take on new issues. If this debut novel tells me anything, it is that I will be anxiously awaiting each new offering by the author!