The Well and the Mine
An assured, inspiring debut which demonstrates the power of the human spirit to give comfort in times of hardship. In 1931 Carbon Hill, a small Alabama coal-mining town, nine-year-old Tess Moore watches from the darkness of her back porch as a strange woman lifts the cover off the family well and tosses a baby in without a word. It is the height of the Depression; while Tess's father, Albert, performs backbreaking and dangerous work at the mine, her mother, Leta, makes do without meat on her table. But the family are luckier than most; the food they can grow on their plot of land has so far saved them from the crippling poverty and near-starvation that besets their neighbours. As Tess tries to unravel the mystery of the woman at the well, a portrait emerges of a family and a community struggling to survive the darkest of times. Resonant, vivid and clear-eyed in its portrayal of both the best and the worst of human nature, The Well and the Mine is a stunning novel about love, hope and the importance of doing the right thing.
'The Well and the Mine doesn't just give you characters who'll stay with you - it gives you a whole world' Fannie Flagg, author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe 'A tight-knit miner's family struggles against poverty ... Phillips fully enters the lives of her honorable characters and brings them vibrantly to the page' Publishers' Weekly
Gin Phillips lives in Birmingham, Alabama; THE WELL AND THE MINE was turned down by every mainstream US publisher to whom it was submitted and was eventually published by Hawthorne, a tiny press in Oregon. It went on to win the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize and the paperback rights went to Penguin US.