Friday, June 14, 2013

The Well-Stephanie Landsem

The Well

Stephanie Landsem

Howard Books, Jun 4 2013, $14.99

ISBN: 9781451688856

In Sychar, teenage Mara keeps her Samaritan family together as her mother Nava is an emotional cripple and her younger brother Asherand is a physical cripple. The villagers treat the trio as pariahs mostly because of Nava’s transgressions including multiple husbands and lovers. Alexandros the pagan visits at times to spend the night with Nava. These escapades frightens Mara as she knows if their neighbors learn of Nava’s nocturnal activities, they will stone her and run her children out of town.

After getting into trouble with the Romans at home in Caesarea, Shem’s parents exile him to live with his grandparents in Sychar. In the village he rescues Mara from three bullies. Meanwhile at the Well, Nava meets Jesus who knows of her sordid past, but instead of judging her as a sinner he welcomes her. Nava changes, but the villagers still treat her with contempt and stone her for her sins. Mara, accompanied by Shem, seeks Jesus, who already left Sychar, in hope her can perform a miracle and save her dying mother.

This is a wonderful inspiring rendition of Jesus forgiving the woman at the Well if she repents as God forgives our sins. Mara holds the storyline together being a victim of her mother’s sins she must avoid confrontation and scandal though Shem is a temptation as she does her best to care for her brother and her mom. Readers will appreciate Stephanie Landsem’s version of Jesus and the lowest class woman at the Well.

Harriet Klausner

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