Book Review: Journey to the Well by Diana Wallis Taylor

Diana Wallis Taylor writes the fictional life-story of the Samaritan woman, whom Jesus meets at Jacob’s Well in the New Testament (John 4:4-26). Imaginatively, Taylor weaves the story of young Marah, a maiden from the village of Shechem, and the fateful events of her life that lead to her having had five husbands. But instead of making Marah out to be a harlot, Taylor creates a virtuous young woman, dutiful and subdued, trusting God’s will for the course of her life, always doing as told.

When her selfish aunt forces her to marry an older widower, rather than the shepherd boy Marah loves, Marah accepts her fate, and patiently endures her new family’s abuses. Marah’s story unfolds, bringing her more husbands– some loving and tender, some horrible – as well as their deaths or mysterious disappearances. Though the men in her village begin to treat her like a common prostitute for her succession of husbands, the gossiping women scorn her and try to stone her, and the children fear she’s a sorceress, Marah maintains the disposition of a saint. In the face of adversity, she constantly prays to God and does her best.

This is a solid piece of inspirational fiction. Fans of bible-inspired novels will enjoy this book.

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