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Journey to the Well: A Novel [Paperback]

By Diana Wallis Taylor (Author)
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Item description for Journey to the Well: A Novel by Diana Wallis Taylor...

A tale about the life of Marah, the Samaritan woman, before her fateful meeting with Jesus includes an arranged marriage with an older man and the gossip that tormented her about the cause of her future marriages' failure.

Publishers Description
One of the most well-known and loved stories of Jesus's ministry is the encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. Now the creative mind of Diana Wallis Taylor imagines how the Samaritan woman got there in the first place. Marah is just a girl of thirteen when her life is set on a path that will eventually lead her to a life-changing encounter with the Messiah. But before that momentous meeting she must traverse through times of love lost and found, cruel and manipulative men, and gossiping women.
This creative and accurate portrayal of life in the time of Jesus opens a window into a fascinating world. Taylor's rich descriptions of the landscapes, lifestyles, and rituals mesh easily with the emotional and very personal story of one woman trying to make a life out of what fate seems to throw at her. This exciting and heartwrenching story will fascinate readers and lend new life to a familiar story.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Journey to the Well: A Novel by Diana Wallis Taylor has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Library Journal - 02/01/2009 page 60

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Revell
Pages   329
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5.25" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.62 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2009
Publisher   Baker Pub Group/Baker Books
Edition  Reprinted  
ISBN  0800733096  
ISBN13  9780800733094  

Availability  0 units.

More About Diana Wallis Taylor

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Diana Wallis Taylor is the author of the novels Journey to the Well and Martha and lives in California. Find out more at

Diana Wallis Taylor currently resides in San Diego, in the state of California. Diana Wallis Taylor was born in 1938.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Biblical
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Historical
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Fiction > Biblical Fiction
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Fiction > General
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction > Historical

Christian Product Categories
Books > Fiction > General Christian > Historical

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Reviews - What do customers think about Journey to the Well: A Novel?

My new all-time favorite book!!!  Jan 3, 2010
From the very beginning, I did not want to put this book down! The characters have immeasurable depth and the story line challenges the reader to let go of preconceived notions and accept the possibility that the "well-known" story of the woman at the well is indeed "not-so-well-known." Ms. Taylor offers a radical version of this Biblical story that is completely believable. The detailed storytelling gets the reader so involved in the story that you rejoice with Marah when she learns she is to have a baby, feel her pain and despair at the birth of her stillborn son and cry in anguish when she realizes Jesse will not be returning to her. The author's dedicated research makes this story come alive as the reader witnesses the religious ceremonies on Mount Gerizim and experiences the customs of the times.
I am not usually a fan of biblical fiction, but this book has definitely made it to the top of my list of all-time favorite books.
A wonderful story  Aug 28, 2009
I bought this book for my mom. She really enjoyed it and passed it to her friend. Her friend said she couldn't put it down, she had to see what would happen next. I decided to take it camping and got through it quickly as well.

My mom and her friend did not realize the story was about the famous woman at the well from the Bible, the gospel of John, chapter four. The author, Diana Wallis Taylor, did good research on the culture and customs of that place and time to add plausibility to the fictional license since this woman's life is a mystery. All we really know of her is she was transformed in an afternoon because of her faith in the long promised Messiah, and that many more people were led to believe in the Messiah and change their lives as well.

The story is a wonderful example of the faithfulness of a "God who sees" and cares for His faithful people. Even in times of trouble, He is there offering a way out of our bad circumstances. And for those who choose to make the Messiah their Savior, they will be given forgiveness, peace and joy in an otherwise desperate world.
a great story idea that didn't translate into a great book  Aug 27, 2009
I wish I could give this book a glowing review as others have done, but I just can't. Diana Wallis Taylor has imagined a really good backstory for the Samaritan woman who Jesus met at the well. (The only exception to this was the fact that one of Marah's husbands embodied two different characters mentioned in the Bible: one of the 10 lepers that Jesus cleansed, and also the Good Samaritan. This I found a bit contrived). Other than that, the life she has created for Marah, her different husbands, how she came to marry so many times, etc., contains the seeds of a really great book. However, the writing skills necessary to transform this story into that really great book are sadly lacking. Taylor's style comes across as amateur-ish and unpolished. After the first few chapters, I found myself speed-reading the book just to get through it.

Unfortunately, this can be said for most Christian fiction today. The number of Christian writers who are truly gifted at their craft are all too few.
amazing look at a familiar bible passage  Jul 14, 2009
"Journey to the Well" is a stand-alone novel by Diana Wallis-Taylor.

Marah, a young girl of 13 lives in the village of Shechem. When her aunt Reba arranges for her to marry an older man, she is fearful of what her life will be. The story goes through the ups and downs of her life as she loses one husband after another. First was Zibeon, the man her aunt arranged who had a mother obsessed with having a grandchild. Next was Shimei, the brother of Zibeon who had a shameful secret. He presents Marah with a bill of divorcement before the wedding even takes place. Next is Jesse, whom Marah loved since childhood. He too had lost his first wife, leaving behind an infant son named Caleb. Marah becomes his mother and loves him as if he were her own. After Jesse dies in an accident, Marah marries Haman, a man who claimed to be Jesse's cousin. When he is killed for being found a murderer, the gentle and respectable man from the caraven named Ahmal offers Marah his home and the offer of marriage. When Ahmal goes missing for 3 years, Rueben, a man claiming to be his half-brother appears to Marah, and robs her of her dignity. When Rueben sets out for a journey, Marah takes a walk to Jacob's Well. There she meets Jesus, in which he tells her of everything she has done in her life. And as she comes to believe, she finds healing and forgiveness to all which she has done.

I loved the story. From just reading the Bible passage, you would think the Samaritan woman was one who lived in sexual sin. What woman would go through 5 husbands, only to currently live with a man who was not her husband? But through the story we see that, that woman was a normal person like any of us. Her life was just full of tragedy. Yet she believed her life to be God-willed, and tried to make the best out of everything in life. By the end of the book when she meets Jesus, and you see the dialogue found in the Bible, we know Marah. We know why she responds the way she does and we know what she has gone through in life. The research that the author did in the book is greatly evident. While reading, I felt like I myself was thrown into first century Samaria. She herself says in the 'author's note' of the book that it was a story 25 years in the making.

I blindly got the book after seeing the description of it in a catalogue. I enjoy biblical fiction and the synopsis sounded intriguing. I was not disappointed. I always enjoy reading more into the life of a certain biblical figure. Even if it is ficitionized. And if you enjoy any type of biblical fiction, I am sure this will be the right book for you. :)
this could very well have been my story  May 6, 2009
oh, how God blessed me through this book! as someone else said in their review, it does indeed give you a better understanding of the biblical incident. it creates an environment around the woman, the village, its people, its history through the passage of time. by the time you arrive at the part where Jesus meets the woman by the well, you know her so well, she could be one of your relatives or close friends. you know her thoughts, her feelings, the events of her life, everything about her. and when you read her dialog with Jesus, which is in the Bible, and we have read it so many times, it has an altogether different depth and meaning, because, well, you know this woman He is talking to.
i also loved the fact that the author depicts Jesus smiling a lot, and even laughing. that is how i like to think of Him, too.
the point is, no matter what point in your life you may be at when this book comes your way, i think you will discover what i discovered when, with my eyes full of tears, i finally closed this book: i was the woman at the well.

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