3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
The Well of Souls is authored by Marlene Linton. This is her debut novel in the category of historical fiction. The publication consists of four books with 55 chapters and 790 pages. I was reluctant to select it because of the length, but the title and its description on Amazon made me curious about the contents.
The writer is very creative. However, I was sorely disappointed to find her work full of spelling mistakes and lack of basic punctuation such as full stops in many places. After a few chapters, I decided to proceed as if I was listening to the contents. It seems as if the author used speech-to-text software to create the books or did not bother to read the text even once after writing it. The length itself is an enormous strain to the reader’s memory. Nevertheless, the concept is unique and entertaining. The overall plot and emotional development of the characters are very good.
The author narrates the history of her grandparents, Adeline and Robert. The description of Adeline and her little children facing a storm on the farm, in Robert’s absence, is an unforgettable part of the story, which brought tears to my eyes. It is the best part of the novel. Robert has a relationship with a tribal woman, Bulra, who gives birth to their daughter, Koom. They are deeply influenced by the tribal spirituality of the Rainbow God. Adeline marries Charly Saunders after receiving the news of her husband’s death while he was away. She lovingly accepts Koom. The girl grows up into a graceful woman with strong character traits that make her stand out among other women in her age group. The writer is the third daughter of Koom and Mickey Linton, the protagonists of the story.
It is not possible to give details of the entire family and events in this lengthy novel, without spoiling the read. Some of the scenes are full of heart-wrenching pathos. They are vivid and still fresh in my mind. I appreciate the rural dimension and how siblings relate with each other in every generation of the family. Readers might enjoy reading it in bits. The adventures of the family are covered from 1890 to 1980 and include the impact of the Second World War. An important aspect relates to the author’s father, who desperately longs for a son despite having three daughters. He experiences an identity crisis after learning that he is a German Jew and not an Irish Catholic. This is also very interesting. He struggles to go back to his roots. However, the setting for most of the book is in Australia. It includes his psychological struggles in N. Africa.
As mentioned in the blurb on Amazon, this novel contains violence, adultery, and rape scenes. The “well of souls” is a concept found at various significant points in the story, but you need to read it to grasp the deep meaning. I am happy to rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It will deserve a full rating after a round of professional editing. I did not give a lower rating because the writer is very creative, and I enjoyed the read. It may appeal to adults who like historical fiction and tribal spirituality with a lot of emotions. Psychologists may also like to read this novel. It is not meant for children because they might feel disturbed by the contents.
The Well of Souls.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon