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'Til the Well Runs Dry Bets On...

'Til the Well Runs Dry

May 2014

I love books where the characters’ voices are distinct to me and where place becomes a character. Both of these fine bookish traits can be found in ’TIL THE WELL RUNS DRY by debut novelist Lauren Francis-Sharma, which I knew I was going to love from chapter one. The story is told in three voices: that of Marcia Garcia; her lover, policeman Farouk Karam; and their second-born daughter, Jacqueline. It’s set in Trinidad, and I felt like frying up plantains and consulting a Caribbean cookbook as I read. I wanted to taste the marvelous-sounding foods that evoked the epicurean culture of the country.

When the book starts, Marcia Garcia (what a lyrical name) has two young boys in her care. One day, they disappear when a sitter is watching them, and Marcia’s world turns upside down. A policeman, Farouk Karam, woos her and pursues her, and for the next decades, their relationship weaves and bobs and turns as they build a life together in unconventional ways. Note the dates as you read the book, and compare and contrast what is happening in the rest of the world as this story unfolds. It will give you a new perspective on the story.

Marcia is a brilliant seamstress who views design as a craft. Where her work takes her --- and what happens to her --- will keep you wrapped up in the story, making it a very quick but immensely satisfying read. The voice here is so strong that I still hear Marcia in my head. It’s a great book for book clubs who like to explore other cultures and talk about cultural divides. By the way, I found myself thinking of THE SPACE BETWEEN US by Thrity Umrigar as a comparison for the latter portion of the book.

'Til the Well Runs Dry
by Lauren Francis-Sharma