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The Well in the Desert An Old Legend of the House of Arundel   By: (1836-1893)

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"The Well in the Desert" by Emily Sarah Holt is a captivating historical novel that takes readers on a remarkable journey through the turbulent times of the House of Arundel. Set in medieval England, this book offers a refreshing blend of rich historical details, intricate family dynamics, and enthralling legends that will keep readers engrossed from the first page to the last.

Holt’s storytelling prowess shines throughout the narrative, seamlessly blending real historical events with her own imaginative interpretation. The story follows the Arundel family, a noble lineage with a mysterious connection to a hidden well in the desert—a symbol of hope and unity. As the family grapples with political intrigue, societal expectations, and personal vendettas, the well becomes a central element that unites and empowers them to overcome their challenges.

What makes Holt’s writing truly exceptional is her ability to transport readers to another time and place. Through her eloquent prose, the medieval setting comes alive, allowing readers to immerse themselves in a world filled with knights, castles, and courtly love. The author’s attention to detail is commendable, as she vividly describes the landscapes, clothing, and customs of the era, painting a realistic and mesmerizing backdrop for the narrative.

The characters in this book are equally as impressive as the setting. Holt breathes life into a diverse cast of individuals, each with their own distinct personalities, desires, and struggles. From the determined Lady Gundreda to the resourceful Sir Cuthbert, every character feels genuine and relatable, making it easy for readers to emotionally invest in their journeys. Additionally, the portrayal of familial relationships, particularly the intricate dynamics within the House of Arundel, adds depth and complexity to the overall plot.

One of the highlights of "The Well in the Desert" is Holt’s skillful interweaving of legends and folklore into the narrative. The mythical stories of the well and its significance to the Arundel family offer a sense of wonder and mystique that adds an extra layer of enchantment to the novel. These legends not only entertain but also serve as powerful metaphors for the characters' personal growth and resilience, forging a deeper connection between the readers and the story.

While "The Well in the Desert" is undoubtedly a captivating read, it does require a certain level of patience due to its slower pacing. The author takes the time to carefully develop the characters and establish the historical context, which may deter those looking for a fast-paced adventure. However, for readers who appreciate a more gradual immersion into a richly detailed world, this methodical approach will only enhance their reading experience.

Overall, "The Well in the Desert" is a masterfully written historical novel that combines history, legend, and compelling characters to deliver an unforgettable reading experience. Emily Sarah Holt’s attention to detail, engaging storytelling, and skillful blending of fact and fiction make this book a must-read for fans of historical fiction and those seeking a captivating journey into the past.

First Page:

The Well in the Desert, An Old Legend of the House of Arundel, by Emily Sarah Holt.

The action takes place at the end of the fourteenth century and the start of the fifteenth. It deals largely with a family connected with Arundel in Sussex. They seem to have been rather nasty people, highly motivated by greed and desire for even higher stations in life. They were fairly well placed by today's standards, being closely related to various of the Kings of England of the day. Some of the women in the story are quite as bad as many of the men.

When these wicked people had done their wicked deeds there were often unfortunate children, dispossessed or forgotten in some attic of the castle. One of these is the heroine of this story. She had never been told who or where her mother was. By a series of coincidences she comes across the name of a person who may know the answers to these questions. I will not spoil the story for you by telling you any more.

Throughout the book there is constant reference to Christ as the Well, the supplier of the vital Water of Life. Christianity was in a terrible mess at the time, with numerous sects, and with the members of any one sect feeling free to execute by any means the members of any other sect... Continue reading book >>

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