The Silver Well

Kate Forsyth and Kim Wilkins. Ticonderoga (Ingram, dist.), $21.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-925212-52-5
In this transcendent collaborative collection, Forsyth (The Beast’s Garden) and Wilkins (Sisters of the Fire) touch the heart and speak to the soul, weaving tales rich with magic, love, and loss. The collection of seven stories—all connected by a small place in England, Cerne Abbas, home of the titular well—begins in the present and winds backward through history; the well, which has a reputation for granting wishes, plays a pivotal role in each character’s story. Two souls find love unexpectedly in “The End of Everything,” and the high cost of love’s spite is revealed in “The True Confession of Obedience-to-God Ashe.” Religion and war both play prominent roles, with abundant historical and folkloric references adding further depth. Perhaps the most striking offering to the well can be found in “The Blessing,” which takes place at the height of World War II. The septet is followed by an epilogue that very neatly brings everything full circle. All the stories are vivid, with a full range of emotions and intricacies meant to enrapture and engross. This is a splendid achievement. Agents: (for Forsyth) Tara Wynne, Curtis Brown, Ltd.; (for Wilkins) Selwa Anthony, Selwa Anthony Author Management. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/25/2017
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