Read 'Til the Well Runs Dry by Lauren Francis-Sharma Ron Butler Bahni Turpin Online

til-the-well-runs-dry

Lauren Francis-Sharma's 'Til the Well Runs Dry opens in a seaside village in the north of Trinidad where young Marcia Garcia, a gifted and smart-mouthed 16-year-old seamstress, lives alone, raising two small boys and guarding a family secret. When she meets Farouk Karam, an ambitious young policeman, the risks and rewards in Marcia's life amplify forever. On an island richLauren Francis-Sharma's 'Til the Well Runs Dry opens in a seaside village in the north of Trinidad where young Marcia Garcia, a gifted and smart-mouthed 16-year-old seamstress, lives alone, raising two small boys and guarding a family secret. When she meets Farouk Karam, an ambitious young policeman, the risks and rewards in Marcia's life amplify forever. On an island rich with laughter, Calypso, Carnival, cricket, beaches and salty air, sweet fruits and spicy stews, the novel follows Marcia and Farouk from their amusing and passionate courtship through personal and historical events that threaten Marcia's secret, entangle the couple and their children in a scandal, and endanger the future for all of them. 'Til the Well Runs Dry tells the twinned stories of a spirited woman's love for one man and her bottomless devotion to her children. For listeners who cherish the previously untold stories of women's lives, here is a story of grit and imperfection and love that has not been told before....

Title : 'Til the Well Runs Dry
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 26824622
Format Type : Audible Audio
Number of Pages : 499 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

'Til the Well Runs Dry Reviews

  • A.
    2019-03-12 14:33

    Review based on ARC.Oh man, how even to review this one. I signed up to get this one because it had something to do with Trinidad. That was really all that motivated me. Otherwise, it sounded kind of trite... ya know, "multigenerational" "multicultural" "blah blah blah." But my mom is from Trinidad and, unlike the author of this book, I have NOT heard much from her about her home-country. I was hoping the book might give me even the slightest of inside looks... And boy did it.I would not describe this book as "multigenerational" or "multi-cultural," even though those are both accurate descriptions. The issue I have with those phrases is that they tend to accompany stories that don't offer much else beyond the obvious "that generation doesn't get it" dynamic or "look how different and yet the same these cultures are!" And those can be fantastic books, but I find that relying on the cheap tricks often make the story seem... well, a little cheap.That was NOT the case here. Lauren Francis-Sharma created a compelling, interesting, fast-paced, deep, involved story with an undercurrent of... like, gut-truth. I didn't feel as if I were reading some fantasy creation of someone with no idea of what real life was actually like. I felt like... I felt like I was maybe sitting at a kitchen table somewhere with someone's grandmother who was telling the story of her life. And what a story. Ever so briefly: Marcia Garcia ("Mah-see-ah Gah-see-ah") lives in "the Bush" in Trinidad (i.e., the wrong side of the tracks...) with the boys she cares for. Her mind is nowhere near romance or the other frivolities of life when Farouk spots her and determines he must have her. Farouk is, of course, from the right side of the tracks, but he's young and impulsive and makes no mind of the potential cultural impact of his choice. And so begins Marcia's life.I mean. It covers so much ground. Years, peoples, families, children, parents, siblings, crime, countries, slavery, passion, anger, etc. etc. etc. And Francis-Sharma manages to give each element her full attention.As with all truly excellent books, describing it too much would do it injustice. This truly excellent book is being sent to my mom... maybe we can have a little Trini discussion once she's read it... Highly recommend! For all of the reasons indicated above and because it's just a good book.

  • Monica
    2019-02-26 21:35

    Every year I seem to come across a novel that I expect to be a mildly entertaining spring/summer read which completely exceeds my expectations. Last year it was The Turner House, this year it's 'Til the Well Runs Dry. I listened to the book on Audible. A superb performance by Bahni Turpin and Ron Butler. Bahni Turpin is fast becoming one of my favorite audio performers. She also did Here Comes the Sun. She inhabits the patois where the character comes from and makes distinctions between for example Trinidad and Jamaican. She is amazing! Ron Butler compellingly portrays the character of Farouk in a way that evokes empathy and sympathy (a laudable performance because the character is not that likeable). Both performances had me sitting in the car in the parking lot well past my arrival time.The story takes place primarily on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. {slight departure: The first time I'd ever heard of the islands was when Janelle Penny Commissiong was crowned Miss Universe in 1977. She was the first black woman ever to hold the title. I was a wee pup but she was the very first black person so it was a bit of an event at my house. Anyhow…} It's a fast moving, impactful, rather mixed bag, almost soap opera-ish with its secrets, salacious events, misjudgements, requisite dumb decisions, and leaps to disastrously wrong conclusions etc. A regular "Peyton Place" or in this case "Blanchisseuse". It supposedly took place during the 50s and 60s though honestly there is nothing going on historically within the novel to provide an external frame of reference. It could have taken place at any time within the last half century (the commonality of airplane travel is the only indication of later century modernity). Basically it was the trials and tribulations of Marcia Garcia (first name and last name rhyme) and her family. Farouk Karam, her love interest and father of her children, is a self-absorbed cad who loves obsessively and emotionally abuses Marcia in equal measure. He is full blooded Indian. The islands have a history of indentured servants from India. His lineage and middle class upbringing contribute to the drama. Marcia Garcia is beautiful and captures his eye. He resorts to some magical realism to win her heart. Meanwhile Marcia has some family secrets of her own, the efforts to conceal them have lead in no small part to her misery. Drama ensues and Farouk and Marcia, though never fully together, manage to conceive 4 children. The story revolves around these two, their children and the fallout/consequences of their misjudgments and actions. Francis-Sharma has a gift in her descriptions. The places were very vivid as was the semi-large cast of characters. I saw Blanchisseuse and Tunapuna and New York City and Maryland and Toco through the eyes of the characters. In fact after reading this book, I would like to see the beauty of Trinidad and Tobago with my own eyes. Also exceptional were the descriptions of the atmosphere and the people. It felt like I knew them. I could feel the rhythms and taste the spices in the foods both in Trinidad and in NYC. Again I have to compliment Turpin in addition to Francis-Sharma, because when Marcia hits Maryland, Turpin has to inhabit American characters and she is brilliant switching from Marcia to American in seconds. Plus the American character is well-drawn and amusing in her own self-congratulatory/patronizing manner. No evidence of patois or even race in her voice. One more time Turpin is brilliant!Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful book. There were some very interesting themes including immigration, exploitation of labor, classism, racism, sexism, incest, patriarchy, nature of love vs obsession, parenting, fatherhood, the impacts of the pressures that we put on children, poverty. All of these themes and more were, for the most part, realistically explored in the book. In general though they have many likeable moments, the characters both male and female were not very likeable. But they were incredibly familiar, dare I say they were "human". Though I'm certain I would have enjoyed reading it, the superb audio performance definitely kicked it up a notch. Either way, this one is highly recommended.4 plus Stars

  • Hal
    2019-02-26 21:18

    I read an advance copy of Til the Well Runs Dry and I really connected with the characters in this book from the very first chapter. Marcia Garcia's life is filled with many ups and downs that resonated with me. This book took me through every emotion possible and at the end I wanted to follow Marcia and her family into the next chapter of their lives. This is a wonderful book that should be read by everyone who enjoys historical fiction. I have a feeling that this book will definitely become a literary classic of our time.

  • Julie
    2019-02-26 15:30

    I picked up this book randomly from the library's new arrivals shelf, the first from this author. The story is about Marcia Garcia and is set in Trinidad. We meet Marcia as a talented young 16-year-old seamstress and orphan caring for her 3-year-old twin brothers, who's barely able to feed her family. Enter Farouk, a 20 something police officer, who falls madly in love with Marcia and tries to win her love with the help of the local obeah (witch basically). I was enticed by this book because of its island setting and the story of a young poor girl trying to survive on her own. Was I ever disappointed! The story as described on the dust jacket was so different from the actual book. My main problem was what I'm going to call the 'kitchen sink' approach to the plot. The author threw in every plot twist and turn she could think of. Tumultuous relationship? Check. Political conflict? Check. Child abduction? Check. Police corruption? Check. Incest? Check. Witchcraft? Check. Family turmoil? Check. Immigration? Check. White slavery? Check. Tragic death? Check. Divorce? Check. Drug/Alcohol use? Check. First love? Check. Surprise return of long lost family member? Check. Honestly, what *wasn't* in this story? The problem is that we moved so quickly from crisis to crisis that I never got a chance to slow down and care about any of the characters. I wish the author had trusted herself to pick only a few of these story lines and to do them well. Finally, my last wish is that the Trinidad setting had been used more to weave a story that was unique and universal to that place and time, an island gaining its independence after years of colonial rule. The author did try to emphasize the setting and was at times successful, but really was so busy rushing here and there that the slow languorous island beat was too often lost. I wanted to hear more of that calypso, taste more of that coconut cake, smell more of that market air, see more of the ocean surrounding the island. Oh well.

  • stacia
    2019-02-26 17:33

    So. Many. Things. Happen. Francis-Sharma packs her narrative tight with action and suspense in a story that spans nearly two decades and focuses on a non-traditional nuclear family (Technically, the couple at the novel's center, Farouk Karam and Marcia Garcia, are married, but they've been separated for nearly the entire length of their marriage, even as they continue to have children together). The story alternates between three narrative voices: Marcia's, Farouk's, and their second-eldest daughter, Jacqueline's. It's rare that novels that frequently switch perspectives reveal equally compelling insights, but you'll care as much about Farouk's interior life as his estranged wife's and his daughter's. All the characters (with the possible exception of the youngest daughter Yvonne) are vividly rendered and the Trinidadian history woven through the kidnapping, blackmail, murder, Obeah, romance, and betrayal, is interesting to learn. I highly recommend this book. You'll walk away feeling like you know the Garcia-Karams, and even after spending 20 years with them, you'll be left wanting to know what happened to all of them next.

  • Shannon
    2019-02-27 19:37

    If you like a book that’s go- go- go, you’ll want this one. After only a few chapters, things really took off. I was concerned that with 379 pages to fill, the pace would drop off. That couldn’t have been further from the truth!The story begins 1943, in Trinidad, where we meet a teenage girl, Marcia Garcia, and a slightly older Farouk Karam. Farouk, a police officer and ladies man, is determined to win Marcia’s heart. So much so that he solicits the help of an obeah. But Marcia, a seamstress with custody of twin boys, is focused on her career and providing the best life possible for the children.Farouk and Marcia eventually marry but the relationship is borne out of what appears to be a horrible tragedy and subsequently falls apart because of a family secret. Even through a troubled relationship, the couple has four children who ultimately become the catalysts for a tumultuous series of events that play out over the next twenty years.Marcia experiences more heartache than anyone should bear in a lifetime. Although it could be said that she brought it on herself, she is admirable in many ways. After finally realizing that she is in a no win situation in Trinidad, she leaves her children and heads for the United States. As with the previous twists and turns in this novel, events develop that the reader will never see coming.Farouk is an individual of many flaws. He never really confronts his domineering parents. They will not acknowledge and even try to have him disown his wife and children. With his philandering ways continuing even while he is married, he is easy to dislike. But he has redeeming qualities that lead one to believe that a good man is somewhere inside of him.Even with all of this, incest, political corruption, and murder unfold between the pages of this novel. With most books, you can find a stopping place. With this one, not hardly. This author has written a book that will have you sneaking out of the office to read a few more pages. And I didn’t even tell you about the children...

  • Nicole Falls
    2019-03-06 19:20

    This book punched me right in the gut. Beautiful writing. Compelling story. A must read.

  • La TonyaJordan
    2019-03-10 17:35

    This was an enjoyable book. The language, culture, and history of the Trinidad and Tobago permeate throughout this book. Marcia Garcia is a young girl from Blanchiseuse, a rural area, of the island who grows up within each chapter to be a wife, mother, and business owner. How she handles all the events in her life tells of her wit, charm, and determination. With her four children she makes a life for her self from ashes. From the beginning of loving his charm, to the constant disappointments from her husband, Farouk Karam, she kept thriving within the mist of the chaos. In this book, their is voodoo, rape, a corrupt police force, a caste system that denies a persons existence, and hope. A must read.

  • Kim Overstreet
    2019-02-22 18:23

    This rich, atmospheric novel transported me from my dreary, wintery hometown to balmy, lush Trinidad in the 1940's. In a small, poor seaside town, protagonist Marcia is working as a seamstress and raising two small disabled little boys. She begins dating Farouk, a young policeman, and as their stories intertwine and unfold over decades, family secrets and political scandals threaten to be their undoing. Much of the book is written in dialect, and the narrator changes from chapter to chapter. I did not find either of these to detract from the story or make reading difficult. Marcia and her family and all flawed characters, likeable yet quite believable and human. I generally don't like romance stories or plotlines that are centered on dysfunctional family dynamics and I wouldn't say 'Til the Well Runs Dry falls into either of those categories. I very much enjoyed Lauren Francis-Sharma's fiction debut and look forward to reading more of her work in the future. Her love for Trinidad shines through in her careful descriptions. This book is a wonderful testament to strong women and maternal love. Highly recommended!

  • Jan Pelosi
    2019-03-16 16:21

    Disappointing book! There was so much going on that it almost seemed as if the author got a little too enthusiastic and tried to cover every possible topic she could think of. There were interesting aspects but overall I couldn't put a finger on a single character who I really liked. Not Farouk, not Marcia, not Patsy, not Wesley, especially not Farouk's parents, maybe I cared just a wee bit about Yvonne and Jackie (she was probably the most likeable character). Marcia just had a dark cloud hanging over her all the time, nothing ever good happened to her. That was disheartening. And I hated the way the book ended . . . it just ended. This is one of the things that drives me crazy about some books/some authors who seemed to just get tired of writing and STOP! Would I recommend this book to any of my friends? Nope!

  • William
    2019-03-21 20:34

    One of the highest compliments that I can give a book is that it is a page turner. This book certainly qualifies. When one foregoes mundane household chores and other obligations in order to sit down to follow the excitement and adventures of the characters in this book, then you know you have a winner. I did with very little regret. Its not a perfect book and I have a few quibbles but they are minor in comparison to the engagement and pleasure afforded by this book. First, some of the quibbles. The cover puts the book squarely in the "womens" or chick lit camp. This is a mistake but I understand the publishers need to have it in a certain camp or genre. Men will also enjoy this story and characters. A strong female protagonist does not automatically exclude male readers. While this tome soars high above the conventional strictures of the Chick lit genre it does not totally avoid them. For instance, there is not a single major male character that is not a menacing ogre, feckless coward or rapist. the major male character has real trouble making up his mind which of those and other defective personalities he wants to assume. There are some minor male characters towards the end of the book that show n act or two of kindness and there is some redemption but on the whole the men are an extremely sorry lot. Most of the women are more evenly matched with traits of kindness and evil but our protagonist seems to attract bad luck like the plague. Much of her own doing. This was one of my other quibbles. towards the end it seemed a bit of overkill. You could almost see the black cloud and lightning following her around. But it is Marcia (mother) and Farouk (father) response to these situations that gives the book it's imperative. you care about these people and there island home (Trinidad). You learn about the history and ethnicity of the people of the islands. That Farouk is an East Indian and Marcia a combination of Black, Spanish, Amerindian and more, and all of the cultural, class, and status dynamics that entails is played out in the story. Francis-Sharma is a masterful storyteller in that the story evolves in totally unexpected directions. Gangsters, Chinese policemen, Blue eyed African Obeah workers and high ranking government ministers of the economy all get their stories told and intertwined in a very savory stew. But the main story is that of Marcia and her clan. Her 3 daughters and one son grow up hardscrabble, held together by the thinnest of strings. Farouk is sometimes with them sometimes not. Sometimes kind most times not. He is both protective and damaging. As is Marcia towards the children. It is a constant struggle. But rooting for them, and always on the edge of your seat hoping that they survive and thrive is a pure pleasure you'll find in this book.

  • Allison
    2019-02-23 15:23

    Now THIS is what story-telling is all about!I absolutely loved this book: the story, the dialogue, the character-development, the history, and as I did it in audio, I also LOVED the gorgeous narration done in a sing-song Trinidadian accent that I quickly got addicted to. I just can't recommend this book enough. Fantastic! I'm left wanting at the end, which I was guessing at right up until the final word, and in a way was aching for a different wrap-up. But that's okay -- the ending provided aligns well with Marcia's well-built character and determination, and so I can accept that intellectually, even if my heart doesn't!

  • Ash
    2019-03-13 21:19

    I loved this book but must admit bias as I was born and raised in Trinidad. The book felt like coming home, the accents, language, food, landscape, it all made me feel as if I was wrapped in a nostalgic blanket. If I were to try to separate my feelings and focus solely on the book (it's hard), I think I would have still enjoyed the story. The author wrote beautifully, she was able to describe Trinidad without being overly flowery with language. She was able to create fully fleshed out characters, so fully that I did not agree with many of their actions.My only criticism with this novel is the ending. I want more, I need more. The book ends and it seems unfinished. There is no real resolution, there is so much more left in the story for Marcia and Farouk, for the children. I feel cheated, as if Marcia became a good friend and suddenly moved away with no contact information, no facebook, no email. With all of these thoughts, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to other works from this author. Highly recommended and will be added to my favorites.

  • Janice
    2019-03-21 18:32

    I am once again reminded why I should never read books from the Oprah suggested reading lists. Depressing book.

  • Tia
    2019-03-07 21:28

    4.5 stars Outstanding! I enjoyed every minute reading this book. Definitely time well spent.

  • Nakia
    2019-03-17 22:36

    Marcia Garcia is a young seamstress in 1940s Trinidad struggling to take care of her twin brothers alone when she meets Farouk Karam, an Indian police officer who falls in love with her. Despite Farouk's earnest efforts to win her heart, Marcia is guarded, harboring secrets and focused on only taking care of her family. This prompts Farouk to seek assistance from a local obeah woman whose magic sets in a motion a turn of events that will effect multiple generations, from their small, lively Caribbean island to the hustle and bustle of New York.So much happened in this novel, y'all. So much. Pearls were clutched and teeth were sucked. Halfway through, I started wishing I'd waited to nominate this for my book club to read because there is sooooo much to talk about. It's a perfect book for a group discussion.If I say anymore, I will spoil it. Just know that I stayed up til 2am trying to finish this last night because I could NOT put it down. Lauren Francis-Sharma kept the drama rolling. She also introduced me to Trinidadian life: the various cultures, food, and euphemisms. And I got a glimpse of how the island residents mixed and mingled through bias, racism, and corruption in the 1940s and beyond. At the forefront of it all though, is a story about romantic love, selfishness masked as self preservation, and the battle between the two.I'd suggest this to those interested in multi generational love stories, Caribbean life, and immigration stories.

  • Kisha
    2019-02-25 19:15

    Better than ExpectedWhen I first read the synopsis I wasn't too interested in the book. But then, this is why I joined a book club. It allows me to read things I wouldn't have otherwise read.I really enjoyed the book and didn't want to put it down. Even the multiple character voices we're done in a way that allowed me to keep them straight.I did have some questions throughout the book and had to go back and reread parts. But I was pretty much able to figure out what I was confused about.Even the dialect didn't turn me off as it often does. And I had to keep reminding myself that "Marcia" is not pronounced as it is today in the States. It really does rhyme with "Garcia."

  • Robin Friedman
    2019-03-19 22:35

    Late in Lauren Francis-Sharma's debut novel, "'Til the Well Runs Dry", the main character, Marcia Garcia, describes herself in a lonely moment as "a monster -- the Sucouya witch", and as "angry, bitter, loveless". The Sucouya witch appears to be a mythical occult character in Trinidad, the setting of most of the novel. The novel describes how Marcia Garcia came to see herself as the Sucouya witch and how she dealt with the situation. The book follows the course of her life from 1943, as a girl of 16 in a small, poor seaside village in Trinidad called Blanchisseuse, to 1965. The book is set largely in Trinidad with important sections taking place in the northeast United States.Francis-Sharma is not a native of Trinidad but rather the child of Trinidadian immigrants. She was born in New York City, raised in Baltimore, Maryland, and received her undergraduate education at the University of Pennsylvania before earning a law degree at the University of Michigan and practicing law. She thus approaches Trinidad from a bit of distance. The novel draws on stories the author heard from her grandmother and on her own imagination, research and visits to Trinidad.Francis-Sharma has written a lengthy book with a host of characters. The book is narrated in the first person throughout with three primary characters speaking, usually alternately, in different sections of the book to offer varying perspectives on the events of the story. The first narrator and primary character is Marcia Garcia, a seamstress with high ambitions for independence and love and to make something of her life. She leaves Trinidad slightly beyond the mid-point in the book to try to find a better life in the United States. The second narrator, Farouk Karam, is the product of a more well-to-do background in Trinidad but has not succeeded in life as his middle-class educated parents have hoped and as have his brothers. He is a policeman and then a taxi driver. He courts and marries Marcia with the assistance of a woman who practices the occult arts of obeah. The couple have four children but are separated during almost all of their marriage. The third narrator, Jacqueline Karam, is the second child of Marcia's and Farouk's four children. When her mother leaves for America and with the father absent, Jacqueline becomes the titular head of the family.The novel centers upon the tortured lives of Marcia and Farouk as they struggle over the years with their relationship. The four children must deal with the unhappiness and frequent emotional distance of their parents and are unhappy each in their own way. Much of the story is told in dialect which is not particularly difficult to follow but which seems to me awkwardly done in the context of the story. Many of the events in the story I thought were melodramatic and over-done.As with many first novels, "'Til the Well Runs Dry" lacks focus and a fully-developed ability to decide what one wants to do and to carry it through. Francis-Sharma wanted to describe Trinidad and its history. She does so with mixed success with many of the descriptive passages pallid and unconvincing. The heavy-handed and elaborate nature of the plot and the many characters, for me, interferes with the focus on Trinidad. I was unconvinced that the author knew and understood the country -- or could convey the country to her readers --in much more than a derivative way.The book improves markedly when the setting shifts to the United States. Francis-Sharma describes sharply and concretely the difficulties Marcia endures upon coming to America. There are scenes in rural Maryland where she is kept in quasi-slavery as a seamstress before escaping. The book offers even stronger portrayals of the difficulty of immigrant life in Baltimore and New York City. Marcia wanders the streets, rides the subway, lives in awful rooming houses, and endures menial, exploitative jobs but somehow manages with her toughness to live in New York City. My impression was that Francis-Sharma is much more familiar with and more emotionally invested in the difficulties of Marcia's life in the United States than she is familiar with and involved with Trinidad. To put the matter another way, the book to me does not show a form of love or nostalgia for Trinidad. The country in many ways is not presented fondly or distinctively. Rather the strength of the Francis-Sharma's book lies in its love for the United States, for all its flaws and exploitative character, and in the grit and determination Marcia shows in working for success for herself and her children in the United States.In sum, Francis-Sharma's first novel has good moments, but it is slow in many parts and emotionally over-wrought in other parts. The author struggles to describe Trinidad, the land of her immigrant parents. Perhaps the author wrote a book that reads differently in the end from the book she thought she was going to write at the beginning. Her heart is with the United States in all its vulgarity and in its continued promise of offering a new and better life to immigrants.Robin Friedman

  • Christine
    2019-03-17 20:22

    This is the first novel I've read based in Trinidad! I hope to find more. One of my dearest friends is Trinidadian, and I have been blessed to have been able to go there 3 times. (In fact, while there I made a new best friend, and she actually came to live with me in Massachusetts for a while until she got her life in America going! I loved that time in life. I sure miss living near such close diverse friends. sorry for the tangent there.) This book sure had the feel of much of my experiences there. The descriptions of areas, foods, people were great. The story itself is quite a sad one, but I loved reading this debut novel. I loved that Fyzabad finally got a shout-out in the book... Even if only at the end. But I also have memories of Arima and Port of Spain which are central in most of this novel.

  • Kimberly
    2019-03-18 16:39

    Sooooo....is there a sequel to this book? I mean, it kind of ended abruptly, which i guess is a sign of good writing since I'm so invested in how the lives of the characters turn out. I guess i'm kind of tired of unsatisfying endings. I really want to have a chat with the author about this book! I want to know why she chose to tell the story from Jackie's point of view and why she chose the time period she did. Overall, it was a nice peek into a culture I know very little about.

  • Lcitera
    2019-03-11 19:20

    A fascinating book. Set in Trinidad. Interesting characters, excellent plot development and the author writes the dialogue in the island rhythm of vocabulary which makes the premise very real. Timely look at immigration battles of the 1960s as the protagonist realizes her only hope to help her family depends upon abandoning her home. More than just a "good read"...this is a book of fiction with a history to tell. Bravo!

  • Andrea
    2019-03-21 18:16

    The story takes place in Trinidad and I've traveled there before, so I could easily picture the details that were described and the foods that were cooked. The language was also very familiar and it was written as a true Trini would speak it. It may be hard to understand for someone who doesn't know the culture, but I read it for the pure fact that it was set in Trinidad and Tobago.

  • Dawn
    2019-03-07 20:43

    You don't know what you've got until it's gone. At its core, " 'Til the Well Runs Dry" is a love story that spans 22 years. The story is told in three voices: that of Marcia Garcia; her lover, policeman Farouk Karam; and their second-born daughter, Jacqueline.Marcia Garcia is a teenager trying to single-handedly take care of 3-year-old twins who are not well. Her parents and sister are gone, and she sews to make enough money to keep the small family afloat. Then she meets policeman Farouk. Their story is unique - not at all like I thought it would be. Instead of being fireworks and the fairy-tale-like happily ever after, Farouk and Marcia (it's Mar-see-uh) share a turbulent relationship - where superstition and a kind of black magic, secrets left unshared, and trust shattered and not rebuilt - all work against them, despite hearts that truly do seem to beat for and reach out for each other. Marcia, Farouk and their family felt real and believable - and their troubles made their story come alive more. Without giving away too much of the story, let it suffice to say the lingering message I took away from their story is to look around and realize what's priceless in your life and appreciate what you have before it's too late.Hearing Jacqueline's sweet voice explain events in the story proved an effective and wonderful addition to the story. Jackie helped brighten up the story, give it more vibrant color and hope, and underline the goodness of her parents when they make bad decisions.Overall I enjoyed the book. Something is always happening - whether it be the mischief one of Marcia and Farouk's four children has found and immersed him- or herself in; or some danger or threat caused by Farouk's asking a strange witch-like obeah woman for help ensuring Marcia will always love him; or the fresh tragedies and trials for both Farouk (when a murder threatens his job) and for Marcia (when she moves from Trinidad to the United States for a new life). The characters are likable, colorful and very human - I kept wondering if Farouk was good or bad, and hadn't really made up my mind (and maybe Farouk wasn't sure about himself either) until the very end. I didn't care for the ending (it felt abrupt and unfinished), but it's a minor complaint and wouldn't keep me from recommending the book to someone who likes a different kind of love story - raw, real, tragic.

  • Thien-Kim
    2019-03-04 21:30

    As a child I've always loved books that transported me to another world, real or imaginary, that I would never be able to visit otherwise. In novel 'Til the Well Runs Dry by Lauren Francis-Sharma, I traveled to Trinidad. Not only did I learn what life is like in on the island, but Francis-Sharma's rich writing allowed me to walk in Marcia Garcia's shoes.What I admired most about Marcia was her ability to keep pushing to give her children the best life she could even when obstacles were thrown at her. It's not to say that Marcia was a perfect character. She had her imperfections, just like everyone around her. All the characters in the novel are well developed. They felt so real to me that I could envision myself walking down Marcia's street and waving at her neighbors.Even if I can't related to the struggles and joys of living in Trinidad, I could relate to Marcia's desires and dreams. We all want a better life for ourselves and our family. We dream of finding love and to be loved unconditionally. Marcia could easily be one of us, even if her path is different from our own.Pick up a copy of 'Til the Well Runs Dry by Lauren Francis-Sharma. You won't be disappointed.

  • Cosima
    2019-02-27 16:32

    I loved this book from page one. The author effortlessly describes Trinidad and its diverse people with such rich detail that I felt like I'd been there before. The voices of the characters rose off of the pages and into my ears. The trials that this tragically fractured family go through are very sad but there is beauty in the story as well. I connected with the characters and even felt protective of them like they were my own family. The things that kept it from being a full 5-star book to me are that some of the characters' actions made no sense, and plus the ending didn't feel complete. It's one of those endings that leave you wanting more. Nevertheless I highly enjoyed reading this book. I took my time with it because I didn't want it to end. I hope to see more from this author.

  • Katherina Martin
    2019-03-21 18:39

    I have never given much thought to Trinidad or the people that live there. This book was eye-opening even though it was set in the 1950/60's, and things have probably changed. So different from America during that same time frame. Very good story with characters that were quite believable. For those of you who dislike too much politics or history when reading fiction, you will be pleased to know that while you will be fascinated by, and immersed in the culture of Trinidad, you will not be given a history lesson. I liked the book in the beginning, and really, really liked it the further I read. The ending was a let down only because it would be interesting to see further into the future of the characters.

  • Shavonne
    2019-03-16 20:28

    I must admit that when I read the first four words of Chapter 1, "The cardboard box trembled," I closed the book and didn't pick it up for three weeks. After I finished reading several other novels(Loving Donovan, Cane River, The Invention of Wings, Forty Acres, etc.) I picked up "Till the Well Runs Dry" again and forced myself to continue reading pass the first four word..."The cardboard box trembled." Thank God I did. What is that people say...never judge a book by its cover. Well, I will never judge a book by the first four words of the first chapter. "Til the Well Runs Dry" is a heartbreaking love story. It's also a sad tale about a family separated by secrets, lies and silence. I was hopeful that all would turn out for the best, but unfortunately the author had other plans.

  • Lisa
    2019-03-03 16:22

    Well, gosh, it took me FOREVER to read this book, but not because it wasn't good. I'm torn, almost gave it 5 stars. Based in Trinidad and Tobago, an area of the world I knew nothing about and now want to go visit!! I got so frustrated with the characters in this book, although I realize it was probably the most realistic way they would have behaved coming from such a poor and hopeless background. This is the story of a family, from the parents' meeting through raising four kids, and finally coming to America. A great story, definitely read it!!

  • Pria Alston
    2019-02-21 17:17

    This book was so engaging! The interwoven family and how each decision changed the direction of all of their lives. It was frustrating at points but very interesting until the very end. I'm a little disappointed in the ending. It felt like there were unanswered questions.

  • Lisa
    2019-02-21 15:27

    This was a good book set in Trinidad. It is about Marcia who is a talented sewer, her children and their father. Marcia faces a lot of heartache and it is sad at times. We learn a bit about the island and some of the island foods. Thank you Picador for sending me this book.