By:Sharon Ewell Foster
Published by: Bethany House
ISBN# 978-0-7642-2887-2
316 pages plus author’s notes and photos

Inspired by true events, authentic slave narratives, and other historical accounts, Abraham's Well is the profoundly moving story of the Black Cherokee--African Americans, both slave and free--who, along with native people, walked the Trail of Tears. It is the story of their forced removal from the Southeast to Indian Territory--modern day Oklahoma--and of the courage and faith of one woman as she struggles to overcome her desperate circumstances.

REVIEW: Abraham’s Well is a powerful story of part of our American history. Foster used true events and real accounts of her own ancestry to weave this fictional story of a young girl named Armentia who began life as a Cherokee living a happy, secure life surrounded by family, and ended life as an emancipated black slave far from her homeland.

Armentia’s life-span gives today’s readers a snapshot of a very difficult time period in America and insight into a rarely considered group – people of mixed race of Native American and African American living in the 1800’s. Not only were they stripped of their land and forced into the Trail of Tears, but they were also forced into slavery.

The characters are compelling, the plot is well devised, and the story stays with you long after the last page. A clever technique the author used to help communicate the changes the main character endures is the change in Armentia’s “voice,” her manner of speaking and the way her innocence disappears.

Armentia’s story is heartbreaking and the cruelty of some people is difficult to comprehend, but it is still a story of hope. She learned from her mother to have faith in God’s goodness and she experienced it in spite of the harshness of this fallen world we live in. Abraham’s Well is historical fiction, but it can serve as a cautionary tale to those of us living in the 21st century about the dangerous lengths to which prejudice, selfishness, and pride can take us.

Reviewed by The Page Turner

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