Book Review: The Well of Truth

“When she arrived at her building, she noticed a beam of silvery light shining down on the front stoop. Even after all those years, the moon still knew where she lived.”

–Elizabeth A. Gould (The Well of Truth)

The Well of Truth is a creative synthesis of novel with metaphor plus myth, allegory, symbolism, and archetypal experiences of truth. I’ve never read another book quite like it—it blends the fictional story of a woman’s life with larger mythical understanding and lessons and reads more like a “teaching” than like strictly fiction. 

The book follows a character named Grace throughout her life from childhood until menopause. When Grace’s life starts to fall apart in mid-life, she experiences a series of short, allegorical encounters with significant goddesses from around the world who help her to learn necessary lessons and re-collect her floundering self from the ashes of the life she knew in order to build something new. The goddess stories are vivid and powerful and were my favorite part of the book—imparting pithy and purposeful pieces of wisdom rooted in their own classic myths that can at the same time be applied to the lives of the reader in the modern day. 

At only 133 pages, the book is brief and is a very quick read that can at time feel a bit choppy. Some sections would have benefited from a more full exploration or more description. The Well of Truth is an especially poignant read for mid-life women or anyone else who feels their life cracking open—sometimes painfully—and senses there is something more on the other side of the physical and psychological transitions of middle age. 

“With saltwater and fire pulsing through her veins, Grace raised her dripping head to thank the wild woman who had saved her life by introducing her to the transformative power of sacred rage.”

–Elizabeth A. Gould (The Well of Truth)

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.

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