The Holy Well

Written by Colin Macpherson
Review by Brad Eden

This fascinating novel portrays the lives of two men from two different time periods: Bren from the late Bronze Age, who lives in a thatch-roofed crannog in the Scottish Highlands; and James, a 20th-century Scot living in the working-class suburb of Melbourne. The one thing that binds the two together is a holy well that both discover during their respective centuries. The water in this ancient and mysterious artifact not only provides wisdom and healing to its users, but glimpses of a higher reality as well. As the reader follows the two characters through their lives and trials in relation to the well, aspects of higher issues such as life beyond death, the purpose of life, and ethics related to power and knowledge are mulled over and examined.

The author does a wonderful job of guiding the reader between the time periods, interspersing tales of early man with modern-day flight and intrigue. The characters are brought to life through their generosity and kindness towards others, and the epilogue is a tribute to that effect all of which makes this novel a great read.