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Gin Phillips Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Well and the Mine (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Come In and Cover Me (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Hidden Summer (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Little Bit of Spectacular (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fierce Kingdom (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Gin Phillips is an award winning American author of Contemporary, Historical Fiction and Children’s books. She is popularly known as the author of The Well and the Mine which won $10,000 prizes for a first novel and the 2009 Barnes & Noble Discover Award. The author’s second book Come in and Cover Me was published in 2012. Phillips has also written two children books A Little Bit of Spectacular and The Hidden Summer which were published in 2015 and 2013 respectively.

She was born and brought up in Montgomery, Alabama and is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College. The author’s second novel is a mystery novel that focuses about an archeologist based in New Mexico who experiences visions of a 12-century potter from the Mimbres culture. The author currently lives in Birmingham with her family; husband, her children and a Schnoodle.

The Well and the Mine

In The Well and the Mine is baby is tossed down into the Moore family well. This incident is witnessed by a nine-year-old girl named Tess, and this forms the central theme that drives the entire story.

Tess joins an alliance with her sister named Virgie and the two decide that they are going to find out the person who committed such crime and soon begin their investigations. What they unravel in their investigation is more about life itself in the 1930’s. Phillip’s first novel is wonderful one; the book is set in a mining town located in Alabama in 1931. The story opens up with a disturbing event and a mystery that seems to be the primary focus of the novel. It is a story about, a place and time, a family and way of living. Different narrators give their narration regarding this mystery; the characters are well created the mining town is well detailed such that it is almost a character by itself.

There is also a detailed day to day lives of different family members which are neatly done. The back is breaking daily work, the chores, and the limited food and how it is prepared are all intrinsic to the characters and the entire story as well. Apart from the central theme, of course, which is a mystery, the author has also addressed some other minor issues such as racism, poverty, loss, despair, the unfairness of life. There is a different cast of characters featured in this novel, all which are well created.

First, there is Albert, a very hard-working coal miner who has mined coal all his life. Then there is his kind-hearted and hardworking wife Leta and Virgie, their teenage daughter whose beauty shocks her parents. We have Tess the middle age nine-year-old girl longing for adventures and Jack a seven-year-old boy and the little brother of the family. The narration of this novel alternates from a different perspective of the five family members.

Fierce Kingdom Gin

Phillips creates a unique and familiar environment known to many of us; spreading the landscapes of beautiful indoor and outdoor exhibits; animals from small to the large all harbored on man made imaginings. A shadowy enclosure in the woods at the edge of the zoo is an ideal place for mother and child to have some good time, relax and enjoy each others presence.

Joan and her four-year-old son are doing the same. There are visitors here and trek the walkways each week. Lincoln plays with his plastic toys and gabbles away. His mother, Joan keeps an eye on the clock as the zoo will be closing soon for the day. An explosive sound is heard in the area, shocked Joan recognizes it as gunfire. Trying not to scare her little boy, she grabs him in her arms and hurriedly rushes to the only exit in the zoo. What Joan and her son come across in the sidewalk is shocking. Mother and child scramble for a place to hide in the zoo as deep down they feel the riveting bolt of pure fear. Their panic sends them into hiding into the walled rock exhibits, but ironically, the humans do not possess the camouflage needed to blend in. Joan understands well that these armed human predators won’t leave her and her son alive if spotted and thus she must do whatever it takes to stay alive. In the Fierce Kingdom, the author continues the nerve wracking scenes throughout the story, which will see Joan, make a decision that favors the survival of her son and herself.

The main character Joan is an interesting and quite engaging character, she does not possess gladiator survival skills, but she does things her way which makes her survive the whole ordeal.

Come in and Cover Me

In this novel, we are introduced to Ren Taylor, an expert in prehistoric ceramics who kick started his career by unearthing a remarkable a set of bowls in southern New Mexico. These bowls appear to have belonged to one of the 12th-century artists, and she is convinced that they contain the secret to understanding the woman who died some thousand years earlier. In 2009, Silas Cooper, an archaeologist invites Ren to remote parts of Canada Rosa where he has unearthed more evidence regarding her artist.

Ren finds discovers that she has an unusual connection to the dead, a link that is finally revealed while living in this lush canyon disconnected from the rest of the world. Her brother was killed in a car accident when Ren was only 12 years, but he did not vanish entirely. Ren lives with her ghosts and while at the canyon, she starts to see her artist, apparently a young woman with strong hands, dark eyes shaping bowls and tending fires before she vanishes into the wind.

She also sees another lady in macaw feather skirt walking through the sand. These ghosts seem to be holding out clues, and Ren is determined to dive into their pasts and discover what it holds. Then there is Silas, the only man who has managed to make Ren fall in love since her brother died. And Ren suspects that she must choose her past or the present, ghosts or Silas.

The story of Ren explores how we connect to each other, and also the ways that we keep each other at a distance. It revolves around the bonds of our family, the bonds we have for those we have loved and lost and the bonds of those that have come before us.

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