The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

Tag Archives: Lauren Francis-Sharma

The Year in Review


I can’t believe it’s time to wrap up another year. By my count, I’ve read about fifty books this year; there were surprises, winners and losers. I am not going to review but just list those that impressed me this year.


So let me start with some of my favorites:

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein tops the list. The author of The Art of Dancing in the Rain has a mystical way of writing that makes reading his books an absolute pleasure.

Longbourn by Jo Baker really caught my attention because Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite classics.

One that I received in exchange for a review, Till The Well Runs Dry by Lauren Francis-Sharma was a trip to India in a well-written story.

Sarah Jio, always a favorite of mine, once again makes the list with Morning Glory. This was on last year’s wish list and wishes do come true.

Troika by Adam Pelzmar spanned the globe from Russia to the United States with a surprisingly good story.

One of my favorite “favorites” was Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. This one kept me thinking long after the last page. I encourage you to read my review and consider it strongly when you next choose a book.

Unfortunately there were books that make the not so favorite list:

Bellman and Black by Diane Setterfield was another on last year’s wish list. Now I wish it hadn’t been. I found her writing extremely disappointing especially after loving The Thirteenth Tale so much.

Another on that wish list was The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan. Amy, what happened here??????

A title that you have seen on all the “best” lists this year doesn’t make my “best” but rather my “least” list. A Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, honestly I don’t know what all the fuss is about.

Simply ridiculous is what I’d say about A Storied Life of A. J. Firky by Gabrielle Zevin. I was expecting something good here but one again was disappointed.

Lastly, Away by Amy Bloom didn’t even get reviewed.


There you have it. 2014 summed up, page by page. I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year filled with adventure, romance and suspense. Thank you for following The Book Mark. I look forward to reading and reviewing in 2015.

‘Till the Well Runs Dry




I know that I get excited about many of the books I read but I’m really excited about ‘Till The Well Runs Dry (A) by Lauren Francis-Sharma. I received this early reader edition from The Library Thing and I am extremely happy that I did.

Set in Trinidad in the 1940’s, the scene depicted is pretty bleak. Marcia Garcia a very young woman has to raise two young, autistic boys in an environment of poverty and despair. This sets the pace for her life. In the midst of all her responsibilities, she meets Farouk Karam a young Indian policeman who falls hopelessly in love with her. As with everything in her life, love is complicated too.

The characters are authentic and unique. Mammy, Farouk and Jacqueline deliver the story speaking in alternate chapters. The Trinidadian vernacular is so clear you can almost hear it. You learn about obeah, the magical folklore through moments with Tanty Gertrude and taste the culture through descriptions of island cuisine. The novel is well paced allowing details to unravel slowly keeping the reader curious and involved.

For these reasons and many more I didn’t want the book to end. It grabbed me from the beginning and held me “till the well ran dry” and I still wanted more. I consider this one of the best I’ve read so far in 2014 and I’m sure you will too.  If you don’t read this one, I t’ink you goint be sorry!!!!