First-time novelist Lauren Francis-Sharma delivers an extremely solid debut novel with "'Til the Well Runs Dry," a book that tracks the sorrowful milestones in the decades long relationship between two young Trinidadians — Marcia Garcia, a mixed-heritage seamstress, and Farouk Karam, an Indian policeman.
The couple's journey starts promisingly enough in the first chapters of the book and marriage follows quickly, but the arc of their relationship falls apart shortly after they say, "I do."
Racism, socio-economic gaps, family secrets and a belief in the dark arts work together to keep the two apart for the long-term despite their shared children and emotional devotion to one another.
As the story moves from the middle of World War II to the early 1960s, Marcia's needs begin to change, and she starts to take bigger risks in her life, including leaving the Caribbean for America in an attempt to earn enough money to bring her children to the land of opportunity.
Unfortunately, life away from the island doesn't prove a great deal easier, and Marcia ends up working as a veritable slave sewing couture clothing in an unfinished shed in the northeast.
The tale of her eventual rise above makes the book more than worth the read.
The tenacity of Garcia, Karam and the third narrator in the book, their daughter Jacqueline, keeps the story relatable and far less frustrating than many tales of continual near misses and disappointments. There is hope in this book despite the predominately somber and sometimes disturbing subject matter; the future is always an opportunity for things to be better.