Readers and Reviews


“In ‘Fresh Water from Old Wells,’ Cindy Henry McMahon confronts family’s path toward social justiceCover of Fresh Water from Old Wells book
by Emily Choate
Knoxville News Sentinel, May 24, 2015

Readers Respond to Fresh Water from Old Wells

“This book is beautifully written and powerfully personal—I was riveted from start to finish. If you are in a book club, make plans to put this on your list.”
– Holly Jones, activist and women’s advocate

“This is a captivating story of how human spirits can endure, survive and heal after decades of raw abuse and pain.”
– Linda C. Fuller, Co-founder of Habitat for Humanity International and The Fuller Center for Housing

“In Cindy McMahon’s Fresh Water from Old Wells, she invites us to join the return to her family of origin, a family passionate for social and racial justice during the turbulent 60’s and 70’s in the South. The courage and stamina, failure and despair, explored honestly and creatively, become occasions for her healing, release and gratitude. The power of her story engages. Her life-changing project is a life-changing gift.”
– Mahan Siler, retired Baptist pastor

“This is a book for the heart as well as the head. Fresh Water from Old Wells is a riveting story of personal sorrow and joy interwoven with references to the larger political and social justice issues of the civil rights era and beyond. Cindy McMahon’s powerful images of the real life characters continue to stay with me even two weeks after reading the last page. It’s a book for helping us remember and also see anew the past, with a story equally relevant today.”
– Noel Nickle

Fresh Water from Old Wells captivated me from page one. It is an honest, sometimes painful, look into a history of a progressive Southern family. Not only does it take you back to the intensity of the civil rights movement, but it gives you a glimpse into how the movement affected the white, southern families who fought for equality. The fear, the disillusionment, the anger that followed the quest for equality. It is a memoir of change, fear, neglect, hatred, and finally forgiveness. It is not to be missed.”
– Emily Berry

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