Monday, February 6, 2012

"Beyond Molasses Creek" by Nicole Seitz: Book Review

There are three key characters in the book representing three cultures: 
  1. Ally has lived a world-wide roving, unsettled, hard life without finding a "perch" or a love, 
  2. Vesey an old neighbor who lived across Molasses Creek from Ally who was a true friend, and
  3. Sunila in Nepal.  
Ally and Vesey grew up in the deep South around 1960 - the time of desegregation.  Theirs was a friendship much frowned upon because Ally was from a privileged white family and Vesey was from a poor black family.

The novel addresses hard subjects and is not one I would recommend for youth simply because of the issues involved.  It is for mature readers.  The book is actually three stories, two generations, three cultures intertwined. 

The book is written by an excellent story teller and her wordsmithing is delightful - a real pleasure to read.  The character development is good.  The story jumps from time line to time line - 1960's to current.  The  characters speak in first person about themselves and their lives.  To some this is confusing, I find it readable and a writing ploy used successfully by many writers. 

The book is published by Christian publishing house, Thomas Nelson.  However, I see very little of Christianity woven into the story.  There is mention, however,  of "gods" and beliefs.  And Vesey "believes" in heaven, Jesus, etc.  There is a glimmer of hope for the reader that Amy is drawing toward belief in God, heaven, and possibility of believing with faith as Vesey did.

This story of a woman whose life was without anchor or established roots is sad.  She is a bit younger in the book than I am, and I grieve that she lived such an unsettled life.

Character #3:  Sunila - now who in the world is this woman from Nepal and how is she connected?  This part of the story is interesting, but somewhat farfetched in the connection with Ally and Molasses Creek.  Sunila is a character both sweet, sad, and seeking.  Watch her develop!

Nicole Seitz is the author of several critically acclaimed novels - The Inheritance of Beauty, Saving Cicadas, A Hundred Years of Happiness, Trouble the Water, and The Spirit of Sweetgrass. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism, and also has a degree in Illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design.
Her paintings are featured on the covers of her books.

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson  ISBN:  9781595545053
I was provided a complimentary copy of Beyond Molasses Creek by Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review.

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