Friday, February 17, 2012

Book Review: Beyond Molasses Creek

About the book
Three lives are bound by a single book . . . and the cleansing waters of Molasses Creek.

Having traveled to the ends of the earth as a flight attendant, Ally Green has finally returned to the Lowcountry to bury her father as well as the past. But Vesey Washington is still living across the creek, and theirs is a complicated relationship—he was once her best friend . . . and also part of the reason she’s stayed away so long. When Ally discovers a message her father left behind asking her to quit running, it seems her past isn’t through with her yet.
As Ally’s wandering spirit wrestles with a deep longing to flee again, a young woman on the other side of the world escapes her life of slavery in the rock quarries of Nepal. A mysterious sketchbook leads Sunila Kunari to believe there’s more to her story than she’s ever been told, and she’s determined to follow the truth wherever it leads her.
A deep current intertwines the lives of these three souls, and a destiny of freedom, faith, and friendship awaits them all on the banks of Molasses Creek.

My thoughts
This book touches on so many different themes, and draws them all together, in a way that made for a very pleasant read.  One of the major themes throughout the book was accepting the past and using it to move forward.  Two of the major characters, Ally and Vesey, had grown up together as children during the Civil Rights era.  Their friendship alone was taboo, but add to that the fact that Ally always wanted it to be more than it could be, and it created problems.  As an adult, Ally traveled extensively and avoided coming home to Molasses Creek.  After her father passed away, she returned home and quickly re-ignited her friendship with Vesey.  Although race was no longer an issue, Ally still had feelings she needed to rein in and lots to learn about how differently people live when their income, and their level of faith, is not the same as yours. There is also a parallel story throughout the book that unites with Ally's story in the later chapters.  That is the story of Sunila, a woman who was raised as a slave in Nepal, yet always had the feeling there was something more out there for her.  The scenes in Nepal, transport the reader to a world unlike anything most of us have ever experienced. 

Beyond Molasses Creek is not a great love story in the romantic sense, but it is a love story regarding true friendship and familial love.  If you like stories that can take you on a bit of a ride, both across time and across the world, you will enjoy this book.  Although classified as Christian fiction, it was not preachy at all, more like a story you would find in the world today, with people of faith interacting and influencing those who may not have as much. I do many book reviews, but only keep a handful of the books after I finish reading them.  This is one that is staying on my bookshelf.  Not only would I re-read it, but I plan to have my children read it as well, once they reach high school age.  The book does deal with some "touchy" topics, including teen pregnancy, sexual relationships between unmarried people, inter-racial relationships and the prejudice they faced during the Civil Rights era,  separation of class, modern-day slavery, and even a reference to sexual slavery.  All of the topics are handled well, but may be a bit too much for younger readers.

About the author
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. Visit her at @NicoleSeitz, Facebook and for more information. 


Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group and the author for providing me with a copy of this book for review purposes. My opinion is my own and was not influenced by anyone else.


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