Beyond Molasses Creekby Nicole Seitz
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 relationshiphe was once/b>
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 relationshiphe 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.
“…Seitz has written good stories in the past butBeyond Molasses Creek exceeds all of them.”Jackie K. Cooper, The Huffington Post
A nicely drawn study of two women whose lives are lost, then regained.
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Beyond Molasses Creeka novel
By Nicole Seitz
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2012 Nicole Seitz
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Stone Garden
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina Ally
There's a bend in the creek where marsh grass waves, calling egrets and ospreys from their high places. It's as familiar to me as the bend in my elbow, yet now, years later, it almost seems exotic. Standing here, I can't look at the creek and not see them all—the Ganges, the Seine, the Baghmati—all the beautiful rivers that have carved valleys into my soul.
I'm home now, Huck on the Mississippi, winding my way, finding my way home.
Why did someone have to die for me to come back? I wonder. Isn't it just as glorious and miraculous a waterway as any other?
I am sitting Indian-style in my stone garden, at least it will be after I'm done with it. Right now, it's just a patch of grass in Daddy's yard. It's overgrown, wild and empty at the same time. Much like my heart. I close my eyes. I can see them all around me, the statues I've collected over the years. I'll put them all over this yard and create my own Garden of Dreams. It was the last place I was truly happy. A faraway garden. Stone statues. True love. Daddy would understand. If I'm going to stay here for any time at all, I'll have to do things my way, and right now, I feel destitute. I need someone to carve a god of peace for me, something I can touch and hold, something to take away this awful, gnawing grief.
I am too old to be sitting on the ground in the middle of the yard. The neighbors will think I've gone batty. I push to standing and wipe off my ample rear. I head to the dock and breathe in the salty marsh air. I see a rope hanging off the edge and disappearing into the water. Daddy's crab trap. I breathe in deep and exhale. Tears spring to my eyes and I fight them off.
Crabs. I'm hungry. Is it possible I'm hungry after eating a whole rotisserie chicken with coleslaw on the side? I look down at my ripply thighs. The sunlight this time of day does a number on me, pulls out every little bulge and pocket, every wrinkle. I will miss my father, I will, but I do not miss shorts weather in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Some people are not made to wear shorts. I struggled through it in Bali and on the shores of Hawaii, but only because I did not know a soul there. Here? Here, there's a slew of people who've never even left this place and know the old me from long ago. Can you imagine? Can you even imagine never wanting to see the world, to partake in it all? To find your place in it?
I pull up the trap to see if anything is in there. Of course, there's not.
"Give it time."
A voice like butter rolls down my back.
I drop the trap with a splash and nearly fall into the water. Clutching the pole, I turn around and realize the sun is beaming off my flabby arms. And there he is. There he is. Just look at him. Is it possible black people don't age the way we do?
"Dad-gum, Vesey. Scared me half to death!"
"Sorry, Miss Ally. Here, lemme help you up."
He reaches for me, a long, strong, sinewy arm with forearm muscles rippling. I feel faint. This is Vesey, Ally Green. The boy you played with when you were little, the one who was off limits because you are white and he is not. Vesey Washington. This is the South and always will be. Remember that.
"Thank you, I'm ... I'm fine," I say. "Just been a long day. What with the ... well, coming home and all."
His face breaks out into a grin, not a sly one, but a genuine, heartfelt smile with teeth so white, I'm feeling dizzy again. Reminds me of the white sands in Fiji, so pure.
"You are a sight for sore eyes, Mr. Washington. You still climbing trees or something?"
"Or somethin'. Look here, just come over to see if there was anythin' you needed from me. I been checkin' on him, Doc Green, every day for a good while. Hard to break the habit." He looks down at the cracks in the pier, then off into the sunset behind me. "I'm real sorry ... a good man, he was. Good man."
"Thank you. Yes, he was." I turn around and face the sunset too. In a minute it will be gone, just a memory, like Daddy. The red meets the greens of the trees, and the yellows and oranges fan out to pinks and purples, and yes, this is one of the most spectacular sunsets in the world. In fact, wherever the sun sets is where I want to be. So tonight I want to be right here, on this dock, with Daddy's house behind me and Vesey just feet away. We watch the sky silently for about thirty seconds, and then the sun dips behind the trees and it's gone for another day.
I am suddenly aware of the hideousness of the backs of my legs and turn around quickly. Is it possible he's standing closer? I swear I can feel his heat. He's close to sixty now, my age, and I'm hoping that means his eyes aren't as good as they used to be. Perhaps he can't see me well, and all my ripples and wrinkles smooth out nicely. Yes, I'm sure that's it.
"You look tired, Miss Ally. You feelin' all right?"
"Vesey Washington, never, ever tell a woman she looks tired. You hear me?"
"I didn't mean no—"
"I am tired. Very tired. My daddy just died. I just came halfway across the world for his funeral and to clean out his old house on the creek, and at the moment, yes, I am exhausted. There's much to do. Did you see the inside of that place? It's like a museum. Looks like he's never moved a thing in the twenty years Mama's been gone."
Vesey looks in my eyes and I can tell I've frightened him from saying anything at all.
I smile and move closer to him. I lean up on my tiptoes and put my hands on his firm shoulders. I press myself to his stiff chest and breathe in the smell. How long has it been? This man could be Molasses Creek itself, the salt, the pluff mud, the snails on tall grass, the fish jumping in hot sun. With my eyes closed, my mind erases the years and takes me to a cool evening on this very creek. I can hear music playing and see moonlight dancing on his face. I imagine his tender lips on mine ... then I pull myself together and away from him. I smooth my hair. "It's good to see you, Vesey. Thank you for being here ... for Daddy."
Vesey grabs his hat and backs away. "I'll be just over there, 'cross the water, if you need me. All you got to do is holler."
All I have to do is holler.
I nod and he walks away from me, a slow, limber pace that's carried him surely for six decades. He doesn't wear shorts. Never has. I do not know how he handles this Lowcountry heat in long pants. There are some things so different about us. The color of our skin. The desires of our souls. I could never have stayed in the same place my whole life and been content with it, yet he is. Or so he seems to be.
I watch as he steps gingerly into his fishing boat. It creaks and rolls with his weight, but he steadies it. Always steady, that's Vesey. He nods my way and I wave a tiny, pathetic wave as the water parts for him to cross over like Moses, back to his side of the creek. He looks so natural in that old boat. I feel like a fish out of water here. There are so many walls and layers of difference between us, like honey-drenched Greek baklava. We may have known each other as children, but now, what do we really know of one another? We're as opposite as night and day.
But maybe now we'll have the time to learn each other all over again. I push the thought away and shake my head. Ally Green, what to do with you? You're not here for Vesey. You're here because your daddy is dead.
I walk back into Daddy's musty house and throw open all the windows as fast as I can. I've got to air this place out. I've got to let Daddy's spirit free, let the memories of me when I was a child loose to run around in this place. I am such a different person from who I once was. I think it's good. No, I can't think about it at all. I'm tired. Tomorrow will be a new day and I'll be able to clean this place out and start to make it mine. Daddy wanted me to have this lazy spot on the river ... why? He knows I don't like to stay put. Knew it, anyway. But I'll honor him. I loved him. I still do. I'll pretend I've inherited some exotic place on the Nile and I've got to make my way, learn to eat the native food, learn to talk like them, to fit in. Deep down, I know in three months I'll be done with Charleston, itching to leave again, but for now, I will do this for him. For Daddy.
The rain comes on with thunder and lightning, and a storm suits me fine right now. I think about Daddy, how he lay on this very bed. I can smell him here in this house, on these sheets. I turn out the lights. Strangely, it's not my father I'm thinking of, but Vesey on the other side of the water, how much distance there is between us. I think of the lines in his face, how I'd love to draw them again. But I can't. How I wish someone would bring chisel to stone and carve him for my garden so I could look at him and touch him anytime I want. I close my eyes. I am sketching again in my mind, and as my head hits the pillow to sleep in a place I once called home, it's Vesey's face I see before me. Vesey. Molasses Creek. My destiny.
Kathmandu, Nepal Sunila
There are stories of my birth in which a large white bird swooped down close enough to the earth to drop me in a betel nut tree. Sometimes I picture long wings flowing, flapping, and me, carefully wrapped in gold cloth, a descendant of the heavens. Perhaps it was a great egret or eagle with sharp talons. Perhaps the aim was to leave me at a royal palace, but the winged beast was attacked in midair and did only what it could do—it dropped me here.
Amaa tells me my skin was once the color of the tops of the mountains of Nepal. She says I was born of snow and carried in a bird's beak until swallowed and passed out through the creature, flung into the filth of the streets of Kathmandu.
Buba thinks I'm a curse. He blames me for the squalor we live in, for the stones we must carry and break, but he was born into this life a Dalit. He was cursed at his first breath. He is jealous because I was a master carver of stone at twelve years old and could sit under my umbrella to do my work, while he and the others baked in the hot sun.
My skin is now the color of terra-cotta. I spent days blistered and oozing, the dust of gravel filling my sores. Later I was given an umbrella to work under, chisel in hand. They used to show me what I was to depict in my stones. I am remembering a fat child with wings that come off her back. She was called angel.
There was a book once with pictures of gods and mythical creatures, beings that come from the heavens. I studied the pictures and could not turn away, could barely blink. I drank in the pages with my eyes as if dying of thirst and buried them deep in a well inside me.
My eyes are blue, the color of the sky. To me it is a sign that I am surely from the gods that I carve. Perhaps I, too, am made of stone and the lines I cut, the facial features, the arms and legs of goddesses and angels—perhaps I will cut just the right stone and when I look, I will see myself there—it will be myself I have set free with my chisel.
For the past twenty-five years, I have longed to see the Book of the Gods again. I know where it is kept—in the big office of the cruel man. I have seen him leave a child to suffer the pain of a broken foot from dropping a heavy stone. I have seen him turn away when another has coughed up blood from years of dust. The book may as well have been tossed in the seas, lost forever. In the quarry, they would let me learn as much as they wanted me to know and nothing more. Yet I would dream.
Someday, I would reach this book. I would steal it and study it. I would open the pages and the gods would open my eyes and make me understand the letters and markings that I could not read before. With my eyes wide open I would understand how to return to my true home, to fly on the great white wings again, up into the blue sky and out of the quarry. Out of this life and into the better next.
It is happening to me now.
The man before me is no longer breathing. His face is covered in dust from the gravel and stone that have been tracked into his office year after year. I am glad he is dead. This feeling should scare me, but there is little fear left anymore, only a dream coming true.
How many nights have I lain on the hard ground just outside these walls and dreamed of the day when I would be in this office, not for his cruelty, but to search for the Book of the Gods? I lift my feet and walk around the body. I must work quickly. I lean down and reach for the keys around his waist and fear grips me. What if this is all a trick? What if he isn't dead at all? He will kill me.
No. He is gone. Look. See how still he is? My hand trembles as I touch the keys. I keep my eyes on his face and then look to the door to be sure no one is coming. I can hear the children yelling outside and hear the pounding of chisels and hammers on rock. The keys are in hand. I stand, straightening my sari, and move to the cabinet. I try each key, one after the other after the other, my heart racing, and finally, the lock turns. The cabinet opens. My heart spills over and in a flood I see them all—the birds, the gods, the water, the reeds, the man, the woman, my own fate.
I grab the Book of the Gods and stuff it in my cholo. I clutch it to my chest and hurry away from the dead man. He can be cruel no more. He can hold me here no longer. He cannot keep me from my destiny. I rush out of the office and the sky opens up. Rain drenches the back of my head as I struggle to keep the book dry at my chest. It is my only hope, this book.
I push my calloused hands through the tarp and lean into our ragged tent. My mother is there. She is trying to wash a metal cup with the fresh water from the sky.
"Amaa," I say. She turns to me, years of misery drawn across her face. "He is dead, Amaa. He is finally dead."
"Your father? Buba?" Her eyes glisten.
"No," I say. I kneel down on the ground before her and move my face close to hers. "The cruel man, Amaa. The cruel man is dead. We are free. Look." I pull out the Book of the Gods, and Amaa drops her metal cup in the dust. I dare to smile. "The Book of the Gods," I whisper. "I have it now. I have dreamed of this day."
"Yes," says Amaa. "It has come. I have always known this day would come." Her face turns still as stone, and I watch her chest to be sure she is still breathing.
Chapter ThreeThe Elephant and the Great White Bird
Mount Pleasant Ally
I wake up gasping for air. Where am I?
I once woke up in Ghana beneath a mosquito net, looked down by my feet, and found myself face-to-face with the sobering eyes of a king cobra. I didn't breathe for a full sixty seconds until it slithered away from the cot and some natives chopped its head off outside my door. I startle at the memory, not sure where I am. It's a hazard of traveling so much. You're never quite sure where you've laid your head.
I open my eyes in the dim light and smell the dampness of Daddy's house, the mustiness of his carpet. I remember now. He's gone. I look to the foot of the bed and see yellow eyes staring back at me. My heart lurches, but it's only Katmandu, or Kat, as I call him, Daddy's beloved Maine Coon. I've never seen anyone so babied in all my life. Daddy would have done well to have a grandchild to hold and to raise up, but life stole that joy away from us, didn't it? I've got to breathe. Breathe, Ally.
I've had that dream again.
For thirty something years I've had the same dream—of an elephant and a great white bird. Now, I know there are no elephants in the Low country of South Carolina, but I have seen them in my travels. And in this dream, there's this big gray elephant on a riverbank, wanting to cross over. The water is not wide or deep but the fella just stands there, unable to, something holding it back.
Another elephant comes on the other side and tries to pull the first one over by wrapping trunks. But as much as the one pulls, the other one pulls harder, and a great tug-of-war commences. Back and forth it goes, on and on and on. A war of wills. It saddens me to watch it, the two of them getting nowhere.
And then there is this great white bird that flies down and lands on the back of the first elephant. With this bird on his back, somehow the elephant is different. He doesn't feel the need to pull back anymore. Against his nature, he allows himself to be pulled for the first time and, lo and behold, crosses over that river.
The strangest thing is how that white bird sits so calmly on the elephant's back, not flapping its wings or pecking or pestering it at all. Instead, it is majestic in its great white stillness, and just by being there somehow soothes the animal, coaxes it silently to the other side.
Excerpted from Beyond Molasses Creek by Nicole Seitz Copyright © 2012 by Nicole Seitz. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Nicole Seitz weaves enchanting tales of redemption filled with unforgettable characters and a refreshing Southern voice. She lives near Charleston, South Carolina,with her husband and two children. Twitter @nicoleseitz, facebook.com/pages/Nicole-Seitz/121816365611?ref=nf
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I had a hard time finishing this book. When I requested for it, I was optimistic about it but my optimism waned as I read the book. The story was meaningful and good life lessons can be learned from it, but being the thrill-seeker that I am, I found it difficult to read as the story got slower 2/3 of the way through the book. It just wasn't exciting enough for me. Ally and Vesey's story is heartwarming and sad at the same time. Two souls, love, and sorrow. To be honest, I found the ending to their story depressing. Even the beginning of their story was depressing! While it can't be blamed on their relationship, I like to think that Ally's actions as a young adult was indirectly linked to their relationship that couldn't happened. The whole situation is just such a sad problem - a relationship broken down because of racial issues. Beyond Molasses Creek is the perfect book for you if you enjoy cozy mystery with a dash of romance in it. While it did not really suit my tastes, I grew to appreciate the way issues are presented in such a manner that they cause us to think deeper about them and make us want to explore them even further.
Ally Green is a flight attendent who has traveled everywhere, but must return home to bury her father in South Carolina. With that comes seeing her former best friend, Vesey Washington who lives across Molasses Creek - and one of the reasons she ran off in the first place. Vesey is the opposite of Ally, as he has never left their hometown. Ally is surprised to find a message from her father asking her to quit running from her past. Across the world, Sunila Kunari is trying to escape her life of slavery in a rock quarry is Nepal as a sculptor. She finds a mysterious sketchbook which makes her wonder if there's more to her story than she's ever been told, and she decides to follow the truth to freedom, wherever it might lead her. Three different people, all entwined together at the end. (I won't say how, you'll have to read it to find out!) Reading the back of the book, I had assumed Ally to be much younger, but when I started reading the book, I realized that she was much older - in her 60's. I felt a little confused. In fact, confused kind of summed it up at times. I wasn't sure if it was just the way the book was written (it jumps from one character's perspective to another each chapter), or how the characters came out at times, but I ended up dragging myself through this book. I think it's geared more towards a different reader than me. Sunila's story was more interesting to me - I would have liked to have read the entire book from her perspective, rather than Ally/Vesey. One more thing... while the publisher of the book is known for it's Christian Fiction, this book definitely wasn't the usual offering - there's really not a lot of religion in this book.
3.5 Stars Ally is 60 and heading back to the place she grew up called Molasses Creek. Her father has died and she is coming home to bury him and get his house in order. She is also coming home to memories and heartache and the author takes us throw the years that lead up to this point. Forbidden love, a lost child lots of heartache in this book for sure. What I liked: The author is a very good writer the words flow wonderfully across the page and its easy to get caught up in the story. The characters come to life with humor and depth that make this book easy to read. The story does a good job of telling two separate stories that slowly start to tie together until they meet. What I did not like: The book took time to get going the first 100 pages or so left me wondering where this was going and how the two characters telling the story where going to fit together. Also for me this was a sad book. Interesting but sad. Even though the ending was somewhat happy I wish the ending could have been a little different. Over all this was a good book and even though its not something I would normally read I am glad I read it. I learned some a lot about slavery in other country's and how people are treated and it was quite sad. Ally’s story was sad for me as well. I just wanted her to find love after all those years and even though there was some closer on that front for her she did not get to ride off into the sunset with her prince and I really wished she could have. If you like a little deeper novel with a good story line and wonderfully written this book is for you but if you like your happy endings this one may leave you feeling a little disappointed.
This book weaves an intricate tale of love, loss, and hope. Ally is what some people call a runner, she runs from her past. She refuses to turn around and face the things she is afraid of. When her father dies, she returns to her home after a long career of flying around the world as an air flight attendant. When she returns home, she uncovers some long-held secrets and bits of hope. Sunila is across the world. She is the next main character the reader is introduced to and will have a massive affect on Ally and the reader. This book covers some hard issues. Child labor is discussed. How would you feel if it were your child toiling away at such a young age in dangerous conditions? It is easy enough to ignore when it is across the world, but what if it was your own blood? It is interesting that Ally and her father appear to forge an even deeper bond once he is gone, perhaps death does not end all relationships. The ending of the book will shock the reader, the author does a great job of dropping hints without even remotely giving away the big finish. Ally's character is likable as is Sunila's. The other characters who affect the two main characters are fun to get to know, the smallest words have the ability to change one's life. The reader will be absorbed into the book, it is very difficult to put the book down. This book is recommended to adult readers.
Ally Greene has traveled the world as a flight attendant, now she is returning to her childhood home to bury her father. Tragedy and broken relationships have kept her away for years but now she has returned, if only for a short time. Worst of all Vesey Washington, once her secret best friend, is still living just across the river. Can she take this opportunity to heal from her past? All her life Sunila Kunari has been one of the lowest of the low, a part of the lowest Nepali caste, making her living as a carver in a stone quarry. One thing has always kept her going, memories of 'the book of the gods'. When she gets an unexpected opportunity to change her situation she takes it. So to start off I will say that I was immensely disappointed in this book. First of all based on the cover and the description I was expecting this to be a mysterious love story, on the contrary there wasn't much romance or mystery involved at all, but that is the least of my complaints. My next is the fact that this book seemed to be trying to do way to many things. There were Ally's feelings for Vesey, racial tensions from Ally and Vesey's childhood relationship, Ally's religious feelings (more on that later), Ally's regret over past tragedies, Sunila's caste issues, and Sunila's relationship with an American Embassy Agent. I will say that I did enjoy Sunila's part of the story and I actually would have preferred if the book focused more on her. My last, and biggest, complaint is the religious stuff in the book. My first thought was, 'I thought this was supposed to be Christian fiction', because to be honest I saw a lot of religious stuff but very little of it seemed very Christian to me. There was a lot of talk about both Greek and Nepali gods. The talk that there was about Christianity didn't really mesh with me either. The story focuses a lot on going to heaven after you die, and there were several things hinting at being able to communicate with people on earth after going to heaven. Not to offend anyone who believes in these things but I personally don't believe in either one. I believe that when you die you sleep until Jesus comes back, and while a lot of books talk about this this book really talked about it a lot. The thing that bothered me the most about all this though, was that the bible never actually really got mentioned. And as far as I'm concerned it seems like the bible should probably have something to do with your relationship with God. Well to close, I will say that this book was fairly well written and kind of interesting, I just can't agree with the theology.
Having read Saving Cicadas by this fabulous author, I was excited to jump into a new novel by her. Beyond Molasses Creek is both a dramatically complex read AND a light, refreshing read. It's not often you find a book that can be BOTH of those things in such way that the reader never looses interest. This book is wonderfully written in a style that will win your heart, your mind, your soul. Filled wonderful messages between the lines, you'll loose your heart to Molasses Creek! Ally's character is one that you would love to meet in real life. She's come back to the South Carolina town she grew up with to handle the loss of her father. Once there, she learns of her father's dying wish. For her to STAY in South Carolina again. But, there's one thing that Ally must deal with if she does. Across her Molasses Creek lives a wonderful, God-fearing man. Vesey,the man she calls her closest, best friend. Ally's loved him from afar since she was little, but she can never have him. Why? It's nearly unheard of for a white woman and a black man to have a relationship in the 50s. Ally is coming to terms with the consequences of her actions in her younger years. Vesey is sent away, she leaves and travels the country, becomes pregnant, loses her daughter to a kidnapping and comes full circle with herself and her home, when her father dies. The complexity of Ally's character is beyond stunning. She grabs your heart and squeezes it til you become a part of her, til the reader FEELS each emotion from happiness to sadness, from hurt to anger. Sunila's character is wonderfully portrayed as a 30 year old woman living as a slave. Each emotion she felt overflows to the reader, helping the reader to see through the eyes of the young woman learning about her true identity. Vesey's character is one that I would love to know in real life. He's a wonderful man who trusts so wholly in God and his tenderness with Ally shines bright. This is most definitely a highly recommended 5 Book worthy novel from an author who can take the complexity of life's issues, the intensity of kidnapping, loss, survival, forbidden love, and infuse it with wonderful Southern charm to turn out a story that will leave the reader often in tears, and with a smile of awe on their face. By the last page, you don't want to leave Molasses Creek. The reader will want to sit down with Ally, Vesey, Sunila and all the other characters, take trips back into the past, and live out the future right along side them. I am pleased to say that I am adding this to my all time favorite Christian novels, and I look forward to reading more of Ms. Seitz' wonderful work in the future! This review originated at Reviews By Molly in part with a blog tour.
I love participating in blog tours, like this one for Litfuse, because they always bring books to me that I may not have discovered on my own. I loved the mystery presented by the cover and spent quite a bit of time wondering how the three lives were going to come together. As the pieces started to fall into place I really appreciated how faith, doubts, loss and love were woven together into this story about the past and the present and how they fit together. How we can never truly run away from ourselves but need to learn to accept what is and what isn't and what can be changed and what cannot. There were so many opportunities for each of the characters to feel resentment and hate and to rail against injustices, but they held fast and kept going and were even able to have empathy for those who were causing some of the pain and heartache. When Ally becomes a flight attendant I pictured her as the actresses in the PanAm show I've seen ads for. I don't know if the show is still on the air, but that is the type of uniform I thought of . I also loved the rainbow umbrella that appeared in more than one place and with more than one character, almost like they were hanging onto their hope that there was going to be something worth waiting for at the end of the rainbow after the rain had cleared.
At first I had a little problem getting into this book, but stuck with it, and am glad I did. It is a rather fast pace book that deals with some tough subjects. Alicia Green, Ally, has grown up in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. With her Dad's passing she has come home, and is trying to come to terms with her life. Her Dad wants her to stay, his last wishes! In her mind she has had a love affair with a Black man who lives across the Creek, he is her best friend. Vesey Washington, a god Godly man has not had an easy life. Life is not easy in the 50's and 60's for a Black man. This book deal with the caste system in India, Slaves, Child Labor, Racism, kidnapping. As you are reading you begin to wonder how such a system in India can even exist. Being a Dalit you are lower than dirt? Such injustice, you want to go and help Sunila. As I got going in this book, I could not put it down. I recommend this as quite an eye opener, and how you want this to end, it most likely doesn't. I recceived this book from Litefuse Publicity Tours, and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review.
I'm a huge fan of the exotic twist in a novel. I'm intrigued by books about women who do the unexpected/perhaps "wrong" thing in life by other's perceptions, reinvent themselves or survive a crisis and come out of it perhaps less "whole," but more wise and capable of real empathy. I also like a story that hints at travel to interesting places, along with an eventual coming home theme. Nicole Seitz offers all of that and more in "Beyond Molasses Creek." All of the above, plus amazing characterization makes this book top shelf. Let me state right up front that this is a book you'll be interested in reading; actually, it's a book worth savouring. I could not stop reading "Beyond Molasses Creek" from the Prologue to the end. One of the most difficult things a Southern girl from a small town could ever face in the 1960's was interracial relationships. While Alley and Vesey shared the common bond of growing up together and finding their deep connection, this could never compensate for the overwhelmingly negative odds they faced in their community of a small town. Religion and "brotherly love" notwithstanding, their desire to be special friends could only bring disaster for them, and the only possible reaction for Alley of being an outcast in Molasses Creek. When a forced separation is imposed on their friendship, what follows is her escaping into travel to foreign countries, her eventual pregnancy out of wedlock, and the kidnapping of her beloved daughter. It was heartbreaking to read about Alley's stolen daughter, Sunila's, harsh life in Nepal. Ms Seitz's grasp of the isolation of both mother and daughter and the emotional loss they felt was palpable. She provides us a good grasp of who Sunila is, her insecurities, and how she came to discover something more about her past. Without spoiling the joy of the read for you, let me say only that you who love a Southern woman's book will enjoy "Beyond Molasses Creek" very much. It is both a woman's story of love and independence, and a redemptive tale, and it's a story that will give you more than a small glimpse into the caring heart of a parent...especially a heavenly Parent. With roots in a Southern culture that harbors the strongest of human qualities for good and for bad, you will come to experience a universal sense of hope, I think, in relationships both natural and spiritual. One of the things that spoke most sweetly to me was the symbolism of her father's dying and "calling her home" and his wanting to provide a resting place for her so she could stop "running." This part of the novel is so poignant and so beautifully rendered. And this is only one of the more touching parts of Ms Seitz's references to love, loyalty, forgiveness and redemption in this engaging book. I recommend this book to those who enjoy an author of intelligence and fine storytelling. And to those who enjoy a woman's story...one with a strong woman character or two who is capable of overcoming adversity and loss to find her way "home." Like I did, you may come to love the waters of Molasses Creek, and you may find a word of inspiration there.
Beyond Molasses Creek, by Nicole Seitz, is of Ally, who returns to her childhood home after her father passes away. She is also returning to the first love of her life. Vesey Washington was a childhood friend who turned into Ally’s true love. Unfortunately he home is in the south when interracial relationships were taboo. The story shows us how Ally’s life and how she has been running from her difficult past. As the story unfolds we find out that it is impossible to run forever from your past. Someday the things we try to run from or hide will come to light and we must deal. There are many things that can give us strength, sometimes we just need to try and see a bigger the picture. I really enjoyed reading this book.
This is my first novel to read by Nicole Seitz. I enjoyed the beginning pages, then I will have to admit I found parts of the story slow going. But at the end of the book, everything fit together. Everything. I got attached to several of the characters. I would actually read this one a second time. So it does have take home value.
"Beyond Molasses Creek" by Nicole Seitz. I have to say that I enjoy reviewing books for Booksneeze because it is a branch of Thomas Nelson publishing. Most of these books have a Christian message, some subtle, some not so subtle. This book left it out entirely. The setup was there. The opportunity to show a need and a trust in GOD was ready to be taken. It was ripe, almost falling from the tree. Yet it was ignored. That aside, it was a very unique storyline. Ally Green comes home because her father has died and she must take care of his, now her, house. Vesey Washington, Ally's across the creek neighbor and best childhood friend, appears just when she needs him. Their friendship has withstood racial tensions, years of absence, and forbidden love. A woman half a world away, Sunila, also ties into the story. She is different from all those around her and she is an artist in a gravel pit. She must find out why she is different and where the "book" came from that she cannot read, but she knows holds all the answers. Nicole Seitz does a wonderful job weaving the three stands of the characters together. It is not often you find a story told from three different points of view. Two of the characters share a common background. Two search for their past and their future. Once character is sure of his life and his choices, while one had no choice and the last felt her choices may not have been right at all. Each is looking for something to guide them, a reason to go on, a purpose to fulfill. With the void in their lives, they feel aimless, yet driven to find and reach their goal. Their stories come slowly together revealing just enough at a time to keep you turning pages, but not so much that you get lost in the overload of information. Beyond Molasses Creek invites you to travel through time to a place where characters are shaped and choices are made. And the work it takes to live with the consequences.
World traveler and almost senior citizen, Ally Green has returned to her childhood home to bury her father. Her childhood friend, Vesey Washington, still lives across the creek. She has loved him since the first time they meet as small children. He was part of the reason she left. But on her returning, a past she thought she left behind returns to haunt her. Ally struggles to leave knowing her father left everything to her including the house in which he intended for to make her home again. As she continues to struggle with this, on the other side of the world a young woman, Sunila Kunari, struggles in a different way, to escape being an indentured slave in the rock quarries of Nepal. It was hard to figure out what these two women could possible have in common. One woman was a wanderer and could not seem to endure staying in one place very long. The other woman wanted to find her roots and put those roots down where she really belonged and that was not as a slave in the rock quarries. This story is about sorrow, love, regrets, anticipation and forgiveness. It will make you cry, laugh and probably make you angry in some parts. There will also be celebrations of life and death. But most of all there is very much love, hope and faith in God. I highly recommend this book. I rate this book a 5 out of 5. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review. I was in no way compensated for this review it is my own opinion.
Everyone should visit Molasses Creek. It is there that you will find yourself. Whether you seek to gain understanding about the injustices of the world or desire to gain wisdom from the young and the old alike, or whether you want to grasp the meaning of suffering just as much as you want to understand God’s blessings, Molasses Creek has something for you. Three beautifully tragic and inspired lives merge and meet on the healing waters of Molasses Creek. Ally, Vesey and sweet Constance (Sunila) are brought together in this wonderful story of love. They each face a different journey down their various roads of life, and yet, their lives are brought full circle in such a way that others are granted a glimpse of grace. I would highly recommend this book. I would even go so far as to say it is a must read. As far as I am concerned, it is a keeper.
Beyond Molasses Creek by Nicole Seitz is the story about a former flight attendant Ally Green. Ally tends to run when life gets hard. She has to go home when her father passes away. It is at home where she must face her past. Her past is Vesey Washington. Beyond Molasses Creek is the story of Sunila Kunari who is a world away from Alley both literally and figuratively. She is in Nepal and she does her own running; she is running toward the truth because she needs to know. She comes from a very hard life. I felt like the author Nicole Seitz wrote extremely and beautifully. She describes the places so well you feel as though you truly can say you have been there. I also was amazed at how deep this book was. There was a lot of pain in it. I have never read this author and I was not expecting something so thought provoking. I was hooked from the Prologue. I even found myself underlying phrases that were strong and beautiful for instance “ A woman is lucky in life if she finds true love . Twice as lucky if she holds on to it. Three times the luck if she loses it and it comes back to her even stronger than before.” The under lying message is about the peace with in one self. I do not want to give away the story so I will let you know I enjoyed this book and I suggest you read this if you like a story with a lot of depth. I give this book 4 stars. I received this complimentary copy of this book from Booksneeze for my review. The review above is my thoughts and opinions. I will leave with the hope that you will find your day a happy reading day.
I received this book free of charge from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review. ¿This is my first time reading a book by Nicole Seitz and I enjoyed it mainly because it is filled with Southern charm and I am a southern lady myself. Ally Green is a flight attentant and had to return to the low country of Charleston, SC to bury her father. She was also trying to bury her past by going home to Mollasses Creek and her friend Vesey Washington is still living on the other side of the creek and theirs is a relationship that need some work. As she is trying to forget her past she begins to think of a young woman on the other side of the world that escapes her world of slavery in the rock quarries on Nepal. There is also another person Sunila Kunari that is wanting to find out about her past also and she finds some of it in a scetchbook that she comes across. These three people are all drawn to the banks of Molasses Creek and finds God so that they may begin to heal.
Upon receiving this complementary eBook through the Thomas Nelson Publishing Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review, it took me a little while to get into the book. Seitz has an artful, descriptive way of writing that is very beautiful, but took me about 100 epages to get used to. Once I was used to the writing style, and the book began giving me the background information on the characters I started to really enjoy the storyline. The characters are trapped in their circumstances by societal mores and are all trying to break free from what others expect of them. In a complicated turn of events, the authore manages to bring them full circle and show the glory of God's love even in the most horrible of situations. This is definately an emotionally charged book that will leave the reader with a new found thankfullness of the people around them.
Beyond Molasses Creek by Nicole Seitz is of Ally Green a woman, like many of us, who struggle with her past so chooses to flee from it. She avoids it as best she can but like everything it caught up with her. Ally has to return to where it all began for her and where she has loved and lost. She must confront the past and embrace her future with small steps in the now. Without giving to much away there is another, just as important, character Sunila. She too is on a journey, a journey of her life. This is a magical tale one not to be missed. I could not put it down I had to know what was going to happen next.
This book is full of southern charm, love gained and love lost. It's about heart and soul and redemption. Ally lost her little girl, her parents and the man of her dreams. She doesn't believe in heaven or second chances. But somehow, God finds a way into her heart and returns some of what she's lost. This book is a typical southern book. It's slow, warm and filling. I enjoyed the book, although it moved a bit slow in places. It was well written and will probably make a best sellers list. This book would make a great book club book. It definitely leaves some points to think about. I received this book free of charge from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.
Beyond Molasses Creek by Nicole Seitz was interesting to say the least. One look at the cover made me think this book was going to be about a younger woman, however, once I started, almost the entire book was about a woman who was 60 years old. This was not a typical book for me to read. There were several times when Ally flashes back to her childhood to give background to the story. These were interesting, but did not always seem to fit the story. There was also a random connection to a woman in Nepal who was running away from her life there carrying a “Book of the Gods” as she called it. The chapters that were written of her in Nepal seemed completely random until I got about half way, and then it all started to come together. I do recommend this book with the following message: It is difficult to get into, however, once you begin to put the pieces together you will be encouraged to finish it and will in fact enjoy it. Just know that I wanted to stop reading several times until I reached that halfway point and things began to make sense. I received a copy of this book from Booksneeze which no way influenced my thoughts.
I found this book to be one of a great read. It truly took you to the place where Ally was and made you feel part of her life. The book refers to Racism, child labor, kidnapping and love. All of which are all wrapped up in this book of excitement. The book talks about Nepal and the caste system . (The untouchables). What life is like for some. For those less fortunate than others and how some view them and how they see themselves. How they live and the advantages that are not given to them. An exciting look at the world through another’s eyes. Take a trip around the world without leaving your seat or your book. The author made this book very easy to read and understand with an ability to make you feel as if you were right there in the action. I give this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to others.
In Beyond Molasses Creek by Nicole Seitz, “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 her 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 stayed away so long. When she 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 is more to her story than she’s ever been told and she’s determined 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.” This is the description from the back of the book and it sounded like a book I would really enjoy; however, if additional information had been given I would never have selected this book to read. I was able to read the first couple of chapters before realizing that the entire book was going to be based around an interracial relationship. This is something that I feel is an individual’s decision to make, but is not something I support. I feel that it would be in the publisher’s interest to know that some readers would like to know this information upfront. All that being said, this is the first book by Ms. Seitz that I had attempted to read and I would TRY to read another in the future.