THE SPIRIT OF SWEETGRASS
books - A Hundred Years of Happiness
Selected as a Summer Reading Pick on CBN.com
What people are saying
This beautifully written,
imaginative story of love and redemption is the must-read book
of the year. The ending is so surprising and powerful that
it will linger long after the last page is turned.
Nicole Seitz takes the loose threads of her character's lives and ties them together in a vibrant pattern of love, forgiveness and truth. In words that resonate with emotion, Seitz writes of things that are only understood with the heart. Seitz knows there is something more and she writes with wisdom in this spiritual fable.
— Patti Callahan Henry, best-selling author of The Art of Keeping Secrets and When the Light Breaks
With lyrical writing, Nicole Seitz weaves a story of love, loss and redemption in A Hundred Years Of Happiness. The result is both thought-provoking and heart-warming. Fans of this Low Country writer are guaranteed another great reading experience.
—Michael Morris, author of A Place Called Wiregrass
A Hundred Years of Happiness
is a poignant glance at the tender bonds of family and the power the
past holds over us all. Ms. Seitz uses a delicate touch and vivid imagery
to paint her multi-faceted characters who come from two different worlds,
but who resemble each other when viewed from the heart.
— Karen White, author of The Memory of Water and The House on Tradd Street
A Hundred Years of Happiness is a fast-paced, intriguing story that will draw you in quickly and leave you full of hope.
—Katie Crouch, author of Girls in Trucks
A Hundred Years of Happiness takes readers on a journey through the color of the low-country, to the unspoken pains of war, to the unique way each heart heals. A novel that will remind each reader of the power of our own stories and how the past so often determines the future. Once again, Nicole has made us search our deep places with humor and heart.
— Denise Hildreth, author of The Will of Wisteria and Flies on the Butter
A Hundred Years of Happiness
is a courageous novel that explores the pain and repercussions of the
Viet Nam War on two families today. Nicole Seitz writes with keen insight
and compassion as the past collides with the present, and her characters
must face the choices they made nearly a lifetime ago.
– Reviewed byLauren Richwine, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
From Crossmap Columns
— Paula Friedrichsen, author of The Man You Always Wanted is The One You Already Have
From Jen's Jewels
Workouts take place in the mornings in preparation for a show that will display all the graceful moves this small group of genteel southern ladies can offer. Katie-bug, though appreciative of the womanly interactions she's on the receiving end of, still feels out of sorts. Her dad, a Vietnam veteran, has never been "easy" to get close to, and Katie-bug wonders just what sort of secrets he holds close to his chest that keeps him drinking so much and so emotionally distant. When the opportunity arises, Katie-bug invites him to a pricey ceremonial evening where veterans are honored and can meet/greet one another. Little does Katie realize what internal awakenings this will stir in him and how drastically all their lives will change.
Nearby, another young adult woman, Lisa --- daughter to Doan Vien, a Vietnamese immigrant --- is wrestling with her own life questions. She silently wonders about her past, the father she never knew, questions about her mother's romance, and why she feels so untethered. When she accidentally breaks the only photo of her father and reads his name, she suddenly has a mission. She must locate and meet this man, and she does. But the occasion is definitely not what Lisa envisions. Instead of happy reunions and loving words, she feels more rejected than ever.
Interestingly, both Katie-bug and Lisa have the inner grit to keep pressing past their worries and fears and get to the truth of the matter. Between the two of them, there is a mutual bond that was formed years earlier in Vietnam. Seemingly all the women involved will find a way to forge out the truth. Through a small measure of manipulation and subterfuge, they rally their forces, and the annual Water Lily presentation takes a wildly different turn than ever before. Courage and fear, truth and lies, present and past, all meet one another face to face. Not a single participant can dodge the memories or their affects (nor would they choose to). Real healing is possible only when the ghosts that have lingered so long have been banished.
Author Nicole Seitz offers her fans a lovely story, welcoming and charming from beginning to end. Readers will laugh and cry right along with these fictional characters, recognizing from one heart to the next that we're all the same underneath.
— Reviewed by Michele Howe, author of STILL GOING IT ALONE: Mothering with Faith and Finesse, and Single Parenting Columnist for www.Bizymoms.com
From The VVA Veteran
— Reviewed by book editor Ben Steelman, Star-News
From Jackie K. Cooper
— Reviewed by Annie McCormick, Booklist
From Fresh Fiction
— Reviewed by Kay Quintin, 2/6/2009
Times Book Reviews
Seitz uses her gift of storytelling to share the internal lives of Vietnam veterans and their loved ones as they search for the truth that will free them from the curse of war. Once the four main characters are fully developed you will be hooked and fully empathize with them. Don’t put this book down until you reach the final resolution; it has a surprise ending.
— Lindy J. Swanson, Romantic Times Book Reviews, March 2009
Seitz (The Spirit of Sweetgrass) focuses on two families irrevocably changed by the Vietnam War in her latest Lowcountry saga. All Lisa Le knows of her father is that he was an American soldier who died in Vietnam, before Lisa's Vietnamese mother and uncle moved to America, and that her mother continues to mourn him in their Georgetown, S.C., home. John Porter, of Charleston, is a veteran haunted by his past. His daughter, happily married Katherine, hopes to help by taking him to a veterans' event, but instead sets in motion a chain of events that will bring the two families crashing together. Seitz deftly shifts perspective among Lisa, Katherine, John and a koi fish in Vietnam who was once an American soldier named Ernest, giving her familiar themes—posttraumatic stress disorder, adjusting to civilian life, survivor's guilt, smalltown Southern living, aging, the quest to belong—sensitive and original treatment. For anyone touched by war, this tale of life after wartime should resonate strongly. (Mar.)
— Publishers Weekly, 12/15/2008
Lowcountry native Nicole Seitz's third novel, A Hundred Years of Happiness, could have stayed within the comfortable boundaries of a family drama with a Charleston backdrop. Instead, and to her great credit, Seitz surprises with fresh characters that add cultural and generational depth to the story. Foremost among these is Georgetown fry cook Lisa Le, who escaped Vietnam with her mother for a better life in America. Le's search for a sense of belonging in small town South Carolina provides the riskiest and best work Seitz has offered to date. While the Charleston-based portion of the narrative owes much to Conroy and others, A Hundred Years of Happiness is redeemed by unexpected voices from the other side of the world.
— Charleston Magazine, January 2009 issue