Nicole Seitz, Author of Southern Fiction
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BEYOND MOLASSES CREEK
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Overview
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THE INHERITANCE OF BEAUTY
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SAVING CICADAS
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A HUNDRED YEARS OF HAPPINESS
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TROUBLE THE WATER
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THE SPIRIT OF SWEETGRASS
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Recent Progress in Gullah/Geechee and sweetgrass culture

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books - Beyond Molasses Creek

Beyond Molasses Creek by Nicole SeitzReader's Guide

Book Clubs! Choose Beyond Molasses Creek as one of your book club picks for the months of Jan-May 2012 and I will make every effort to CALL IN or SKYPE with your book club during your book club discussion!! Email me your club details here!

Book Club Questions

1. In the prologue, Ally admits, “Sometimes stepping back in time is the only way for a girl to move forward.” Is this something you’ve experienced in your own life? Do you agree or disagree with the statement?

2. The themes of “coming home” and “escape” are threaded throughout Beyond Molasses Creek. Discuss each of these concepts with regards to Ally and Sunila.

3. Both Ally and Sunila long to be free in their own ways. How does this search for freedom affect their lives? What brought them to a “captive” state in search of freedom? Is all captivity imposed, or is it possible to keep oneself in captivity?

4. Education is important to Vesey and later to Sunila. Why? How can education be a world-changer?

5. Beyond Molasses Creek confronts diversity and prejudice in both the American South and in Nepal. Have you ever witnessed discrimination against a person because of their race, religion or beliefs? What changes have you seen in your lifetime with regards to discrimination?

6. Ally is an artist and keeps a sketchbook to chronicle the world around her. Is it possible for one person’s art to become the lifeline to another? Do you think art is made for oneself or for those around us?

7. How does the setting of Molasses Creek and the South Carolina lowcountry in this book contribute to both the harming and the healing of those who live there?

8. Discuss the relationship of Ally and Vesey when they were children. How and why does it change as they get older? What outside influences affect that relationship? What about internal influences?

9. In many ways, Beyond Molasses Creek is the story of transformative Love and Loss. Whose love in this book has the ability to transform? Is Love or Loss the victor?

10. Ally spends many of her latter years traveling the world and collecting stone statues for her garden. Discuss the symbolism of this garden. Can people (or stones or something other) become gods in our lives?

11. Sunila’s character explores the age-old concepts of genetics vs. rearing. How do her genetics play into her survival in contrast to her upbringing? Have you ever seen someone thrive because of some internal strength even in the midst of poor circumstances?

12. To which main character do you most relate—Vesey, Ally or Sunila? By the end of the book, which secondary character became most dear to you? Ally’s father (Doc Green), Margaret, Graison, or Mr. Assai?

13. Did the dream/theme of the elephants and the white bird fly right over your head or do you see the symbolic importance to the book? Several characters in this book “cross over”. Discuss.

14. Doc Green named his cat “Kat” or “Kathmandu”. Why would he do this after what happened there? Do you ever keep painful reminders of your past close at hand?

15. Discuss the importance of lying and truth-telling in this novel. Ally catches her father telling a lie. Or does she?

 

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The Spirit of Sweetgrass Trouble the Water, coming February 2008!