Romantic Times Top
Pick for March 2012!
2012 Book Club Selection!
"I look forward to a new book by
Nicole Seitz because I know I'll be treated to a well-written, thought-provoking
read. Beyond Molasses Creek does not disappoint.
Nicole is a writer I can count on to consistently tell a story containing
deep characters and original plots."
author of She Makes It Look Easy and The Mailbox
"Nicole Seitz is never afraid of a challenge in the stories
she writes. She meets each storyline she develops head on and without
a thought of pulling her punches. In her latest novel, Beyond Molasses
Creek, she deals with an interracial romance in the South of the '50s
and '60s, as well as the current state of child labor in Nepal. How
she merges these areas of subject matter is a testament to her talent
as a writer.
Ally Green is the centerpiece of the
story. She is a woman in her sixties who has returned to the low country
of South Carolina to bury her father. Her mother is dead, and she
is an only child, so there is no one else who can handle this. Her
father has long wanted Ally to come home to the Charleston area but
Ally has a restless spirit and has needed to keep moving.
At home Ally renews her friendship with
Vesey Washington, a black man who lived across the creek from her
family when they were both growing up. Ally felt an attraction to
Vesey from their earliest meeting but she and he both knew nothing
of a romance could develop between them.
While this story is developing Seitz
interjects the story of Sunila, a woman of the lowest caste living
in Nepal. She has worked since the earliest age as a stone cutter.
As hard as she worked she and her family could never escape the poverty
that engulfed them. Still Sunila has a plan of escape and she dreams
of her life being changed.
As Seitz weaves her slow-moving story,
and that is a praise instead of a condemnation, she creates full portraits
of Ally, Vesey and Sunila. You get to know their strengths and their
faults, and learn to care about their pasts, presents and futures.
Ally is the hardest to understand but wisely Seitz devotes the most
pages to her. We grow to see the reasons for her complexities and
for her rough edges. She is a woman who has endured much and still
Some books are meant to be read
quickly but Beyond Molasses Creek is one that is meant to be digested
slowly so as to get the full flavor of the story. There is richness
in the telling and substance in the content. Seitz has written good
stories in the past but Beyond Molasses Creek exceeds all of them.
When you read this book expect
to be challenged emotionally. There is heartbreak and hope in its
pages. When it is winding down there
seems to be a satisfactory ending and then the story unnecessarily
goes on a little longer. This is one of the few flaws in an almost
totally enjoyable book.
Settle down with a copy of Beyond
Molasses Creek and let its words transport you to a boat on the water
on a glorious summer day. As you drift you can lose yourself in this
story of three people caught up in the currents of their lives. They
can't always control their pathway but they do know their goal of
— Huffington Post,
Reviewed by Jackie K. Cooper on March 19, 2012
MOLASSES CREEK beautifully intertwines three radically different people
with threads of love, friendship, heartache and faith. I find it wonderfully
ironic that Vesey, oppressed since birth because of his race, is the
one who experiences the greatest freedom because of his rock-solid
faith. The story is primarily told from Ally’s point of view,
rounded out with occasional short chapters from Sunila and Vesey’s
perspectives. These little insights into each character’s thoughts
and emotions further enrich an already captivating and emotional story."
by Susan Miura on February 17, 2012
Give South Carolina writer Nicole Seitz extra points for originality...Seitz
writes from an evangelical Christian perspective, but she employs
her symbolism lightly and deliberately, avoiding a hard sell on her
faith. She trusts her strong character sketches to get her message
across. Her vivid, never-too-perfect cast carries her readers along...Seitz's
willingness to get behind the postcard prettiness and the Chamber
of Commerce gloss makes the South Carolina coast a far more intriguing
setting than usual.
Ben Steelman, Wilmington StarNews
4 1/2 stars
from Romantic Times - Top Pick!
"Are you looking for a unique story to make
you excited about reading again? Look no further. Seitz writes an
unforgettable coming-of-age story about love, loss and purpose. Read
with an open mind and heart as you’re reminded that we all fit
into the bigger picture of God’s plan. I hope there’s
From Kirkus Reviews
"An affecting drama...
Ally Green has come back to her father’s
house in South Carolina’s low country, but not soon enough to
hear his deathbed wish that she settle down. Strange advice for a
60-year-old woman, but Ally has been running away for a long time.
As a child she befriended Vesey Washington, the black boy who lived
on the other side of the river. The two would fish together, swap
secrets and dreams and comfortable silences...It took her daddy’s
death to bring her back to her childhood home, and to Vesey, now widowed
across the river. Slid in between Ally’s story is Sunila’s
journey. A blue-eyed Nepalese woman who has lived her whole life in
debt bondage, she escapes the stone yard with a secret, and the book
of drawings found with her as an infant...As Ally harbors vague romantic
notions about Vesey, she also begins to recognize the holding pattern
her life has been in.... Seitz allows her story to quietly
unfold... guaranteeing a few tears, for the women and the reader.
A nicely drawn study of two women
whose lives are lost, then regained."
Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2012