Nicole Seitz, Author of Southern Fiction
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BEYOND MOLASSES CREEK
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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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Overview and Origin
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Gullah/Sweetgrass links
Recent Progress in Gullah/Geechee and sweetgrass culture

RECOMMENDATIONS
A Partial List of Authors/Books I Adore

 

 

 

books - Trouble the Water

Honors/Awards

Selected as one of the BEST BOOKS of 2008
by Library Journal!

* Starred * review from Library Journal!

Selected as part of the Women of Faith
2008 Summer Reading List

Praise for Trouble the Water

Set in the South Carolina Low Country, this novel celebrates the strengths and intricacies of female relationships as Honor, Duchess, and Alice deal with spousal abuse, grief, and suicide. Elegant, memorable prose and a strong sense of place make this inspirational women's fiction title come alive.
Library Journal Best Books 2008

Please read this heartfelt exploration of the timeless mysteries of life and death, and the healing power of true friendship. Talented author Nicole Seitz makes the reader a part of this very special sisterhood of island women whose wisdom and courage linger in the mind long after the book is closed.

Susan Wiggs, NYT best-selling author of Dockside, Summer at Willow Lake, Table for Five, and Lakeside Cottage

Nicole Seitz gets it all right—the people, the setting, and the message. Trouble the Water is a story of hope and healing that captures the heart, calms the spirit, and comforts the soul.

J. L. Miles, author of Divorcing Dwayne, Cold Rock River and Roseflower Creek

Seitz has served up a sumptuous feast for the soul. Trouble the Water is an unforgettable novel about sisterhood, salvation and miracles.

Karin Gillespie, author of Dollar Daze: The Bottom Dollar Girls in Love

Nicole Seitz is a gifted writer, whose faith is there in the pages of her book, shining through like a lighthouse beacon to show the way. Trouble the Water is an intriguing novel of healing and redemption—a story very worth telling.

Red Evans, author of On Ice

Nicole Seitz’s writing is like curling up in your favorite chair and relaxing for a while, which is exactly what you will want to do for hours as you are blessed by reading The Spirit of Sweetgrass and her latest Trouble the Water. Join me in forming a ring and shouting her praises. Her words are magic. Pure magic.

Tim Callahan, author of Kentucky Summer: The Cave, the Cabin, and the Tattoo Man

Reviews and Buzz

Starred Review from Library Journal
Seitz, Nicole. Trouble the Water. Thomas Nelson. Mar. 2008. c.304p. ISBN 978-1-59554-400-1. pap. $14.99. CF
The South Carolina Low Country is the lush setting for this poignant novel about two middle-aged sisters' journey to self-discovery. Strong female protagonists are forced to deal with suicide, wife abuse, cancer, and grief in a realistic way that will ring true for anyone who has ever suffered great loss. Seitz's writing style recalls that of Southern authors like Kaye Gibbons, Anne Rivers Siddons, and Sue Monk Kidd, and this new novel, which the publisher compares to Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, surely joins the ranks of strong fiction that highlights the complicated relationships between women. Highly recommended, especially for Southern libraries. This author lives in South Carolina.

-- Tamara Butler, Library Journal (Starred Review), 2/1/2008

From Charleston Magazine
Speaking volumes about Lowcountry native Seitz's sophomore effort, Trouble the Water (taking its title from a Gullah spiritual) went into its second printing after only two weeks on bookshelves. Since the story told here spans almost a decade and weaves the narratives of three women -- two sisters by blood and the other sister by selection -- it can be difficult at first to follow. But the divergence eventually balances, leaving readers with a compelling, intimate delivery that's both flinty and tender. Seitz boldly and persuasively tackles subjects like abuse, suicide, and loss of faith, which are all the while paired with a hopeful expectation of hard-won healing. Much like the emotionally gripping plot, her detailed depiction of people and place -- from the Gullah folk to the fictional South Carolina Sea Island setting -- demands a high measure of reverence.

-- Reviewed by Elle McGee, May, 2008 issue

From Southern Living
Literary Lowcountry
Hilton Head native Nicole Seitz sets her new novel in a Gullah community of the Sea Islands, where a wise elder helps two sisters come to terms with their troubled past. Inspired by the life and death of her aunt, Trouble the Water (Thomas Nelson, $14.99) is Nicole’s second book, following The Spirit of Sweetgrass.

-- Southern Living Magazine, May 2008 issue

From Sandlapper Magazine
This novel...would make [a good choice] for book clubs, since [it has a] reading group guide in the back.

[A] novel by a Low Country author set in the sea islands. This is the story of two sisters’ undying devotion for one another and of learning to truly live again. The title is based on an old African-American spiritual about healing and freedom, “Wade in the Water.”

-- Sandlapper Magazine, Autumn 2008 issue

From The Sun News
...The beauty in these three women is that, unlike some Christian-based fiction, they are absolutely real; their voices, their problems, their stories feel relatable. "It's a shame we only see things clearly in hindsight," says Duchess. "God really should do something about that."

Seitz also writes accurately and convincingly of the emotional bond between sisters, drawing the reader into their family. Click here to read the entire review.

-- Reviewed by Jennifer M. Parker, May 11, 2008

From Novel Reviews
Nicole Seitz is an artist. Literary fiction lovers might want to check into her further.

Through a group of Gullah women, Seitz reveals the fascinating spirit, superstitions and cultural richness as she revisits the Lowcountry once again. Though Trouble the Water is not a sequel to Spirit of Sweetgrass Seitz revisits settings that are obviously as fascinating to her as to her readers.

This is the type of novel I love to curl up with and savor. Seitz brought three first-person point of view characters to life as they relived sorrow and shame, choices and consequences. Honor, Alice, Duchess and The Nannies live and breath through Seitz's words. And what stories they tell.

...Seitz writes with realism including sin and consequences, hypocrisy and the damage done through it... those who are hungry for honest, transparent stories about tragedy and sorrow, and hope and restoration need to look further into Seitz's novels.

-- Reviewed by Kelly Klepfer

From Romantic Times
"The language of these strong female characters is full of island flavor, and the story demonstrates how God can bring something good out of a dire situation."

-- Reviewed by Leslie L. McKee, Romantic Times

From Faithful Reader
Seitz is an excellent writer, and her portrayals of the Gullah culture in the low country of South Carolina will engage readers unfamiliar with the area. I especially enjoyed how she wove healing techniques and traditions into the narrative. Painting your house blue...Propping brooms outside your doors...

It’s these sort of fascinating tidbits that enrich the story, and make TROUBLE THE WATER an interesting read. Read the full review.

-- Reviewed by Cindy Crosby, FaithfulReader.com

From ChristianBookPreviews.com
"[Trouble the Water] is a well-written, emotionally-involved novel that all women will want to read."
Read the full review.

-- Anita Tiemeyer, Christian Book Previews.com, Feb. 2008

From Publishers Weekly
Trouble the Water
Nicole Seitz. Thomas Nelson, $14.99 paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-59554-400-1
Seitz (The Spirit of Sweetgrass) manages to keep her second faith fiction novel fairly light even though it covers depression, suicide, child abuse, domestic abuse and death. Honor, in her mid-40s, escapes to St. Anne's Isle off the South Carolina coast with her life in tatters. She's unemployed and broke, and feels unworthy of love after a divorce and a failed relationship. Her attempted suicide is thwarted by a group of Gullah nannies who rescue her and love her back to health, introducing her to Duchess, a quirky woman with a penchant for nudity. Honor lives with Duchess for a while as they help each other heal, and eventually Honor reclaims her love for life and painting, and reconnects with her sister Alice. The narration switches regularly among the three women (Honor, Duchess and Alice) and the story jumps back and forth over an eight-year span, which makes the first half of the book intricate to follow. The novel is uneven: none of the serious topics is mined in depth and the writing is simple, but the plot, once understood, is compelling. Fans of inspirational fiction may feel challenged by some of the edgier content, but the story does include a near-death bedside conversion. (Mar.)

-- Publishers Weekly, 1/14/2008

From Fresh Fiction
Trouble the Water
"A touching, inspirational and realistic look at dealing with death."

Nicole Seitz has taken the reader through a very realistic journey of the process of dying. The true value of love between siblings and the importance of the belief in God is strongly portrayed. This story is well-written and keeps the interest of the reader. Read the full review.

-- Reviewed by Kay Quintin, 2/13/2008

From Warren Public Library
Trouble the Water
by Nicole Seitz. A tragic and joyous story set on an island in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Two sisters, divided by secrets, learn to face their despair and open up to life. An older woman who has given up on life struggles back from the brink and a Gullah community offers open-hearted help to three outsiders.

From Genre Go Round Reviews
Forty something Honor believes her life is over as her marriage is history and she is unemployed. Deep in her psyche, Honor believes she deserves both and worse as she now feels there is something lacking in her that makes her contemptible not fit to be loved by anyone. Even knowing she cannot run away from herself, she flees to St. Anne’s Isle off the South Carolina coast.

Honor attempts suicide, but the islander Gullah nannies intercede and prevent her from succeeding. They nurse her back to physical health and shower her with love that brings emotional contentment. Honor moves in with another somewhat wounded adoptee Duchess. Soon she begins to paint and contacts her sister Alice. When Honor informs Alice she has cancer, the younger sibling reassesses her successful life that looks like a failure next to her dying sibling’s recent lust for life.

The three females (Honor, Duchess and Alice) rotate perspective so the audience gets to understand what motivates each of them. Adding to that insight is the back and forth major highlights of each of their lives over the past eight years. However, there is too much happening with each of these females so that none of their problems to include loneliness, physical and mental abuse, depression, and suicidal tendencies is looked at as profoundly deep as the well written TROUBLE THE WATER should. Still fans who appreciate a look into a troubled person trying to find a life preserver will enjoy this fine inspirational tale.

-- Harriet Klausner, 1/20/ 2008

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