Wednesday, April 09, 2008
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nicole Seitz is a South Carolina Lowcountry native and the author of The Spirit of Sweetgrass as well as a freelance writer/illustrator who has published in numerous low country magazines. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism, she also has a bachelor's degree in illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design. Nicole shows her paintings in the Charleston, South Carolina area, where she owns a web design firm and lives with her husband and two small children. Nicole is also an avid blogger, you can leave her a comment on her blog.
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.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
In the South Carolina Sea Islands lush setting, Nicole Seitz's second novel Trouble the Water is a poignant novel about two middle-aged sisters' journey to self-discovery.
One is seeking to recreate her life yet again and learns to truly live from a group of Gullah nannies she meets on the island. The other thinks she's got it all together until her sister's imminent death from cancer causes her to re-examine her own life and seek the healing and rebirth her troubled sister managed to find on St. Anne's Island.
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.
"This is another thing I know for a fact: a woman can't be an island, not really. No, it's the touching we do in other people's lives that matters when all is said and done. The silly things we do for ourselves--shiny new cars and jobs and money--they don't mean a hill of beans. Honor taught me that. My soul sisters on this island taught me that. And this is the story of true sisterhood. It's the story of Honor, come and gone, and how one flawed woman worked miracles in this mixed-up world."
"...a special sisterhood of island women whose wisdom and courage linger in the mind long after the book is closed."
-NEW YORK TIMES best-selling author SUSAN WIGGS
The book link is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1595544003
Okay, I have to be honest with this book - I liked it. I don't think it's for everyone though. I almost always pass on the books I review to my mother-in-law when I am done (she lives with us, so then we discuss them after she reads them). This book I did not pass on even though I ended up liking it. Here's why...
1) There are some characters in the book that speak the Gullah dialect - which is as hard to read as it probably is to listen to. Nicole does a great (and very realistic) job with it, but it doesn't make it any easier to read. I knew my mother-in-law would have a hard time with this - that is reason #1.
2) There are 3 different people's points of view in this book and it randomly switches back and forth (it does give you a heading everytime it changes though so that's good). This is complicated though by the fact that it also randomly switches back and forth from July to December with those 3 different points of view. Here again there are headings to notify you, but it is still a little confusing. This was reason #2 for not passing it on to my mother-in-law, I knew the time changing would drive her batty.
With those two things said - let me now explain why I liked this book...
It is a great story of redemption from the past, sisterhood, friendship, believing in someone that maybe doesn't deserve it and so much more. Trouble the Water has many underlying themes and even brings an awareness to a rare strain of a disease that many women may not be familiar with. I cried through the last few chapters of the book (so if you need to clear out your tear ducts, this is totally the book for you!) but still finished it feeling satisfied. I do recommend this book - as long as you are aware going in that you have to work around those 2 factors I discussed before. If you would like the chance to read this book (grab a box of kleenex!) then post a comment here with your e-mail address and I will enter you in the drawing. Good luck!