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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Beyond Molasses Creek by Nicole Seitz

Sixty-five year old Ally Green has been all over the world as a flight attendant, but she has finally returned to her home in Lowcountry to bury her past for good -and her father. However, Vesey Washington still lives across the creek, and while he was her best friend...he is also the reason that Ally has stayed away for such a long time. When Ally finds a note that her father left her asking her to stop running away, she realizes her past still is still not through with her.

While Ally's wandering spirit is wrestling with the desire to run away again, a young woman escapes slavery in the quarries of Nepal. A sketchbook causes Sunila Kunari to believe that there is more to her life than she has ever been told, and she is determined to find the truth at all costs.

There is a mystery that connects Ally, Sunila, and Vesey - will they find freedom from the past, faith in God, and friendship from one another, or will they continue to run and hide from their pasts?

Beyond Molasses Creek was full of unexpected connections and suspense. The storyline was masterfully written, describing and connecting the characters in great detail.The description and overall tone of the book reminded me of To Kill a Mockingbird. The book was written mostly from the perspective of Ally, with only a couple chapters told from Vesey's perspective, and then intermittent chapters throughout chronicling Sunila's journey. This format allowed the reader to figure out the truth about Sunila before the other characters or even Sunila knew. It also revealed some background on Vesey's feelings which the other main characters never realized.

There were several important themes and topics addressed in Beyond Molasses Creek. This novel revealed some of the horrors that occur for the untouchable caste in India and Nepal and the slavery that occurs. One of the other topics mentioned in this novel is the injustice of the segregation of the South and how it hurt black families as well as killed love between white and black lovers. The themes of Beyond Molasses Creek included faithfulness to your family and friends, loving despite the costs, and not running away from life.

There were a couple of aspects that I did not like about the novel. First of all, the novel implied that little while lies that hid the truth when it was hard was alright. Ally's father lied to her when she was young and then tried to continue the lie as he was dying in order to try to make Ally believe in heaven and God. Ally committed a similar lie later to save someone she loved from knowing the uncomfortable truth about something. There were definitely more moral ways to inform the person than lying. Secondly, there was little to no mention of God in the book, other than both Vesey and Ally's father believed and Ally did not. That would have been fine by me other than Ally supposedly comes to some kind of belief near the end. However, the 'conversion' is brushed over and felt really fake when it could have been used for so much more.

Overall, Beyond Molasses Creek was an excellent book that brought up some interesting questions and really tugged at my heart. I was brought to tears several times. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a slow, heart-tugging romance that also resonates with the soul.

I received this novel for free from Thomas Nelson and Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.

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