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Trouble the WaterTrouble the Water
Nicole Seitz
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Excerpt


With a dark secret eating away at her soul, Honor Maddox wants to re-create herself---again.   But life's fine for older sister Alice.  Or so she tells herself, until Honor's imminent death from cancer causes her to re-examine things.  Will an eccentric woman who bares herself to the world help them both find God's healing?

 

 


     

 Trouble the Water Discussion Questions: by Nicole Seitz


 

*Certain plot "spoiler" questions have been left off here.  Enjoy the complete Reader's Guide in the back of Trouble the Water.

 

1.     Duchess says one thing she knows for sure is this: “A woman can’t be an island, not really.” Discuss the concept of woman as an island.   Do you agree with what she said?

 

 

2. The Gullah/Geechee community of St. Anne’s Isle opens its arms to Duchess, Honor and her sister, Alice.   What might have happened if Blondell and the nannies had not embraced these women yet left them to their own devices?

 

 

3. Why does Blondell send Honor to go stay with the Duchess?

 

 

4. Honor and Duchess did not raise children of their own, yet long for them.   How does this affect them as women?   What about Blondell?

 

 

5. What is Honor’s relationship with authority figures?   Who are these figures in her life?   How do these relationships affect the way she views herself and relates to others?   Who are the authority figures in your own life?

 

 

6.   Honor, Duchess and Alice each have secrets in this book.   What are they?   Why do they keep these secrets?   What are the effects of secrets in our lives?

 

 

7.   Duchess says, “[Trouble the Water] is the story of Honor, come and gone, and how one flawed woman worked miracles in this mixed-up world.”   Is it possible for good to come from another’s mistakes?   Can you think of any real-life examples?

 

 

8.   When we first meet Alice, she describes her “tidy shoebox of a life”.   By the end of the book, does her life transform into something else?   If so, why?

 

 

9.   In Trouble the Water, seashells and water have strong spiritual symbolism.   Can you identify any other symbolic themes in the book?

 

 

10.   Alice does not find out about Honor’s physical issues until very late.   How does Alice feel about being left untold? How would you feel?   Are Honor’s reasons for not telling Alice valid?   Have you ever known someone who kept an illness secret?   What were the consequences?

 

 

11.   Sisterhood is a strong theme in Trouble the Water.   Examine Alice’s and Honor’s relationship as sisters.  Now examine other “sister” relationships in the novel.

 

 

12.   Who do you think Sadie was?   What does Alice believe?   Why is this important to her future?

 

 

13.   There is a theme of endings as new beginnings in this book.   Please discuss.

 

 

14.   What does it mean to “trouble the water”?   Discuss Honor’s, Alice’s and Duchess’ “diseases” and healing in this book.   What are their “symptoms”?

 

 

 

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Discussion Question Index

A


 • Abigail: Jill Eileen Smith
 • Abigail's New Hope: Mary Ellis
 • Against All Odds: Irene Hannon
 • Against the Tide: Elizabeth Camden
 • Almost Forever: Deborah Raney

B


 • Blue Moon Promise: Colleen Coble
 • Blue Widow Brides: Maggie Brendan
 • Breach of Trust: DiAnn Mills
 • (The) Bridesmaid: Beverly Lewis
 • (The) Bridge: Karen Kingsbury
 • Brigid of Ireland: Cindy Thomson
 • Burn: Ted Dekker

C


 • (The) Calling: Suzanne Woods Fisher
 • (The) Chance: Karen Kingsbury
 • Chasing Mona Lisa: Tricia Goyer & Mike Yorkey
 • Chasing the Sun: Tracie Peterson
 • Choices of the Heart: Laurie Alice Eakes
 • Claudia, Wife of Pontius Pilate: Diana Wallis Taylor
 • Critical Care: Candace Calvert
 • Crossing Oceans: Gina Holmes

D


 • (The) Dance: Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley
 • Deadline: Randy Alcorn
 • Deadly Devotion: Sandra Orchard
 • Deadly Ties: Vicki Hinze
 • Deception: Randy Alcorn
 • (The) Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow: Olivia Newport
 • (The) Discovery: Dan Walsh
 •  Dolled Up to Die: Lorena McCourtney
 • Demon: A Memoir: Tosca Lee
 • Digitalis: Ronie Kendig
 • Dogwood: Chris Fabry
 • Double Minds: Terri Blackstock
 • Dying to Read: Lorena McCourtney

 F


 • Fair Is the Rose: Liz Curtis Higgs
 • Freefall: Kristen Heitzmann
 • Frontiersman's Daughter: Laura Frantz

G


 • Gift of Grace: Amy Clipston
 • Gone South: Meg Mosley
 • Grace: Shelley Shepard Gray

H


 • Havah; The Story of Eve: Tosca Lee
 • Heart's Safe Passage: Laurie Alice Eakes
 • Highland Sanctuary: Jennifer Hudson Taylor
 • Hope of Refuge: Cindy Woodsmall

I


 • Intervention: Terri Blackstock
 • Into the Whirlwind: Elizabeth Camden
 • Invisible: Ginny Yttrup
 • Iscariot: Tosca Lee

J


 • (The) Jewel of His Heart: Maggie Brendan
 • June Bug: Chris Fabry

 K


 • Katie's Way: Marta Perry
 • Killer Among Us: Lynette Eason

L


 • Lady in the Mist: Laurie Alice Eakes
 • Lady of Bolton Hill: Elizabeth Camden
 • Lady of Milkweed Manor: Julie Klassen
 • (A) Lasting Impression: Tamera Alexander
 • Leah's Choice: Marta Perry
 • The Lesson: Suzanne Woods Fisher
 • Lethal Remedy: Richard Mabry
 • Life in Defiance: MaryLu Tyndall
 • Like Dandelion Dust: Karen Kingsbury
 • Lonestar Sanctuary: Colleen Coble
 • Lonestar Secrets: Colleen Coble
 • Love Amid the Ashes: Mesu Andrews
 • Love at Any Cost: By Julie Lessman
 • Love Calls: Lorna Sielstad
 • Love in a Broken Vessel: Mesu Andrews

M

 • Making Waves: Lorna Sielstad
 • (A) Memory Between Us: Sarah Sundin
 • Moon in the Mango Tree: Pamela Ewen
 • Moonlight Masquerade: Ruth Axtell
 • (A) Most Peculiar Circumstance: Jen Turano
 • My Heart Remembers: Kim Vogel Sawyer

N


 • Naomi's Gift: Amy Clipston
 • Never Far From Home: Mary Ellis
 • Nightshade: by Ronie Kendig
 • No Place for a Lady: Maggie Brendan
 • (A) Noble Groom: Jody Hedlund

O


P


 • Paper Roses, by Amanda Cabot
 • Plain Jayne, by Hillary Manton Lodge
 • Preacher's Bride: Jody Hedlund
 • Promise of an Angel: Ruth Reid


R


 • Rebekah: by Jill Eileen Smith
 • Redeeming Love: Francine Rivers
 • Redemption: Karen Kingsbury & Gary Smalley
 • (A) Reluctant Queen: Joan Wolf
 • Remember to Forget: Deborah Raney
 • Remembered: Tamera Alexander

S


 • Sarah's Gift: Marta Perry
 • Shadows of the Past: Patricia Bradley
 • Simple Choices: Nancy Mehl
 • Simple Deceit: Nancy Mehl
 • Slow Moon Rising: Eva Marie Everson
 • Someone to Blame: Susanne Lakin
 • A Sound Among the Trees: Susan Meissner
 • The Sweetest Thing: Elizabeth Musser

T


 • Tailor Made Bride: Karen Witemeyer
 • That Certain Summer: Irene Hannon