The Spirit of Sweetgrass: a Novel - eBook  -     By: Nicole Seitz
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The Spirit of Sweetgrass: a Novel - eBook

Thomas Nelson / 2007 / ePub

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CBD Stock No: WW6020EB

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Product Description

There is already a buzz about brand new author Nicole A. Seitz. A South Carolina Lowcountry native, humor and authenticity abound in her writing. Join Essie Mae as she sits beside the highway weaving and selling sweetgrass baskets and talking to her long-dead husband in his pink plastic chair. Her down-home charm and unique take on life will have you laughing and crying through her exploits at prayer-filled matchmaking, saving her home from commercial development, and managing an uppity daughter who is determined to run what remains of Essie Mae's life.

Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 9781418574024
ISBN-13: 9781418574024
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Essie Mae Laveau Jenkins is a 78-year-old sweetgrass basket weaver who sits on the side of Hwy. 17 in the company of her dead husband, Daddy Jim. Inspired by her Auntie Leona, Essie Mae finally discovers her calling in life and weaves powerful "love baskets," praying fervently over them to affect the lives of those who visit her roadside stand. When she's faced with losing her home and her stand and being put in a nursing home, Daddy Jim talks her into coming on up to Heaven to meet sweet Jesus-something she's always wanted to do. Once there, she reunites with Gullahs and African ancestors; but soon, her heavenly peace is disrupted, for she still has work to do. Now Essie Mae, who once felt powerless and invisible, must find the strength within her to keep her South Carolina family from falling apart.

Publisher's Weekly

In an enjoyable debut novel, Seitz offers an interesting first-person narrative about the life (and seemingly, the afterlife) of an elderly Gullah-Creole basket weaver. By the side of Highway 17 in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina sits 78-year-old Essie Mae Laveau Jenkins, crafting baskets of sweetgrass and talking to her dead husband Daddy Jim. Relations are strained with her daughter Henrietta, who thinks Essie belongs in a retirement center. If Essie can't pay $10,000 in back taxes to save her home, she may have no choice. More tensions: her grandson EJ wants to marry a white girl, Essie discovers that a handsome man she's trying to find a girl for is gay, and her daughter carries a hidden secret. When Essie hopes she'll die and go to heaven, the book shifts less successfully to the afterlife, where her Gullah-Creole ancestors surround her and she's reunited with Daddy Jim. Together, they team up to return to Earth and battle two spirits conjured up by Henrietta's voodoo that threatens to ruin an attempt to save the sweetgrass basket weaving culture. Although uneven after a strong start, the first-person narrative in heavy dialect is engaging and readers will enjoy the bits of Gullah culture and history salted throughout. Copyright 2007 Publishers Weekly

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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    October 19, 2007
    Sandra Dodd
    This review was written for The Spirit of Sweetgrass.
    The presentation and plot are very good. Our book club had a lively discussion! Ms.Seitz sets a stage for deep Scripture searches and growth for the novice and old timer as well.Very good read.
  2. Arizona
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    September 10, 2007
    Michelle Sutton
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    This review was written for The Spirit of Sweetgrass.
    Well here is another book that makes me go hmmmm... because it's supposed to be a Christian book yet there is so much contained in this story that is simply not biblical. However, the fictionalized character of Essie Mae is a delight to read. I think it's important to note that what the above description from the publisher doesn't mention is that the love baskets that Essie Mae "powerfully prays over" also has voodoo rituals attached, only she calls it hoodoo. Essie would weave the hair of people into the basket in hopes of matchmaking. And in this story the hoodoo techniques always worked.While I found some of her thoughts hilarious and her culture entertaining, this story contained quite a few weird theological when Essie thought they needed to help Jesus out when they were in heaven, and some of the things they did in heaven were "way out there". But this is a fictional story. So if you don't take it seriously and read it for mere entertainment you will enjoy the book. I'd love to believe that I will look young, beautiful, and get to make love to my husband in heaven, too, but that simply isn't so. And I found it odd that her voodoo practicing aunt was in heaven along with some other folks that practiced similar things. Like somehow that was irrelevant to their faith in Jesus? Hmmmm...I dunno.The writing and characterization of the story was excellent, however, and I commend the author for her creativity and ability to engage the reader, but I don't think it should've been marketed as Christian fiction by a Christian publisher. But I'm only one opinion. If you can get past the warped theology and you are seeking a book that is compulsively readable, you'll like this story.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    December 21, 2006
    Harriet Klausner
    This review was written for The Spirit of Sweetgrass.
    South Carolina septuagenarian Essie Mae Laveau Jenkins sits by the side of rural Highway 17 as she has for decades making sweetgrass love baskets. The weaver insists to those who worry about her that she is not alone as husband Daddy Jim sits by her side though he died years ago. Essie Mae believes her "love baskets" helps those who buy them from her roadside stand though she takes no chances as she adds prayers for those in need just as her beloved Auntie Leona taught her decades ago.Now her loved ones want to place the seventy-eight year old weaver into a home. Daddy Jim tells her to join him in Heaven where Jesus awaits her coming. She does, but besides her beloved spouse and the Sonof God, she meets her recently deceased African-American relatives and ancestors from Africa making her feel complete and at home. However, back on earth her descendents are in trouble needing Essie Mae to return to give them the strength to come together.This deep character study will provide inspiration to readers as Essie Mae deals with mortality, deaths of loved ones, sacrifice, the radical changing of her world, and coming to heaven. She keeps the story line flowing on earth and in heaven as fans will be fascinated with how the sweetgrass basket weaver puts love into her work. Though local dialect adds a sense of locale and to a degree purpose, it also adds some difficulty to the read. Still this is a magnificent profound look at a person who has an inner strength few contain.Harriet Klausner
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