Wow! This was a book with a lot of emotion, a lot of controversy, and many surprises, which are slowly revealed throughout the story. It involves a sixty-ish single woman who makes this interesting by looking back at her history and allowing the reader to become one with her emotional state, her memories, her wishes, longings, desires. She has obviously had an extremely interesting life, and it also involves her nearest neighbor--a loved friend, her father, and a few others who become so important in the telling.
The book is set up almost like a journal, with every entry looking back at explaining some answers to questions that come up in the current time. All three main characters do the same thing, and it is really interesting how they intertwine. Things mentioned in the beginning chapters come to completion near the end.
Reading this unique story brought some tears, some laughter, some excitement - all making it very hard to put the book down because of the need to find out what happens next. The author's writing is concise and easy to read, no blundering about, telling it like it is, but in an appealing way that makes it very special. I could recommend this book to anyone!
Ally is 60 and heading back to the place she grew up called Molasses Creek. Her father has died and she is coming home to bury him and get his house in order. She is also coming home to memories and heartache and the author takes us throw the years that lead up to this point. Forbidden love, a lost child lots of heartache in this book for sure.
What I liked: The author is a very good writer the words flow wonderfully across the page and its easy to get caught up in the story. The characters come to life with humor and depth that make this book easy to read. The story does a good job of telling two separate stories that slowly start to tie together until they meet.
What I did not like: The book took time to get going the first 100 pages or so left me wondering where this was going and how the two characters telling the story where going to fit together. Also for me this was a sad book. Interesting but sad. Even though the ending was somewhat happy I wish the ending could have been a little different.
Over all this was a good book and even though its not something I would normally read I am glad I read it. I learned some a lot about slavery in other country's and how people are treated and it was quite sad. Ally's story was sad for me as well. I just wanted her to find love after all those years and even though there was some closer on that front for her she did not get to ride off into the sunset with her prince and I really wished she could have. If you like a little deeper novel with a good story line and wonderfully written this book is for you but if you like your happy endings this one may leave you feeling a little disappointed.
Beyond Molasses Creek tells the stories of three very different lives and shows how God in his wisdom has twined them together. Ally Green has been constantly on the move for years, never staying in one place very long and seldom coming home to her parent's house on Molasses Creek. Vesey Washington, on the other hand, has never left his home on the other side of Molasses Creek. He was once Ally's best friend and they are still quite close. And on the other side of the world, Sunila, a slave in a rock quarry, finally begins her journey to freedom, guided only by an old sketchbook. How are these lives linked together? You have to read to the end of the book to find out.
As the story begins, Ally is returning home for her father's funeral. She decides that she needs to finally settle down and try to forget the past. But with Vesey Washington still living right across the creek, the past is hard to forget. The book sends you back in time to tell you the story of Ally's life, revealing bit by bit what was only hinted at in the beginning of the story. You know that some great tragedy happened to her that made her lose her faith, but you have no idea what it is or how it will be resolved.
Usually it is hard to find anything bad to say about the books I review. But this time, I have to say that there were some things that bothered me. The way the book is written is a little slow-paced and it's hard to really get into the story. It also flashes back and forth from the past to the present, as well as switching from Ally's perspective to Vesey's to Sunila's. All-in-all, I think it is still a story worth reading. The ending is good, even if it is a little anti-climactic.
Although not at all what I was expecting, Beyond Molasses Creek is still a good book.
Beyond Molasses Creek is told in the first person, present tense, with changing narrators, and this meant I found it extremely difficult to get into the book. I don't mind a third-person novel changing between two storylines, but I find two first-person narrators annoying, and I don't usually like stories told in the present tense. In fact, I stopped reading it twice. But I persevered, and I'm glad I did.
The first narrator is Ally, a 60-year-old woman who has returned home to Molasses Creek following the death of her father. She is helped by her old friend, Vesey Washington, a man of a similar age to her, who was never more than a friend because of his race. Vesey also narrates some passages later in the book. Between them, they tell a story of a friendship going back fifty years.
The other narrator is Sunila, a 37 or 38-year-old woman living in Kathmandu, Nepal. She is an untouchable working as a stone-cutter, and is now going on a journey with a mysterious book to find Mr Monroe, an American diplomat who helped her many years ago. I initially thought Sunila was a man, based on the occupation. The ambiguity surrounding Sunila was probably intended to be mysterious: I found it confusing.
As the story progresses, Ally tells us her history through a series of flashbacks, and we begin to guess how the two plot lines are related. Although the first part of the book was a struggle, it improved steadily and the last third was outstanding - happy, sad, sentimental but without being maudlin.
From a Christian point of view, Vesey had a strong faith but Ally was much more wishy-washy, and even by the end of the book, I didn't really know where she stood. I think this could have been developed further. Despite these comments, overall, Beyond Molasses Creek was a strong book that proved that I can enjoy a well-written character-driven saga.
Thanks to Thomas Nelson and BookSneezeÃÂ® for providing a free ebook for review.
Ally Green comes home after 40 plus years to bury her father and take care of his house, now her house. Her life is once again intwined with Vesey Washington, her childhood friend from across the river. Ally revisits her interactions with Vesey over the years to form a picture of true love and friendship. Meanwhile, Sunila Kenari, an untouchable in Nepal, is working hard to trace her past, which will lead her right to Molasses Creek and Ally herself. Experience the joys and heartaches of these three intertwined lives in Beyond Molasses Creek.
Once I started reading this book, I realized it is not the typical book I read, but I pushed ahead to the end. This book is all about a woman that cannot find her way, cannot be content with her circumstances, and is constantly searching. While God and faith are mentioned, the ending leaves something to be desired. Even though Ally is reunited with the child she has lost, makes peace with her best friend and the one person she truly loved, there is a lack of relationship with God. Ally is not sure God is there, but through her story, she does come to believe He is there. This book could be produced by any publisher and would not have to be labeled Christian fiction. There is no mention of Jesus Christ, no salvation, no growing in a relationship with God. There are discussion questions at the end of the book, but again, only one or two out of fifteen questions could be answered in relation to God. Overall, the writing and storyline are excellent, but the importance of a relationship with God is severly lacking.