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Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2008
|Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.44 (inches)|
Set in the South Carolina Sea Islands, Nicole Seitz's second novel follows the stories of two sisters. 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.
An entrancing, unsettling story of sisterhood and sea changes, healing grace and unlikely angels. A tragic, hilarious, hope-filled novel about the art of starting over.
The story is told in first person narrative by Honor and The Duchess, and there is interspersed narration by Honor's older sister, Alice, while Honor is in the Waccamaw Memorial Hospital. Minor characters include: Brett, Honor's estranged common-law husband (who has her sign away her entire estate on her deathbed), Wayne, Alice's less-than-ideal husband, and Alice's two teenaged daughters. Also, there is the mysterious nurse Sadie, who writes letters for Honor before she dies. Afterward, Alice can find no one at the hospital who knows of Sadie.
One subplot is the sexual molestation of both Alice and Honor when they are young preteens by a preacher friend of the family. He accidentally drowns on a fishing trip while with Honor, and Honor grows up believing that she actually murdered the man.
Although the novel is confusing at first as scenes and the first person narratives jump abruptly, the story settles into a wonderful examination of these women's lives in the face of this life-threatening disease. The characters are completely three-dimensional from their first appearance. A particularly interesting character is Blondie, an old Gullah nanny who speaks the native "old country" slang and tries several of her time-honored home remedies to cure Honor.
Faith in God helps both Alice and Honor face the devastating loss at the end of the story. It gets a bit long after Honor's death, as Alice leaves her husband and goes to St. Anne's Island to meet Honor's friends including the Duchess, whose real name is Anne. This is a well-written, emotionally-involved novel that all women will want to read. -- Anita Tiemeyer, Christian Book Previews.com
schoolmarmHeber Springs, ARAge: Over 65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5July 9, 2009schoolmarmHeber Springs, ARAge: Over 65Gender: femaleOften life gives us a challenge that makes usreflect backwards to determine how we will goforward. This is case with this story.
Jill Cooper5 Stars Out Of 5May 7, 2008Jill CooperThis was one of those stories where you just wanted to be there and talk to the characters! I began reading on a weekend morning (when I was supposed to be doing my chores) and ended up reading all day. Read a chapter (or two or three), do a chore, read a chapter..... Really excellent read all the way through!
LHam5 Stars Out Of 5May 6, 2008LHamNicole is a writer who kept me interested through the entire book, one that I did not want to put down. I related personally to part of the book, which kept me interested in trying to get to the plot. Being a South Carolinaian, I related to the actual settings and location. Since I have completed the book, I still find this story in my mind on a regular basis. If you have a sister, it is a must to read.
Angie Arndt5 Stars Out Of 5April 20, 2008Angie ArndtI found this book to be very well-written women's literature. And you'll notice that I used the term 'women's literature' rather than 'women's fiction.' That's because this book is definitely character-driven that is, the characters are more important than the plot. And I've had the privilege to meet Nicole Seitz, a woman with a gracious and humble spirit.When you play a stringed instrument, there are certain types of chords called harmonics. When this type of chord is played - although it is actually several notes - it sounds like a single note. It actually sounds as if it played itself - almost otherworldly. In literature, you may call the same concept resonance: when characters in a book come alive to produce a prolonged response in the reader. TROUBLE THE WATER is that type of book. As you are reading, you realize that the characters have struck a chord in your soul - a chord that resonates long after you've finished reading.
Red Evans author On Ice5 Stars Out Of 5November 16, 2007Red Evans author On IceTrouble the Water is about healing and coming to grips with the past that allows one to meet the future. Two sisters experience a shared horror while very young that influences the rest of both their lives. It drives one into a bad marriage, and the other to attempt suicide.It is the simple faith of a group of Gullah nannies on a remote sea island that rescue Honor Maddox from the brink of death by sleeping pills, and put her in the home of another white soul who has also lost her way.Honor recovers more than her health. The despair that drove her to suicide is replaced with a new desire to live, a lost talent is coming back, she has new friends, and maybe now she and her sister could become normal siblings again.The glue that holds the story together is the Christian faith of the principals even in the face of learning that one of the sisters has an insidious and terminal case of breast cancer. The other sister, Alice is devastated and the guilt she has kept inside for all the intervening years increases even more.The other thread here is the quaint sea island. Sparsely populated by seasonal visitors and a colony of Gullah people who provide services to them, St Annes Isle is a special place as Honor discovers and as will Alice. It is a place to go when one needs to find oneself or to get closer to a higher power.There are twists and turns along the way as the two sisters converge from their once different directions, and a curious twist at the end that the reader will not expect, but on reflection will realize that it had to be so.Trouble the Water is a novel of faith and redemption by a writer with knowledge of the culture of the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry, but not confined to just that of the Gullah people. Seitz gives us an insight into the overall culture of the region while telling an intriguing story of two sisters with a shared dark secret.
Author: Nicole Seitz
Located in: Mount Pleasant, SC
Submitted: October 30, 2007
Tell us a little about yourself. I'm a happily married mother of two who works from home, balances many plates in the air at once, and tries to enjoy every minute of my busy life. Blessings abound.
What was your motivation behind this project? My main motivation in writing Trouble the Water was to examine the reasons why a person who is terminally ill might keep that a secret from loved ones. This happens quite often. A person who is sick may not have insurance or may not want to burden loved ones with such devastating news. His or her motives may be pure, but what tends to happen as a result is that the survivors are often left wondering why. They wonder, what did I do wrong? Why didn't he/she feel he could tell me? I would have helped! If I'd just known I would have spent more time with her, etc. I was very close to an aunt once who did not tell us she was dying from breast cancer until the very end. I was with her in her passing, and it's something I'll never forget. My main motivation for writing this book was for personal reasons. I simply needed to get in my aunt's head and "recreate" her life in the year before her passing. Although the book is fiction, I was inspired by and actually used some of my aunt's own writing in the novel. My mother (my aunt's sister) was my reader for this manuscript, and by the end of it, there was no more anger, just a lot more understanding on our part, the survivors. Writing Trouble the Water had a tremendous healing effect on us, and it is my hope that it may have a similar effect on readers.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I think Best-selling author Susan Wiggs says it best: "Please read this heartfelt exploration of the timeless mysteries of life and death, and the healing power of true friendship. Talented author Nicole Seitz makes the reader a part of this very special sisterhood of island women whose wisdom and courage linger in the mind long after the book is closed." Susan Wiggs, best-selling author of Dockside, Summer at Willow Lake, Table for Five, and Lakeside Cottage