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Authors: Nicole Seitz

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Beyond Molasses Creek

BOOK: Beyond Molasses Creek
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Acclaim for Nicole Seitz

“I look forward to a new book by Nicole Seitz because I know I'll be treated to a well-written, thought-provoking read.
Beyond Molasses Creek
does not disappoint. Nicole is a writer I can count on to consistently tell a story containing deep characters and original plots.”

— Marybeth Whalen, author of
She Makes
It Look Easy
and
The Mailbox

“[
The Inheritance of Beauty
] gives us pause as we consider the road ahead, and it also makes us thankful for the world we have today. Any story that causes that much reflection is one to be appreciated.”

—
The Huffington Post

“Seitz grabs the reader by the heart at the beginning of the book and doesn't let go until the end.”

—
ChristianBookPreviews.com
,
regarding
The Inheritance of Beauty

“[
The Inheritance of Beauty
is a] tender tale of childhood secrets and lifelong ties, from a skilled writer who understands the beauty of enduring love. George and Maggie will make you want to learn your own family stories!”

— Lisa Wingate, national best-selling author of
Larkspur Cove
and
The Summer Kitchen

“In
The Inheritance of Beauty
, Seitz has skillfully brought life, depth, and beauty to an often forgotten part of society, reminding readers of the power in strong bonds of love and friendship, the weight of memory and childhood, and the significance of reckoning with the past. Through the voices of an intimate group of individuals brought together in an elderly center, a haunting story unfolds with striking fluidity and the underlying presence of spirituality. Seitz has weaved into the lines of this moving page-turner a mysterious tale of healing, wrought with a sweet touch of southern warmness that truly speaks to the soul.”

— Noni Carter, author of
Good Fortune

“Nicole Seitz joins a long line of distinguished novelists who celebrate the rich culture of the Lowcountry of South Carolina . . . She joins Josephine Humphries, Anne Rivers Siddons, Sue Monk Kidd, and Dorothea Benton Frank in her fascination with the Gullah culture. Her character, Essie Mae Laveau Jenkins, is worth the price of admission to
The Spirit of Sweetgrass
.”

— Pat Conroy, best-selling author of
The
Prince of Tides
and
South of Broad

“This beautifully written, imaginative story of love and redemption is the must-read book of the year. The ending is so surprising and powerful that it will linger long after the last page is turned.”

— Cassandra King, best-selling author of
The Same Sweet
Girls,
regarding
A Hundred Years of Happiness

“An unforgettable novel about sisterhood, salvation, and miracles.”

— Karin Gillespie, author of
Dollar Daze,
regarding
Trouble the Water

“Seitz has a gift for creating wonderful characters . . . marvelously memorable.”

—
Publishers Weekly
review of
Saving Cicadas

“Nicole Seitz takes the loose threads of her characters' lives and ties them together in a vibrant pattern of love, forgiveness and truth. In words that resonate with emotion, Seitz writes of things that are only understood with the heart.”

— Patti Callahan Henry, best-selling author of
Driftwood Summer

“ . . . A surprisingly creative tale that will leave readers guessing until the end.”

— River Jordan, author of
Saints in Limbo,
regarding
Saving Cicadas

“Her words are magic. Pure magic.”

— Tim Callahan, author of
Kentucky Summers:
The Cave, the Cabin, and the Tattoo Man

Beyond Molasses Creek

Books by Nicole Seitz

The Spirit of Sweetgrass

Trouble the Water

A Hundred Years of Happiness

Saving Cicadas

The Inheritance of Beauty

Beyond Molasses Creek

a novel

Nicole Seitz

© 2012 by Nicole Seitz

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a registered trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Interior sketches created by Nicole Seitz.

Thomas Nelson, Inc., titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail [email protected]

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Seitz, Nicole A.
  Beyond Molasses Creek : a novel / Nicole Seitz.
    p. cm.
  ISBN 978-1-59554-505-3 (trade paper)
1. Fathers and daughters—Fiction. 2. Self-realization in women—Fiction. 3. Kidnapping—Fiction. 4. Female friendship—Fiction. I. Title.
  PS3619.E426B49 2012b
  813'.6—dc23

2011041984

Printed in the United States of America

12 13 14 15 16 17 QG 6 5 4 3 2 1

To those who long to be free.

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.

—M
ICHEL ANGELO

Contents

Prologue

Part One

One: The Stone Garden

Two: Destiny

Three: The Elephant and the Great White Bird

Four: Monsoon Season

Five: Make Yourself at Home

Six: Faith and Postcards

Seven: Sunshine All the Time

Eight: Uncertainty

Nine: Letters from Heaven

Ten: At First Sight

Eleven: Pot Roast Says I'm Sorry

Twelve: The Book of the Gods

Thirteen: The Sketchbook

Part Two

Fourteen: Pinky Promises

Fifteen: Delivering the News

Sixteen: Poodle Skirts and Aprons

Seventeen: Co-Cola Bottle in the Sun

Eighteen: The Radio

Nineteen: Supper with Old Friends

Twenty: You've Really Got a Hold on Me

Twenty-One: On Education and Freedom

Part Three

Twenty-Two: Maharajgunj Road

Twenty-Three: Gods in the Garden

Twenty-Four: Thieves

Twenty-Five: Escape

Twenty-Six: How It Will End

Twenty-Seven: Jasper Farms

Twenty-Eight: Fate and Strangers

Twenty-Nine: Tears and Molten Wax

Thirty Drawing: Clues

Thirty-One: Homesick

Thirty-Two: Evolution of a Co-ed

Thirty-Three: Daddy's Girl

Thirty-Four: Up in the Air

Thirty-Five: Shangri-La

Thirty-Six: The Invitation

Thirty-Seven: Rude Awakening

Thirty-Eight: Dusty Files

Thirty-Nine: Steak au Poivre in Paris

Forty: The In-between

Forty-One: Falling in Love

Forty-Two: Collecting Evidence

Part Four

Forty-Three: Can't Take It with You

Forty-Four: Elusive Hope

Forty-Five: Where Did All the Time Go?

Forty-Six: Enlightenment

Forty-Seven: Getting Ready

Forty-Eight: The Bridge

Forty-Nine: Oh, Won't You Stay

Fifty: Dear Ms. Green

Fifty-One: Newspaper Man

Fifty-Two: Shout to the Sky

Fifty-Three: The Call

Fifty-Four: Awakening

Fifty-Five: Great White Bird

Fifty-Six: Crossing Over

Epilogue

Acknowledgments

Reading Group Guide

About the Author

Prologue

Ally

W
HEN
I
WAS A GIRL
, I
WOULD LIE ON THE BANKS OF
Molasses Creek with soft green grass beneath my back and look up into the sky, dreaming of being there. In my upside-down world, the clouds were pieces of land that I would hop to and the vast blue sky was the river, the ocean that would beckon to transport me far, far away. That vast blue sky has taken me to all sorts of foreign lands since then. Sometimes the most foreign place is home.

I'll be flying in just a few minutes, cloud-hopping back to a city I never thought I'd see again.

I close my eyes and imagine myself feeling weightless again, my body traveling at five hundred miles an hour yet perfectly still. Someone clears a throat. I open my eyes and see a woman before me in uniform, standing at a podium. She's holding out her hand. “Oh yes,” I say. I reach in my bag and pull out my wallet. Through the airport window, a jet leaves the wet runway and rises into thick gray rain.

I hand the uniformed woman my driver's license, and she looks at me to see if there's a match. “My hair's a little different now,” I explain. “And . . . I'm a little older.” So much about me is different now. I wonder if she can read it in my face—the years, the tragedy, the love, the moments of hope. I smile at her, but she doesn't return it. They've gotten a lot stricter with flying these days, and that's not such a bad thing. I don't mind waiting a few minutes longer to take my shoes off and have them search my belongings. There's a poor old lady up ahead of me, hunched over. They have her to the side and are patting her down. Really? Her? Never in a million years. After flying as many times as I have, you get an eye for these things.

The woman hands me my license back and the young lady behind me reaches to hand her a passport. “Charleston is very nice place,” she says in a foreign accent. You can tell she's worked hard on her English. That warms my heart. I take a deep breath and move to the conveyor belt. I set my shoes in a gray bin along with a lightweight jacket and carry-on bag. The top of the bag is open and when I set it on its side, a large, tattered book peeks out. My heart flutters and my mind spills over with images, sketches of my life, as if I'm having one of those near-death experiences and life is flashing before my eyes.

I blink and move forward. Did I remember my pencils? Yes, I did.

I shuffle along with everyone else, barefooted, until I pass through the metal detector. Oh, the things I've seen people get caught with over the years—guns, drug paraphernalia, tiny switchblades in unusual parts of the body. Some people are flat-out crazy and criminal.

Criminal. Crime. Why would anyone ever return to the scene of the crime? For closure? To find that part of them that was lost there? To make things right? I'm going back for all of these reasons. I can't believe it. I never thought I'd see the day.

BOOK: Beyond Molasses Creek
3.27Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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