“Having traveled to the ends of the earth as a flight attendant, Ally Green has finally returned to the Lowcountry to bury her father as well as the past. But Vesey Washington is still living across the creek, and theirs is a complicated relationship–he was once her best friend . . . and also part of the reason she’s stayed away so long. When Ally discovers a message her father left behind asking her to quit running, it seems her past isn’t through with her yet.
As Ally’s wandering spirit wrestles with a deep longing to flee again, a young woman on the other side of the world escapes her life of slavery in the rock quarries of Nepal. A mysterious sketchbook leads Sunila Kunari to believe there’s more to her story than she’s ever been told, and she’s determined to follow the truth wherever it leads her.
A deep current intertwines the lives of these three souls, and a destiny of freedom, faith, and friendship awaits them all on the banks of Molasses Creek.”
At first I didn’t like this book at all. I couldn’t get into it, and honestly it didn’t even want to finish it. I only kept going because I had promised to write a review.
Here is what I didn’t like. First of all, the “voices” of the story. Most of the story is written in first-person. And I never felt like the voices were “real.” A large part of the story is set in the South, and the two major characters, Ally and Vesey, didn’t sound “authentic.” While this might be a small thing, as a Southerner, this is one of my biggest pet peeves. I also didn’t hear the difference as the characters aged throughout the story, as the times (from pre-segregation and Civil rights era South to modern-day) changed.
Then, slightly past halfway through the book, all of that changed.
And I couldn’t put the book down.
I stayed up until 3 am to finish it.
Sunila has become my favorite character of the story. Her struggle to find the truth of her identity to her rebirth as her “new” self, I was extremely touched by her courage. Frankly, it didn’t matter to me that I couldn’t “hear” her “voice” in my head. Her emotional journey gave her the authenticity I needed to believe in her and feel for her.
And as Ally’s story was woven in, I began to fall in love with this character as well, truly understanding her emotional journey as well.
As for Vesey, while he was an extremely likable character, I do not feel like this part of the storyline really served the true message of the book. I can see where Ms. Seitz was going with this concept, it just didn’t connect well with me. It’s as if I was reading two completely different books at the same time, and the connection of all three characters at the end — well, I didn’t buy it.
Vesey never felt very real to me. Even in his “inner monologue” parts of the story, he just spoke entirely too well for a black man who was a product of the pre-integration South, who ended up not finishing school and working his life on a farm. I really appreciate Ms. Seitz’s attempts to write about this period of history, it just didn’t feel real.
What I did love about this story: the ending. The love and the redemption and healing. The connection between the last three characters on the last few pages. That was the great emotional payoff that I needed, as a reader.
I would give this story three stars, and a recommendation to read it, with the caveat that you really have to get past the first have of the book to “get it.”
I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”