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Trouble the Water [Paperback]

By Nicole Seitz (Author)
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Item Number 83973  
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Item description for Trouble the Water by Nicole Seitz...

Two middle-aged sisters confront a host of challenges including cancer, wife abuse, and suicide in a novel set in South Carolina's Low Country.

Publishers Description
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. This is another thing I know for a fact: a woman can't be an island, not really. No, it's the touching we do in other people's lives that matters when all is said and done. The silly things we do for ourselves--shiny new cars and jobs and money--they don't mean a hill of beans. Honor taught me that. My soul sisters on this island taught me that. And this is the story of true sisterhood. It's the story of Honor, come and gone, and how one flawed woman worked miracles in this mixed-up world.

From Publishers Weekly
Seitz (The Spirit of Sweetgrass) manages to keep her second faith fiction novel fairly light even though it covers depression, suicide, child abuse, domestic abuse and death. Honor, in her mid-40s, escapes to St. Anne's Isle off the South Carolina coast with her life in tatters. She's unemployed and broke, and feels unworthy of love after a divorce and a failed relationship. Her attempted suicide is thwarted by a group of Gullah nannies who rescue her and love her back to health, introducing her to Duchess, a quirky woman with a penchant for nudity. Honor lives with Duchess for a while as they help each other heal, and eventually Honor reclaims her love for life and painting, and reconnects with her sister Alice. The narration switches regularly among the three women (Honor, Duchess and Alice) and the story jumps back and forth over an eight-year span, which makes the first half of the book intricate to follow. The novel is uneven: none of the serious topics is mined in depth and the writing is simple, but the plot, once understood, is compelling. Fans of inspirational fiction may feel challenged by some of the edgier content, but the story does include a near-death bedside conversion. (Mar.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Citations And Professional Reviews
Trouble the Water by Nicole Seitz has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • LJ Best Books of Year - 12/01/2008 page 67
  • Publishers Weekly - 01/14/2008 page 42
  • Library Journal - 02/01/2008 page 56
  • Romantic Times - 03/01/2008 page 67
  • LJ Best Books of Year - 12/15/2008 page 67

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Thomas Nelson
Pages   296
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.33" Width: 5.38" Height: 0.79"
Weight:   0.7 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 11, 2008
Publisher   Thomas Nelson
ISBN  1595544003  
ISBN13  9781595544001  

Availability  0 units.

More About Nicole Seitz

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Nicole Seitz is a South Carolina Lowcountry native and a freelance writer/illustrator published in South Carolina Magazine, Charleston Magazine, House Calls, The Island Packet, and the Bluffton Packet. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Journalism, she also has a bachelors degree in illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design. Nicole is an exhibiting artist in the Charleston, South Carolina area where she owns a web design firm and live with her husband and two small children.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Christian Drama
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Drama > Christian Fiction Drama
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Fiction > General Christian > Contemporary

Reviews - What do customers think about Trouble the Water?

Easy read  Aug 28, 2008
This is a book about the love of sisters. Honor is a free spirit that had gone through life and done things she wasn't proud of. Each chapter changes characters between Honor and her sister Alice, and the Duchess.
Duchess makes the story interesting with her strange ways. This is a very easy read, just not as gripping with emotion as I thought it would be. There were so many un-answered questions, like what did Alice do for living on the Island. If you are looking for a good book that is easy to read this for you.
Don't Miss This One  Aug 10, 2008
This book is unique, uplifting, and well-written. Both the characters and the story draw you in from page one. The author deftly switches among narrators, locations, and dates. A lesser writer would have lost the reader, but Seitz is able to enrich the story instead. I highly recommend it.
What Fun!  Jul 19, 2008
Not only is this second novel a poignant, heartfelt tale; it is great fun to read. Living in the SC Lowcountry it "spoke to me" in many respects. But, for those living elsewhere it serves as an enticement to visit our beautiful shores and marshes and learn more about the Gullah. The author did a splendid job in portraying love between sisters, love between friends, illness, and the fact that no woman is an island.

I look forward to her next book.
Two misfits with checkered pasts find hope and healing through each other  Jul 14, 2008
In her sophomore stand-alone novel, TROUBLE THE WATER, Nicole Seitz takes on the grim themes of terminal illness, divorce, alcoholism, suicide and sexual abuse, but leavens them with quirky characters in a story that will engage faith fiction fans.

Like her debut novel, THE SPIRIT OF SWEETGRASS, Seitz sets TROUBLE THE WATER in the South Carolina low country --- this time, St. Anne's Isle. The book jumps back and forth in time, mostly between June and December of 2006 and includes several first-person points of view. It's an ambitious undertaking and can become confusing until you get used to it. But the characters are interesting enough to hook you.

Honor Maddox is an amateur painter in the grip of despair, trailing a string of broken relationships behind her. When her attempt to end her life is foiled by some Gullah nannies, she ends up bunking in a crumbling pink mansion with "Duchess," an elderly white woman who has problems of her own. (Gullah, for those unfamiliar with the term, refers to African-Americans of the low country of South Carolina and Georgia).

Duchess is a hilarious character. She has a passion for running around naked or donning only one or two pieces of apparel (a fur stole, for example). Honor wonders how she ended up with a crazy woman whose mansion is as filthy as she's ever seen. However, Honor finds purpose in cleaning it from top to bottom, symbolic perhaps for her own need to be free of a past full of shame and disappointment. For Duchess, Honor is "like a floating lifesaver sent from above to haul my flabby white rear back up on shore again." She has her own "dirty secrets" from the past and "stink might can be covered up, but it doesn't ever go away unless it's aired out proper."

Both the Duchess and Honor are mourning their pasts in different ways; together, they help each other heal. Soon, Honor is painting up a storm and discovering her natural talent. By helping Honor, Duchess pulls herself somewhat together (she still likes running around in the buff) and begins to socialize again.

Honor's beloved sister Alice wrecks her car, and it sets in motion a chain of events that spark a new realization of Honor's past and the tremendous load of guilt and shame Honor carries. Reading Honor's journals also causes Alice to face her own problems, especially an alcoholic, abusive husband, and determine what she wants to make of the rest of her life.

The frequent point of view shifts, as well as the aforementioned time jumps, are challenging for the reader. The characters are the strength of the novel, and keep things cooking. The storyline relies on the rather often-used breast cancer theme (a favorite of faith-fiction novelists) although of course, the issue of breast cancer is no less important for being used so much. I was disappointed, however, in the way Seitz tied up Duchess's storyline. It seems contrived and less believable than the rest of the plot. And the plethora of problems --- cancer, suicide, sexual abuse, alcoholism --- seemed excessive.

However, what works well is the relationship between Dutchess and Honor, and the portrayal of how the best emotional healing sometimes comes through helping someone else. As Honor reflects, "I knew for a fact that Duchess wasn't playing with a full deck, but this was my task...Like her or leave her." And as Duchess says, "...When you meet a true angel, you're never the same."

Seitz is an excellent writer, and her portrayals of the Gullah culture in the low country of South Carolina will engage readers unfamiliar with the area. I especially enjoyed how she wove healing techniques and traditions into the narrative. Painting your house blue, for example, helps keep the "haigs" (ghosts) out of your house. Propping brooms outside your doors mean that a "hag" (an old woman who can shed her skin at night) will have to stop and count every piece of straw before coming inside. Otherwise, a hag might ride on someone's chest all night "till they can't breathe anymore."

It's these sort of fascinating tidbits that enrich the story, and make TROUBLE THE WATER an interesting read.

--- Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
Excellent book!  May 7, 2008
This 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!

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