- Fizzy Thoughts: Trouble the Water

Trouble the Water

Friday, January 16, 2009


Trouble the Water
Nicole Seitz
March 2008
296 pages

Meh. The best thing about this book is that it was a quick read. Of course, it was quick because I didn't linger on any of the words or passages. And I'm going to give away a bit of the plot, so don't read this review if you ever plan to read the book.

Set on St. Anne Island, a fictional South Carolina coastal island, the story centers around Honor Maddox. Honor has arrived on St. Anne's, depressed and broke. After her rescue by a bunch of Gullah nannies, she is turned over to the Duchess, an eccentric widow with plenty of room in her big house. She takes in Honor and the two opposites proceed to become BFF.

Then suddenly, jump forward a few months. Honor is in the hospital and her sister Alice is reading a letter Honor wrote to her, recalling her past mistakes and the happiness she found on St. Anne's. Of course, Honor dies and Alice follows in her footsteps to find happiness on St. Anne's. Big surprise.

I found the characters shallow. They didn't seem fully developed and I would have liked more information on their background. The story skipped back and forth between time and narrators. I was able to follow it initially, but the switch to Alice reading Honor's letter was jarring. I also thought the Gullah nannies were there just to add some local culture...why did they all have to be nannies? And why did they have to speak with such thick accents, when the other (white) characters had none? This bothered me. I also saw the childhood sexual trauma from a mile away, so there were no surprises there. And the ending was way too trite. And wow, I'm being pretty harsh. But the book was a disappointment...good thing it was a library book.

However...Amy loved it. So if you'd like to read the total opposite of my review, go read Amy's.

9 comment(s):

bermudaonion said...

At least the cover is pretty.

Jo-Jo said...

I agree with Bermudaonion...what a pretty cover! lol

sherry said...

This book sounds like something along the lines of "The Mermaid Chair" and "The Lace Reader." Both books I had to at least skim because they were book club picks.

Not for me.

Beth F said...

Thanks for the review. I will not be swayed by the pretty cover and I'll pass on this.

Dar said...

lol-I always love reviews that start with the best thing about the book was that it was a fast read. I like the cover a lot though-it's purdy.

Ti said...

When I book isn't doing it for me, I tend to skip over stuff too. However, sometimes I think that maybe that is why the book isn't doing it for me. LOL. Like, I missed the point or something.

softdrink said...

Yup, the cover is what got me to check the book out. I'm so shallow. ;-)

Lesley said...

Have you read the first one, The Spirit of Sweetgrass? It's one of my church book club picks but I am a little leery; I've heard good things about it though.

Joanne said...

The cover of her first book Sweetgrass is just as gorgeous as this one. But I couldn't get into it at all. I found it a little too happy-happy - hard to explain, but it felt like no matter what horrible things the characters faced, the ending would be happy.

In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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