Seitz has woven a mesmerizing tale of one woman's heaven in the voice of an elderly sweetgrass weaver off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. Miss Essie Mae Laveau Jenkins is a character so endearing and unique she will not be easily forgotten.
This is a rich novel of the south. I believe it is her first book and trust me, her writing only gets better. I found Nicole Seitz by reading "Trouble the Water," a truly wonderful book. This one is not as good, but I did enjoy it. Seitz is a treasure and joins the ranks of Sue Monk Kidd and Anne Rivers Siddons.
Essie Mae Laveau Jenkins is 78 years old. To support herself, she weaves sweetgrass baskets and sells them in a little stand out on the highway. Her husband, Jim, whod passed on close to ten years before, sits with her sometimes. Inspired by her Aunt Leona, Essie Mae starts weaving love baskets, praying over them, to get people she thinks belong together united forever. But sometimes, her love baskets dont work out exactly the way she has in mind.
Essies daughter, Retta, is trying to put Essie into a nursing home, since Essie hasnt paid taxes on her house in ten years and now the governor is going to take the house away from her. Will Essie discover that she still has work to do, or can she go to her heavenly rest?
I really enjoyed reading THE SPIRIT OF SWEETGRASS by new novelist Nicole Seitz. Ms. Seitz is a very talented author and Im looking forward to reading more of her works. Written in first person, I feel I got to know Essie Mae well, and I came to care deeply for her.
The faith message is expertly woven in, and is not preachy. The story is told like Miss Essie is sitting right beside the telling the story (I could almost smell the sweetgrass and see her weaving baskets). Toward the middle of the book, it got a little weird for my taste, but the story was still well told and held my interest. I highly recommend THE SPIRIT OF SWEETGRASS as a southern fiction novel you wont want to miss.