Book Review: Beyond Molasses Creek

This novel is written in the first-person, focusing on three different characters: Ally (a 60-year-old white woman who is alone and sad after a hard life), Vesey (a 60-year-old black man whom Ally has always harbored feelings for), and Sunila (a middle-aged girl living in the slums in Nepal). Ally and Vesey grew up across the Molasses River from each other in the South, when black boys and white girls weren’t friends.

Vesey ended up staying in that same house all his life, marrying a black woman, having kids, and working hard for a living.

Ally ended up spending her life running from all her poor decisions and always wishing she’d been more forthright and told Vesey she loved him, even if it was taboo. One of the lowest points of her life is when she works as a flight attendant, sleeps with a pilot, and gets pregnant. She keeps the baby, and when traveling in Nepal, the baby is kidnapped.

[Spoiler warning] Betcha can’t guess who Sunila is? Yep, she’s the lost baby. She was taken by a man who was of the lowest caste in Nepal, and he was hoping to sell her to make money. However, his wife insisted she keep the stolen baby, and they raised her as their own, living an extremely hard life working in a stone quarry.

By the end of the story, Vesey dies, and Ally and Sunila are reunited. That part was nice.

HOWEVER, not even considering the extremely slow pace at the beginning of the book, I would wholeheartedly NOT recommend this book if you’re looking for anything resembling the gospel message. Since it’s published by Thomas Nelson, I assumed it would fall under the umbrella of “Christian fiction.” Not so.

There are many “spiritual” threads throughout the book…talking about reincarnation, gods, and eventually praying to “God”…but there is never a solid message of redemption and reconciliation to the ONE true God. No mention of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Instead, it very much feels like an “everybody-goes-to-heaven” kind of message. And while a certain formerly-local-and-now-famous pastor might love that kind of universalist message, it’s not what is taught in the Bible.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers, and all opinions expressed here are my own. I was not compensated for this review.

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