Nicole Seitz’s The Inheritance of Beauty is a story of restoration and healing. George Jacobs’s world is collapsing again. George knows he needs to make peace with his past before he dies, and the only way to do that is to go back to the town he’d hoped never to see again. Psalms 71:20 fits this book: “Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up” (NIV).
Different characters narrate the book at different points, and the narratives are a combination of flashbacks and current episodes. Each character has a strong voice, and the author brings everything together in a comprehensive whole at the very end, masterfully tying up the loose ends in a bittersweet manner. A single most unforgettable experience is difficult to identify; Seitz grabs the reader by the heart at the beginning of the book and doesn’t let go until the end.
George Jacobs is adjusting to life in a nursing home. His wife Maggie is completely unresponsive to everyone. George has just received news that his cancer is terminal. To add insult to injury, a dark past he’d rather forget is coming back to haunt him in the form of a giant picture of a younger Maggie, letters from her long-lost brother Ash, and the appearance of an old acquaintance who destroyed everything they knew the last time they met him. George takes Maggie and a ghost, Joe, back to the town where he and Maggie were born to confront their past and finally to lay it to rest. George is funny, but his love for Maggie is breathtakingly powerful. He and the other characters in the book become real people, and their story is utterly captivating from beginning to end.
This book has the potential to become a literary favorite. Women teenaged and older will love it, though it is not strictly “chick lit.” Those looking for a well-written book with three-dimensional characters and a spectacular message should add this book to their to-read lists. – Becky Blomenberg, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Maggie Black came of age in the lush, fragrant low country of South Carolina—spending her days with her beloved brother and the boy she would grow up to marry. But when a stranger arrived one summer, Maggie couldn’t imagine the evil he would bring with him. And though she escaped with her life, the ramifications of that fateful summer would alter all of their lives forever.
Now, some eighty years later, Maggie and her husband George are spending their remaining days in a nursing home, helpless as age slowly robs Maggie of her ability to communicate. When a mysterious package arrives, followed closely by a stranger whose identity haunts them, Maggie and George are hemmed in by a history they’d rather forget.
As the truth reveals itself, George knows he must face the past and its lifetime of repercussions. It’s the only way to free himself and his precious wife—if it’s not too late.