The Inheritance of Beauty

The Inheritance of Beauty is a story about enduring love. George and Maggie are childhood sweethearts, now living out their remaining years at Harmony House in Charleston, SC. George can hardly remember, and Maggie can no longer communicate. When an anonymous package arrives and a familiar stranger moves in down the hall, George realizes he must revisit his difficult past in order to set them all free.

Nicole Seitz grew up on Hilton Head Island, a small town off the coast of South Carolina where she was surrounded by palmetto trees, marsh grass, sandy beaches and unique Southern characters. As an author, artist and speaker, Nicole’s work is deeply influenced by her faith and the mystique and charm of the Lowcountry. In 1989 she went to the U.S.S.R as a student ambassador through People to People Organization, and the trip opened her eyes to the struggles, beauty, and universal qualities of other cultures – things she likes to explore in her work.
The Spirit of Sweetgrass (March 2007), Nicole’s debut novel, was selected as the May 2007 FaithPoint Book-of-the-Month for Books-a-Million. Her second novel, Trouble the Water, received a starred review and was chosen as one of the Best Books of 2008 by Library Journal. It was also seen in Southern Living, Sandlapper Magazine, and was an editor’s pick in the May 2008 issue of Charleston Magazine. The book went into a second printing within two weeks of it’s release date. Her third novel, A Hundred Years of Happiness, was a Summer Book Pick on CBN.com and featured in the January 2009 edition of Charleston Magazine.
Nicole received a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.F.A. in Illustration from Savannah College of Art & Design. Her freelance articles have been in The Island Packet, The Bluffton Packet, and South Carolina Magazine. Nicole is also a published illustrator, and her artwork has been exhibited in Southern art galleries. Her novels feature her paintings/illustrations on the covers.
I was inspired to write this story after visiting my grandmother just before she passed away at age 91. She was still beautiful but could not open her eyes or speak. I lay on her lap and told her I loved her, thanked her for everything she’d done over the years. After 20 minutes she leaned forward, eyes still closed, and rubbed her forehead on mine. I knew in that moment she was still in there, still loving me.
In writing The Inheritance of Beauty, I dared to ask the question: Why do some people live to be so old with little to no quality of life? Is there a purpose in that? By the end of this book, I had found my answers. My sincere hope is that my readers will too.
I loved The Inheritance of Beauty, just as I loved The Spirit of Sweetgrass and Trouble the Water. Nicole has a gift for putting you right in the middle of the settings of her novel. I can easily imagine myself swimming in the pond or sitting in the nursing home beside George and Magnolia. I love books set in the South so much so they couldn’t have been written anywhere else.
Seitz’ villains are exquisitely evil and her protagonists are very complex, no cookie cutter characters in Seitz’ books. Although her writing style may take you from childhood to senility within a chapter, it’s not hard to follow because her characterizations deepen as you progress in the book. She reveals more and more layers and reasons for their actions in her chapters.
I would recommend The Inheritance of Beauty for anyone who loves Southern novels, women’s fiction or literary fiction. I think you’ll be very pleased you took the time to read it.