Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.
The Sea Beneath Us ~ Based upon the lives of her grandmother and great-grandmother, author Cathy Slusser weaves a tale of immigration, women’s rights, and foreign policy—real and relevant to today’s world, and as compelling as it is enchanting.
~*novels that portray real people enduring hardship, facing fear, and seeking joy*~
author Cathy Slusser
Henrietta (Etta) and her sister, Eugenia Louise (Lou), begin their travels as young children with their family from Canada to America, the first of their many moves.
What do I want to do with my life? I really like working in the bookstore, but I always thought I would marry and have a family. Isn't that what young women are supposed to do? I know one thing. I will not marry a dreamer.I am astounded at the change in Etta as she changes direction and pursues life head-on. She has not been the overly ambitious woman one would think to become business-minded. But... we are not in her shoes, nor do we know the true intent of her heart. Truly mourning? Has her head been turned by being a dreamer, herself? How many "fresh starts" will she begin?
--The Sea Beneath Us, 15
This is a very vivid accounting from life itself! I am drawn forward ~ so surprised by Etta's actions finally taken. Her sister Lou is the heroine of this story in my eyes, as she appears to be in the background but very much so the keeper of them all. It is true, the turn of our lives and how we choose to respond or react shape us ~ and reflect on those near. Florence will stand out too, with her siblings and their outcomes experienced differently. I loved her story. So beautiful.
Cathy Slusser is a thorough author with the reader arriving right beside her in her reflections. How interesting it would be to talk with her and discover current generational similarities. The love of reading and family highlighted, knit tightly together.
About the Book
Name of book: The Sea Beneath Us
Author: Cathy Slusser
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Etta just wants a home, a safe haven for her family; her daughter Florence wants to make a positive difference in the world. After suffering tragic loss, Etta walls off her heart. Florence opens hers to love again. Though they do not understand each other, both understand the struggle with cultural expectations of the day for women. They also grapple with personal insecurity and faith. Set in the early twentieth century, the stories of Etta and Florence intertwine as each seeks fulfillment. Follow them from Midwest America to the state of New York; from the Isle of Pines, a tropical spot off the coast of Cuba, to the heart of American power, Washington, DC.
Click here to purchase your copy!
About the Author
Cathy Slusser is a second generation Floridian who grew up in St. Petersburg, but spent holidays and vacations with her grandparents who lived in Manatee County. She moved to Terra Ceia Island in northwest Manatee County in 1979. Cathy fell in love with history upon reading Eugenia Price novels in Middle School. When she traveled to St. Simons Island, Georgia and saw the places those characters lived, she knew that the subject of history could be alive and exciting. Ever since that time, she has made it her goal to share that message with others.
She has a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Furman University and a Master’s Degree in History from the University of South Florida. She has worked for the Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court’s Office since 1984 and is Chief Historian. In this role, she supervises five historical sites, the Manatee Village Historical Park, the Manatee County Historical Records Library, and the Florida Maritime Museum, the Palmetto Historical Park, and the Manatee County Agricultural Museum. Cathy has two grown sons, Rob and Tim, a fabulous daughter-in-law, Miranda, and a daughter of the heart, Christina. She has been married to her husband, Glen, a third generation Floridian since 1981. She enjoys dog training, sewing and writing. Cathy is passionate about preserving Manatee County’s past and telling its stories to residents and visitors of all ages.
Professional historian, Cathy Slusser, brings history to life in her three novels about three early pioneer women in Manatee County, Florida; the history of Terra Ceia Island’s first settler family, the Atzeroths, published as a trilogy called From A Heavenly Land. Link
Guest Post from Cathy Slusser
When I finished the From A Heavenly Land trilogy, a lot of people asked me what was next. I had some ideas, but before I could put fingers to keyboard, I felt compelled to write this story. Maybe it was because every time I look into a mirror, I see my grandmother’s eyes looking back at me. I look very much like her, as does my mother, Emily Pace Bayless. I imagined Grandma saying, “You write about extraordinary women. What about me? When are you going to put my story on paper?”
I could have argued that she had already done an excellent job of that, having left us her handwritten autobiography in a spiral notebook. Once at a historical meeting, participants were asked to bring a memento that we treasured. I brought that notebook. In it, I learned about my grandmother’s tenacity, her creativity and her love of God.
Those characteristics were nothing new to me, having known my grandmother until her death at age 97 in 1992. Grandma was an intimate part of my life. During my childhood, she and Granddaddy travelled once a week to our house where they greeted my sister and me upon our return from school. She made many of the clothes my sister and I wore, including Nehru jackets and pants which were all the rage at the time. She did not like the “loud” colors, but made them anyway because she loved us. I still have a wrap around skirt that she made me in high school.
We spent many holidays and weekend trips with her and Granddaddy at their retirement home on Ware’s Creek in Bradenton and shared a love of books. I knew that I could read all weekend without being told to get up and do something productive. Reading was productive in her eyes. She often gave us books as gifts, but most of the time, we found potato chip crumbs inside, evidence that she read them before passing them along.
One of the stories that most characterizes my grandmother is her involvement with our local health department. She sewed baby layettes that included clothing, blankets and diapers and donated them to the health department for distribution to the poor. She embellished the pastel colored flannel outfits with embroidery saying, “Every baby, no matter what their circumstances should have a pretty, new outfit to come home from the hospital.”
A second story involves me. When I was in girl scouts, I started an embroidered sampler in order to earn my sewing badge. My grandmother taught me the stitches, but it was clear that I was not interested in the work, nor that I would finish it in time to earn my badge. While she finished it for me, she left one flower incomplete as a message that I had not done my part. It is signed FP and CB with both our initials.
My grandmother was a remarkable woman who made a strong impact on me and everyone who knew her. Just recently, I talked to someone who remembered Grandma and told me a story about her even though she has been dead 25 years.
The story she never told us and left out of her autobiography are the details about her relationship with her mother, Henrietta Emily. I sensed some conflict between the two women and wanted to know why. I don’t know for sure that my version of the story is accurate, but it is a good theory.
***Thank you to Celebrate Lit for inviting me to be part of the book tour for Cathy Slusser's The Sea Beneath Us. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
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To celebrate her tour, Cathy is giving away a grand prize
of a special quilt handmade by Cathy!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post
before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!