Nowhere Else on Earth by Josephine Humphreys
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have been reading Josephine Humphreys since her first novel came out, too many years ago to think about, and remember hearing her speak about her fascination with this tale. So I know that she worked for years on the research and other matter necessary to create this book, and the result is a fine, thoughtful novel that shows her to be at the top of her form. Since I grew up in eastern North Carolina I knew something of the Lumbee people and their struggle to find an identity; but her depiction of the love of Rhoda Strong for Henry Lowrie, her husband, gave such force to the novel. This is a tale that needed telling, a people coming together to resist a war they wanted nothing to do with. Too little is said about southerners who wanted nothing to do with secession, especially if it entailed the fighting of armies, but they got no choice in the matter. Too little is said about people like the Lumbee, who were collateral damage in the whole bitter mess. This story is at the intersection of slavery, war, native peoples, and poor people scraping by on the land, and the couple at the heart of the story embodies the kind of courage and tragedy that overtook so many in that time. It is a brave leap from her earlier work to this complex project, and solidified Humphreys as one of the great voices of our generation of writers.
City of Night by John RechyMy rating: 4 of 5 stars When I picked this book to write about this morning, I noticed that a lot of my friends have written about it, which is natural, since this is an … Continue reading →