Sunday, 7 February 2021

Nowhere Is a Place

Finished February 2 
Nowhere Is a Place by Bernice L. McFadden


This is a book about a journey. There is a journey in a physical sense as the two main characters, Sherry and her mother Dumpling drive from her mother's home to a family reunion several states away. There is a journey into the past as Dumpling tells the story of their family and Sherry enlarges on that story, bringing it to life with new details and depth. And there is a journey of the relationship between these two women, who hadn't been close in a long time, perhaps not since Sherry was a young child, and how the story of the past laid bare the incident that came between them and gave new closeness to them, even more than Dumpling has with her other children.
This story goes back into the 19th century, with Dumpling's great grandmother, a young indigenous girl abducted from her home, separated from her siblings, and sold into slavery. We see how she gradually came to terms with her new reality, and started a family, with many losses along the way. And we follow one of her daughter's who becomes Dumpling's grandmother and starts again after the Civil War, and how her family also has loss and trouble. And then we see how Dumpling also has had to deal with issues outside of her control. And Sherry is the one bringing all these stories to life, as she also drives her mother across the country and along the way visits with a variety of people from her own past, people that helped make her the woman she is today. 
This is a book about telling our stories, even the difficult ones. And how doing that allows us to move forward into happiness and a more hopeful future. 

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