Nowhere Is a Place is a powerful portrait of family secrets, damage, and healing, probing deep below the surface of an African American family’s history to mend present day relationships . . . Ms. McFadden has a beautiful writing style that is simultaneously lyrical and transparent. In parts of the narrative, time seems to stand still as she describes an event in riveting minute to minute detail. Other times she employs a kind of poetic shorthand that condenses long periods of time, years even, into a few sentences.” --New York Journal of Books
"An engrossing multigenerational saga . . . With her deep engagement in the material and her brisk but lyrical prose, McFadden creates a poignant epic of resiliency, bringing Sherry to a well-earned awareness of her place atop the shoulders of her ancestors, those who survived so that she might one day, too." --Publishers Weekly
"Telling her story from two perspectives and on two levels--the mother-daughter relationship and Sherry's fictional account--McFadden brings added texture to this story of reconciliation." --Booklist
A poignant tale of self-discovery in the face of a complicated family history.” --Brooklyn Daily Eagle
"Bernice L. McFadden’s Nowhere Is a Place is a hauntingly-disturbing and redemptive frame story of many generations of a Yamasee Native-American and African-American family from pre-slavery times until July 1995." --Bowling Green Daily News
"With a good dose of poignancy about life and finding the wisdom of the world for ourselves, Nowhere is a Place is a fine addition to modern literary fiction collections." --The Midwest Book Review
"Compelling, beautifully written, and profoundly human, McFadden has conjured a tale of a fractured family who journey across the country and back through history to unearth painful truths that unexpectedly reshape their relationships with each other." --Lynn Nottage, playwright, author of Intimate Apparel
Nothing can mend a broken heart quite like family. Sherry has struggled all her life to understand who she is, where she comes from, and, most important, why her mother slapped her cheek one summer afternoon. The incident has haunted Sherry, and it causes her to dig into her family's past. Like many family histories, it is fractured and stubbornly reluctant to reveal its secrets; but Sherry is determined to know the full story. In just a few days' time, her extended family will gather for a reunion, and Sherry sets off across the country with her mother, Dumpling, to join them. What Sherry and Dumpling find on their trip is far more important than scenic sites here and there--it is the assorted pieces of their family's past. Pulled together, they reveal a history of amazing survival and abundant joy.
Bernice L. McFadden is the author of eight critically acclaimed novels including the classic Sugar, Gathering of Waters (a New York Times Editors' Choice), and Glorious, which was featured in O, The Oprah Magazine and was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award. She is a two-time Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist, as well as the recipient of two fiction honor awards from the BCALA. Her sophomore novel, The Warmest December, was praised by Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison as "searing and expertly imagined." McFadden lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Bernice L. McFadden
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Nowhere Is A Place by Bernice L. McFadden is about the interesting yet tragic family tree of Clemantine "Dumpling" Jackson (Lessing). Dumpling and her middle daughter Sherry have always been distant. Dumpling is surprised when Sherry wants to drive with her back to Sanderville, GA for their family reunion. But Sherry has an ulterior motive for driving to Georgia from the West Coast. She wants to know about her family tree and why Dumpling slapped her on that long ago afternoon. On the way to the reunion, Dumpling not only shares the family history with Sherry but she finally lets go of her painful past. This past family history will bring these two women closer than they ever imagined.
Nowhere Is A Place is a heart-wrenching, emotional journey by Bernice McFadden. McFadden eloquently created an engaging novel that incorporated some interesting historical elements. What I liked about this novel is the way the story of the Lessing Family was told. Bernice McFadden...
Incest, history and self discovery are all addressed in this well written and quite entertaining novel. Our heroine, Sherry, is a well educated young woman who has been in several relationships which have left her scarred. Her relationship with her mother is not very good either. when she finds herself about to become a mother, she decides to make one last effort to reach out to her own mother, and to get an understanding of the reason her mother had slapped her across the face when she was only five years old. Apparently that inccident had haunted her all her life because her mother had never explained why she had been slapped. Mother and daughter travel together by road from Nevada to a family reunion in Georgia. The journey lasts several days during which time they both revisit their family history, and Sherry finally finds answers to her questions, and a deeper understanding of her mother. The story within a story is not an easy format for a novel but McFadden handles it...
In No Where is a Place, Bernice McFadden has once again taken her readers on an enlightening journey that touches the heart and soul. I love the way she incorporates history into her contemporary fiction. If you are going to take the time to read, you may as well learn something and McFadden proves that she is more than a fiction writer. She's a teacher. Great writing.
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