Brought up in a mixed-race community - part Scots, part Native American - in the forests of North Carolina in the mid-nineteenth century, Rhoda is the first of her family to be able to read and her parents have plans for her. But the coming of the Civil War brings labour conscription for her brothers, who become outlaws, unwilling to fight for the Confederacy; and when Rhoda falls in love with the outlaw leader Henry, her mother fears the relationship can only lead to disaster. Beautifully written and stunningly observed, "Nowhere Else on Earth" takes the reader into the backwaters of the American South and the chaos and anarchy of civil war, in the heart-breaking story of one of the most appealing heroines of recent fiction.
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(198mm x 129mm x 20mm)
Arrow Books Ltd
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
'When there's no food and no law, war don't stay where it's meant to stay, but spreads wider and meaner out to the fringes.' The speaker is Cee, an American Indian woman describing the violence and misery caused by the American Civil War. The time is 1860 and Cee is bewailing the fate of the Indian citizens of Scuffletown, North Carolina, whose peaceful lives have been devastated by both marauding armies and local press gangs forcing young men to do dangerous work in the salt mines. In rebellion the local boys take to the woods and become outlaws. Rhoda, Cee's daughter and the narrator of this powerful tale, has learnt to read and write and is thus the pride and joy of her family. When she falls in love with Henry Lowrie, charismatic leader of the outlaws, her mother fears that her life is ruined. Josephine Humphries was acclaimed for her first two novels The Fireman's Fair and Rich in Love. She fulfills her promise in this piercingly moving book, which is horrifying and lyrical in equal measure. When Humphries describes a public hanging, first love or a frozen pond, the event is deeply etched on the reader's mind. The strength of the author's conviction is such that while we are reading her vivid prose, we are right there in the court room where the outlaws are tried, or hiding in the woods as the soldiers search the undergrowth, or giving birth to a first child with a drunken, incapable old doctor in attendance; and as sure as Rhoda is that 'what happened here could happen nowhere else on earth'. And yet there is a universality to the author's theme. As we follow her through the personal tragedies of civil war we know that what she is telling us could very well be happening in the Balkans, in the Middle East or in any place where communities are divided among themselves. A beautifully written book that reveals the particular misery of civil war and the infinite capacity of the human spirit to survive it. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Josephine Humphreys
Josephine Humphreys lives in Charleston, North Carolina. She is the author of three previous novels.