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Nowhere Else on Earth


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ISBN 10: 0670891762 / ISBN 13: 9780670891764
Published by Viking Pr, New York, New York, U.S.A., 2000
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From M A Books (Grenada, MS, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Nowhere Else on Earth

Publisher: Viking Pr, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: 1st Edition

Book Type: Book

About this title


The much-anticipated work from "a dazzling stylist" (The New York Times Book Review)--a compelling and richly textured story of a war-torn community and its forgotten history, steeped in the rich atmosphere of the South

In the summer of 1864, the citizens of Robeson County on the banks of the Lumbee River in North Carolina have become pawns in the devastation created by the Civil War. The Indian community, loosely known as Scuffletown, lives in fear of the marauding Union Army but is also hectored by the desperate Home Guard, hell-bent on conscripting the youth into deadly forced labor in the forts and salt works of the Confederacy.

These are the circumstances under which we meet sixteen-year-old Rhoda Strong, the daughter of a sweetly morose Scotsman and his formidable Lumbee wife. Rhoda is fiercely loyal to her family but is also fiercely in love with young Henry Berry Lowrie, who, although being hunted as an outlaw, is cut of heroic cloth and is, finally, a man whose moral fiber dictates his every move.

Josephine Humphreys has grounded her wholly engrossing tale in meticulous research and has distilled from it a saga of duplicity and honor, of bloody justice and unsung glory.


Although not a single cannon is fired in Josephine Humphreys's quietly ambitious Nowhere Else on Earth, the lives of the inhabitants of Scuffletown, a poor Indian settlement on the Lumbee River in North Carolina, are in every way affected by the Civil War. The demand for turpentine, their principal industry, has dwindled to nothing. When they are not fending off or involuntarily "supplying" Union soldiers and marauding gangs, they are hiding their sons from the macks, their hostile Confederate neighbors (pink-faced Scottish farmers with names like McTeer and McLean), who are rounding up Scuffletown boys for forced labor in forts and salt works, from which few have returned.

Sixteen-year-old Rhoda Strong has seen both her brothers disappear into the woods to join this gang, headed by the handsome, charismatic Henry Berry Lowrie, the hope of Scuffletown--who keeps the young men alive through a series of crimes that inevitably escalate to match the cruelties of the macks. To her mother's distress, and to her own, Rhoda finds herself falling in love with Henry Lowrie, so obviously a marked man. When he notices her, and returns her love, she too becomes marked, dubbed the Queen of Scuffletown by her enemies and drawn into a larger history of suffering and revenge.

Writing from the vantage point of middle age, Rhoda resurrects the past, "hot as coals," in an obsessive act of remembrance, having studied and pondered her story for over 20 years.

One dog tooth is gone, and my monthly flow has dwindled to a spatter. I'm not as full as I used to be, my wrists are skinny, my knuckles are knobs. I'm starting to wear thin. This is the price of the years of thinking, the casting and recording of events and the frantic pen scratching past midnight, the hoarding of paper, the loneliness, the pages accumulating while I myself shrink down.
Rhoda's richly detailed and beautifully sustained fourth novel will recall, in the best ways, Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain (also set in North Carolina, the most "Union" of the Confederate states), although Humphreys has given her heroine a fresh, strong voice, and in turn given a voice to Scuffletown. --Regina Marler

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