Once again, Bernice L. McFadden, invites you in, gets you comfortable, and keeps you intrigued to the very last page, and even then, like a sweet, succulent piece of Georgia peace cobbler, refused to let you go until you have enjoyed every last tasty morsel. That is the story of Nowhere is a Place. http://www.bernicemcfadden.com/books.html
This is one of the most intriguing dual books I've ever read, the journey, much like that of Sherry and Dumpling, taking me whereever the road led, time non-existent, and the destination merely a moment, the steps and stops along the way were the real experience.
Tracing, confronting, and accepting one's family heritage is a process, especially for a lot of black Americans who can only trace their family line back three or at most four generations post slavery. The Lessing family is different in that there was a beginning and three generations before the beginning even changed the course of the story, with an Indian girl, immersed in her tribe, living and co-existing on the land until the white men with guns came and changed the trajectory of not only her story, but the paragraphs of all the family that would follow.
There were times when I felt like I was in the SUV with Sherry and Dumpling, gaining understanding of the mother-daughter dynamic, envisioning what it would be like when my own daughters grow up and perhaps take me on a cross country journey. I imagine, like these two, that there would be some testing and trying to understand who they were as women that shared blood and lines. It was on this journey, the book I thought I was reading, that McFadden revealed to me the true story that she wanted me to know, the story of a family but also of a people who endured the impossible to gleam hope, acceptance, and love.
McFadden is a brilliant writer, a true griot in the truest African form. She understands the place of time without time and that those who have left this space are still in our existence, influencing, guiding, and encouraging us to keep on the journey. She also helps us to understand that there are some things that are so universal, regardless of day, month, year, decade, or century, love is love, lust is lust, pain is pain, and forgiveness can wash away a multitude of sin.
Kin, clan, relations all have important meaning to me. Like Lou, like Suce, like Lovey and Dumpling, I lost my mother at a young age. A motherless girl is always searching for herself. I found myself yearning for them to find that comfort and peace and fill the space of their heart. I think it was the mother and the daughter that kept me hopeful and satisfied that one can fulfill the other in a way that only women can heal women.
This was an excellent story that flowed from one place I expected to go and held my hand, carried me down a road to where truth would smile down on a clear day and accept me as one of her own.
Bernice L. McFadden, "I write to breathe life back into memory." Truly, this was the case with this book. Very well done.
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