"A novel so compelling works a kind of magic, casting a spell. . . . She has distilled to a splendid coherence the complexities of history and the human heart." (The Washington Post)
"With fluid writing, nuanced characters, and a suspenseful pace, Humphreys blends historical romance with a meditation on the ambiguities of race and morality." (Time)
In the summer of 1864, sixteen-year-old Rhoda Strong lives in the Lumbee Indian settlement of Robeson County, North Carolina, which has become a pawn in the bloody struggle between the Union and Confederate armies. The community is besieged by the marauding Union Army as well as the desperate Home Guard who are hell-bent on conscripting the young men into deadly forced labor. Daughter of a Scotsman and his formidable Lumbee wife, Rhoda is fiercely loyal to her family and desperately fears for their safety, but her love for the outlaw hero Henry Berry Lowrie forces her to cast her lot with danger. Her struggle becomes part of the community's in a powerful story of love and survival. Nowhere Else on Earth is a moving saga that magnificently captures a little-known piece of American history.
Author Biography: Josephine Humphreys is the recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. She is the author of Dreams of Sleep (winner of the 1985 Ernest Hemingway Award for first fiction), Rich in Love (made into a major motion picture), and The Fireman's Fair.
Based loosely on actual events, this sprawling and ambitious novel by the author of Rich in Love takes us into the South during the last days of the Civil War. As fighting elsewhere throughout the country winds down, tensions in Robeson County on North Carolina's Lumbee River have reached fever pitch. In this hybrid community, Scots and Lumbee Indians have lived side by side for generations, making their living farming or working in the local turpentine distilleries. But with Union invasion imminent, ancient resentments have resurfaced, and the county finds itself ravaged by a miniature civil war of its own. At the center of Humphreys' story is sixteen-year-old Rhoda Strong, on the brink of womanhood and desperate to find love and normalcy. Told from Rhoda's point of view as she looks back thirty years later, the story unfolds in a series of vivid episodes. This is a rich and compelling portrait of the ways war can infiltrate the most intimate parts of our lives.