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Nowhere is a Place | [Bernice McFadden]

Nowhere is a Place

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 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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. McFadden lives in Brooklyn, New York.

©2013 Bernie McFadden (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (181 )
5 star
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3.6 (160 )
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4.0 (156 )
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Brenda AURORA, CO, United States 01-19-14
    Brenda AURORA, CO, United States 01-19-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Richly textured and captivating"
    If you could sum up Nowhere is a Place in three words, what would they be?

    Moving, lyrical, and heartbreaking


    What other book might you compare Nowhere is a Place to and why?

    None


    What does Robin Miles bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her compelling portrayals of a variety of African American characters across historical and geographical contexts. She outdid herself.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Many moments moved me. I'd rather not spoil them for a prospective listener.


    Any additional comments?

    Bernice McFadden's writing is brilliant and sensual. She makes it easy to imagine the scenarios she creates.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susie Santa Cruz, CA, United States 01-15-14
    Susie Santa Cruz, CA, United States 01-15-14 Member Since 2012

    I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South."

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Mother and Daughter Tear. It. Up."

    Bernice L. McFadden is a powerhouse of contemporary African American literature. She weaves together the personal and historical in a way that makes her stories matter deeply to the listener.

    McFadden writes confident, lyrical fiction exploring family dynamics, and the past. History and family history--one and the same; slavery, escape, Native Americans, Africans and European slave owners-- their fates bound and futures woven together by DNA.

    On a road trip from Las Vegas to Georgia, the tensions and skeletons in the closet of a mother and daughter bubble. Sherry presses her mother, Dumpling, for family stories. What unfolds is a family history rife with tragedy and courage. Sherry comes to understand the dynamics of her family, and finds the inspiration to reveal her own deep secrets.

    Robin Miles gives a stunning narration, bringing sympathy to both mother and daughter in.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Panthera 10-02-13
    Panthera 10-02-13

    Dogs believe they are human. Cats believe they are God.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WOW! Really enjoyed this one!"
    Any additional comments?

    Wish I could give 10 stars for this book! The story and the performance are top notch.
    This is one I will listen to again.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catrina Irving, TX 08-03-13
    Catrina Irving, TX 08-03-13 Listener Since 2008

    Catrina

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved this book! Awesome writer and narrator!"
    Where does Nowhere is a Place rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book is definitely in my top 10. I loved the imagery and the complexity of the characters. Even the antagonists had depth.


    What other book might you compare Nowhere is a Place to and why?

    I would compare this book to Cane River, another favorite, because of the use of imagery in both is so wonderful that the reader can imagine themselves there.


    What does Robin Miles bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Robin Miles is an expert at reading. You can see the expressions on the character's face just by emphasis Robin puts on certain words through her expert use of inflections and tones.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Although I didn't cry, I was deeply moved.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a wonderful book that deals with the complexity of relationships, especially between mother and daughter. I highly recommend this book! Definitely worth the credit!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gloria 01-27-14
    Gloria 01-27-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Enthralled!"

    Stayed up late to listen to the end. Spent the hours learning to love this family. I cried with them, laughed with then. The author came as close as I've ever come to understand the strenth of family and the strengh of character it takes to overcome fractures and become whole.

    I will look for other writings by Ms McFaddon and I would be willing to listen to Robin Miles anytime!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ann coleman LEWISVILLE, TX, US 09-08-13
    ann coleman LEWISVILLE, TX, US 09-08-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Family secrets"

    I really enjoyed this one!!! Dumpling was my favorite character!! I love how the story take you back in the past of their family history till now!!

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah jacksonville, FL, United States 02-04-14
    Sarah jacksonville, FL, United States 02-04-14
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    "This is a new favorite!"
    Where does Nowhere is a Place rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is only my second book...but it is definitely a new favorite.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Nowhere is a Place?

    Without going into detail, as I would not want to ruin it for others...one of the most memorable moments, and there were many, was the interaction between Lou and her boy. I was taken aback by it!


    What does Robin Miles bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The emotion of the characters. conveyed through the subtle unspoken words and pauses. And the accents when words were spoken. She made me feel like I was being spoken to directly...like I was a part of the journey.


    If you could rename Nowhere is a Place, what would you call it?

    I just wouldn't...to change the title would detract from the essence of the book. The title is amazingly perfect!


    Any additional comments?

    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book and so much so that I have encouraged my daughters to take a listen. I will listen to it again...definitely!! Bernice McFadden is a fantastic writer and will be added to my collection of favorite authors.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vicki Montpelier, VA, United States 06-19-14
    Vicki Montpelier, VA, United States 06-19-14 Member Since 2008
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    "It's been done."
    Would you try another book from Bernice McFadden and/or Robin Miles?

    I wouldn't read another book by this author but I'd listen to Robin Miles anytime.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Bernice McFadden again?

    No.


    What about Robin Miles’s performance did you like?

    Robin Miles is a true professional. She did a great job. I only got through this book because of her narration.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    A lot of rolling eyes. This story has been done over and over. Everything about it was cliche. Why does every older black woman have to be overweight and sound like she didn't make it past 5th grade? The daughter is a weak character who is almost middle aged and still can't hold her own life together. She cleans rooms in a motel in Mexico. Where did she get the money to rent or buy and SUV? Why is she so hung up and hateful to her mother over one slap she received as a child? I got slapped my my mother when I deserved it. I learned, got over it and moved on. Why does the author need a trip back through generations to slavery to deal with being slapped as a child? The whole story is a collection of one cliche after another. There are no truly unique characters. We've seen all of these characters before and read all of the stories before.
    If you like stories of slavery and the South, read The Kitchen House. It's much better.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dayle Hoover, Al, United States 05-01-14
    Dayle Hoover, Al, United States 05-01-14 Member Since 2007
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    "like an abstract prose"
    What disappointed you about Nowhere is a Place?

    like an abstract prose


    What was most disappointing about Bernice McFadden’s story?

    The summary seemed like the perfect story to listen too....BUT, You have to be in the mood for the 'flight of ideas'/disjointed way the story unfolds. I personally feel author is 'over reaching' to be artistic...to point of loosing reader/listener altogether. I listened for about an hour and felt ungrounded and lost in story line. I suppose it is just dependent on the type of story telling that appeals to you. This did not appeal to me at all.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 04-26-14
    Debbie Toney, Alabama 04-26-14 Member Since 2009

    Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Oh, What We Do Just to Draw Breath"

    I have always loved historical fiction, especially that of the south. Being a southerner, I'm saddened about much of what happened in our history, while even like those in this story, still love so many things about it. Truth is a harsh task master, and while some listeners complain about the obvious incest and sexual abuse in the book, one must admit and face that, it happened. And the balm for healing is the facing up to the past, the taking in of the truth and moving on toward happiness. This book is more than a past tale of slavery, it's a story of strength DURING those times, of incredible LOVE, and horrific decisions that had to be made for survival, and the CHOICE to continue to LOVE after it was all said and done. It's also the story of a modern day mother and daughter, who have never seen eye to eye, but in the telling of the past are able to find themselves and each other. Narration is perfect. Writing is great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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