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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Nowhere Else I Want to Be: A Memoir by Carol D Marsh is an inspiring memoir that redefines the sense of humanity in a world where human values are quickly replaced by an egoistic culture. In this spellbinding memoir, the founder of Miriam’s House — a residence for Washington, DC’s homeless women with AIDS — shares her journey through the first ten years of her project. The reader is immediately transported into another side of Washington, a grim reality of suffering and pain that is ignored by those who hold the power to make the changes that could affect millions of lives. This is a story of one woman’s courage to step out of her world to confront the difficult reality of suffering and pain in others, a journey that is filled with powerful challenges.
Carol D Marsh takes the reader with her through this story, confronting racism at its deepest core, struggling to create spaces where homeless women can experience hospitality and reconnect with their humanity. Readers will meet people like Kimberly, a woman who suffers from alcohol addiction, and Alyssa who longs for a mother’s touch, having been abandoned by her own mother. It’s a story that shows readers how, in the midst of the worst form of suffering, there is a light shining; that in the prostitute, there is a child of purity, and that in the distant, intolerant person, there could be someone wounded, yearning for love.
Nowhere Else I Want to Be: A Memoir is a story of love and compassion, a memoir that brilliantly articulates values that our society needs to be a better place. I enjoyed how Marsh’s sense of humanity comes across in her narrative. I was stunned by her courage and her selfless spirit, reaching out to embrace the destitute in very difficult and trying circumstances, most often putting her own life in danger. This book - just like the work of Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche - will change the way we look at others, especially those less fortunate than us. It brought tears to my eyes and awoke deep sentiments of compassion and a love I haven’t felt before.