Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
Nowhere Else I Want to Be: A Memoir by Carol D. Marsh is a memoir primarily about Carol’s experiences and years working at Miriam’s Home, a shelter for homeless women with AIDS. Nowhere Else I Want to Be talks a bit about Carol’s own family and upbringing, but the story really revolves around the women that lived in the shelter that Carol ran for 14 years. Carol decided to open this shelter as a way to help homeless women in Washington DC, women that didn’t have anywhere else to go. Most of the women, in addition to battling AIDS, had histories of abuse, alcoholism, and drug abuse among other things. Carol presents the case histories of these women as we learn about their backgrounds, their poverty, and their living conditions before they moved in here.
Nowhere Else I Want to Be: A Memoir by Carol D. Marsh is an inspiring read and Carol does an excellent job of presenting the women’s stories as genuinely and honestly as possible, along with the good, bad, and ugly. Most of the women who come to her are African American, and Carol also addresses the larger issues of inherited prejudice, judgement, and racism that still pervade American society today. The writing is crisp, clear, and simple, almost like someone has written a diary. The stories were sadder because, like a lot of homeless women coming from an abusive background, some of the women had developed AIDS from being forced into prostitution at a young age. Overall, this is an eye-opening read for anyone and I would certainly recommend it.