“Home is not a word I understand anymore, not a place on any map.” – Alexis Page, Not a Place on Any Map
This beautiful book is a short read, and it is written as I imagine our own memories are stored. Short bursts of action, of feeling, of movement from southwest to west to midwest to northeast and abroad. We hear about childhood, relationships, sexual assault, drug addiction, prison time, recovery, and the struggle to accept happiness and home once it is found.
The writing feels so vivid while at the same time leaving out details. In some moments I wished for more so that I could be more connected to the story, to the trauma, but as I mentioned previously these read as memory. It is not surprising that the most traumatic elements are left in darkness. Memories protect us that way. They can’t block everything, but they do the best they can.
This book does leave me wanting more, but it is so important to remember that it is not the burden of the assault victim, of the prisoner, of the former addict to explain to the world how things are and how things might be changed. I deeply respect this writing because it speaks her experience without performing her life with full set, costume, and makeup in this age of social performance.
Not a Place on Any Map demands that its reader listen carefully. It demands that you ask questions. It demands that you investigate further. Alexis Page shows us her experience, and in the process lays the foundation for discussions surrounding some of our nation’s deepest problems. It shows us how easy it is to get lost, and in getting lost how difficult it is to find and trust home again.
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