An intimately reported account of an economically depressed and overwhelmingly white town in Maine that was both thrown into upheaval and revitalized by Islamic immigrants-and a larger story of immigration and belonging in America.
Over the past 15 years, the town of Lewiston, Maine-once a booming mill town that had fallen on harder times– has improbably become one of the most Islamic towns in America. Some 6000 Somali immigrants have settled there, drastically changing the makeup of a town of 36,000 people in total. Lewiston now has the third highest per capita Muslim population of any U.S. city
Cynthia Anderson tells the story of this fractious yet resilient town and how it is thriving in a new era. With empathy and honesty, she delivers a dramatic portrait of a community grappling with change, while humanizing one of the most defining political issues in America today. Her reporting takes the reader deep into the lives of both immigrants and lifelong Mainers to tell the story of America’s relationship to Islam, and deliver an honest refutation of the idea that we’d be better off without change.