NC Literary Hall of Fame



Wretched Refuge by Joy E. Moses-Hall

$8.99, paperback / $2.99, e-book
ISBN: 978-1-499613773
November, 2014
Fiction: Women's / Dystopian
Available from

Have you ever wanted to be alone, to drop out of your day, to shout, “Leave me alone!” and disappear into the wilderness? Have you ever wanted to get away from the hurtful people around you for a while? Maybe even make a lifestyle of it? Can you imagine being so angry, so hurt by society, that you turn your back, and live in exile for 16 years, living off the land?

In Wretched Refuge, Cassie has been hurt just so. Grievously hurt. So she hides away, loses contact, fends for herself. She subsists by trapping and growing almost everything she needs, minimizing her contact with the outside world.

But she is at a turning point. Self-sufficiency is not easy. The days are long and exhausting. And deep down, she is lonely. Still angry, still hurt, but lonely. So what’s a woman to do? She makes overtures, reconnects with a chosen few, and lures them to her refuge beside the Tar River. She makes her own little society, with its own rules. Vindictive, perhaps, in that she lures away the husbands of the women who wronged her. But still a refuge. Of course, it cannot stay a sanctuary for long. In the end, one has to question both Cassie’s motives and her whole interpretation of the sixteen years of events, as she has taken on the world with Unabomber attitude and a Snow White touch.

Joy E. Moses-Hall lives in Greenville, North Carolina, with her husband and three daughters, nearby geographically but as far as possible from her character, Cassie Johnson, who exists in isolation, living off the land and eating 'possum, taking revenge on those who wronged her.

Joy grew up in upstate New York, attended the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, and has a Master's Degree in physical oceanography from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, where she met her husband, Rick, an expert trapper-turned-scientist. She earned a Ph.D in oceanography from the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware. She teaches physics, astronomy, and the earthly sciences at Pitt Community College in Winterville, North Carolina.

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