A young woman chafing at the confines of marriage confronts the high cost of craving freedom and adventureAt twenty-five, as her wedding date approached, Laura Smith began to feel trapped. Not by her fiance, who shared her appetite for adventure, but by the unsettling idea that it was hard to be at once married and free.Laura wanted her life to be different. She wanted her marriage to be different. And she found in the strangely captivating story of another restless young woman determined to live without constraints both an enticement and a challenge. Barbara Newhall Follett was a free-spirited trailblazer who published her first novel at 11, enlisted as a deck hand on a boat bound for the south China seas at 15 and was one of the first women to hike the Appalachian trail. Then in December 1939, when she was not much older than Laura, she walked out of her apartment on a quiet tree-lined street in Brookline, leaving behind a fraying marriage, and vanished without a trace. Obsessed by her story, Laura set off to find out what had happened.The Art of Vanishing is a riveting mystery and a piercing exploration of marriage and convention that asks deep and uncomfortable questions: Why do we give up on our childhood dreams? Is marriage a golden noose? Must we find ourselves in the same row houses with Pottery Barn lamps telling our kids to behave? Searingly honest and written with a raw intensity, it will challenge you to rethink your most intimate decisions and may just upend your life....
|Title||:||The Art of Vanishing: A Memoir of Wanderlust|
|Number of Pages||:||272 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Download » The Art of Vanishing: A Memoir of Wanderlust|
The Art of Vanishing: A Memoir of Wanderlust Reviews
I LOVED where this book was going for the first half. Barbara Follett's life is fascinating. But, this is a memoir, not a biography. And so, it must reflect back to Laura Smith. The problem is that Follett is much more interesting than Smith. It was a real page-turner, but I found myself skimming Laura Smith's memoir parts to get back to the Follett mystery, and found the ending (understandably) unsatisfying. (view spoiler)[ Even if the Follett mystery were definitively solved, I felt like the l ...more
This is a story of a young woman who searches for a former child prodigy who disappears in the late 1930's without a trace. Barbara Follett was a published writer by age 9 and went on numerous adventures on both land and sea. She was an Amelia Earhart type of modern woman who did not wish to be confined to a woman's role of wife and mother. Yet, she met a man she ended up marrying only to be shattered when he decided to leave their marriage.
The author, investigating for her post-graduate work, ...more
3.5 stars-- Giving this book a rating took me 24 hours after finishing it to do.
Laura Smith is restless. She is young and married, yet feels trapped. While she is grappling with this, she works on researching Barbara Follett who disappeared at a young age. As she tells the story of Follett, Laura tells her story. One that is full of adventure in travels, work, and even her marriage.
While I enjoyed both aspects of the story, I just did not feel that they gelled together too much. Though there w ...more
This memoir reminded me a bit of "Spinster" by Kate Bolick. It is a story of intertwining lives where the researcher's life starts to reflect, or perhaps always reflected, that of the person being researched. "The Art of Vanishing" is about learning to listen to yourself, but to also understand that you may not always be telling yourself the right things. It is definitely not a book that has neat tied-up endings and a classic Bildungsroman narrative ark, however, it does proffer honest and heart ...more
While I lost the thread slightly in the middle of the book, overall this was an enjoyable and interesting read. I’ve never heard of Barbara Follett before, and her story and subsequent disappearance make for an interesting, true mystery. And the author’s hunt for more info makes for a pretty engaging second story.
Some of the details from her personal didn’t quite resonate with me, but as someone who isn’t all that interested in conforming to the “standard” expectations of what adult life looks ...more
This cover and title appealed to me when I was putting new releases out so I read the blurb and I felt great hope that this was going to be a book that I would relate to. The reviews/rating vary wildly and now that I've read it, I understand why. Either, you feel this way, you 'get' the restlessness, the longing for something more, the feeling of suffocating from the typical American life or you don't. I get it. I can relate to her feelings of growing up and seeing society having one day after a ...more
not as great as the description made it sound.
This book was an odd combination of biography and memoir, and I'm not sure the two halves meshed well. The biography was interesting enough, but the author's memoir didn't hold my interest.