Alanna Nash
April 13, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Without a Map

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Meredith Hall
publisher
Beacon Press
genre
Nonfiction, Memoir

We gave it a B

In 1965, at 16, Meredith Hall became pregnant after one forbidden night on the beach with a transient college boy. Shunned by her family and hollowed out by giving up her child, she wandered aimlessly in Europe and Asia, searching for a perfect disconnect (”Recklessness has become a drug, and I am walking stoned”). In her most memorable chapter — juxtaposing the killing of her favorite chickens with informing her children of their parents’ divorce — Hall emerges as a brave writer of tumultuous beauty. But Without a Map, her memoir, which began as individual essays, often lacks connective tissue to flesh out how she journeyed from one chapter of her life to another.

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