Without A Map

Without A Map

A Memoir

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
2
Rate this:
Random House, Inc.
Meredith Hall's moving but unsentimental memoir begins in 1965, when she becomes pregnant at sixteen. Shunned by her insular New Hampshire community, she is then kicked out of the house by her mother. Her father and stepmother reluctantly take her in, hiding her before they finally banish her altogether. After giving her baby up for adoption, Hall wanders recklessly through the Middle East, where she survives by selling her possessions and finally her blood. She returns to New England and stitches together a life that encircles her silenced and invisible grief. When he is twenty-one, her lost son finds her. Hall learns that he grew up in gritty poverty with an abusive father—in her own father's hometown. Their reunion is tender, turbulent, and ultimately redemptive. Hall's parents never ask for her forgiveness, yet as they age, she offers them her love. What sets Without a Map apart is the way in which loss and betrayal evolve into compassion, and compassion into wisdom.

Houghton
Meredith Hall’s moving but unsentimental memoir begins in 1965, when she becomes pregnant at sixteen. Shunned by her insular New Hampshire community, she is then kicked out of the house by her mother. Her father and stepmother reluctantly take her in, hiding her before they finally banish her altogether. After giving her baby up for adoption, Hall wanders recklessly through the Middle East, where she survives by selling her possessions and finally her blood. She returns to New England and stitches together a life that encircles her silenced and invisible grief. When he is twenty-one, her lost son finds her. Hall learns that he grew up in gritty poverty with an abusive father—in her own father’s hometown. Their reunion is tender, turbulent, and ultimately redemptive. Hall’s parents never ask for her forgiveness, yet as they age, she offers them her love. What sets Without a Map apart is the way in which loss and betrayal evolve into compassion, and compassion into wisdom.

"Meredith Hall boldly charts one of the bravest of stories, the journey from disrupted youth up through that most tricky and forbidding territory, the family circle. Bone-honest and strong in its every line, this work of memory is a remarkably deep retrieval of its times and souls, thereby reflecting our own." —Ivan Doig, author of Heart Earth

“This is an unusually elegant memoir that feels as though its been carved straight out of Meredith Hall’s capacious heart. The story is riveting, the words perfect. It is rare to read a work that manages to be at once artful and compelling, which for me best describes Meredith Hall’s debut work. She is an author who deserves to be widely read. Few people write like this. Fewer still have the courage to live like this – without the comfort of any cliché.” —Lauren Slater, author of Opening Skinner's Box, Prozac Diary, and Welcome to My Country

“Meredith Hall’s long journey from an inexcusably betrayed girlhood to the bittersweet mercies of womanhood is a triple triumph—of survival; of narration; and of forgiveness. Her portrait of her own empty bravado collapsing into total psychological and geographical dislocation is one of the most harrowing passages I’ve ever read. The subsequent turn toward memory and honesty is agonized, profound, and salvific. Without a Map is a masterpiece.” —David James Duncan, author of The Brothers K and God Laughs and Plays

“Meredith Hall is like a geiger counter ticking along the radium edge of these recent decades. She gives us self as expert-witness—Without a Map is smart, sharp, and redemptively honest. ” —Sven Birkerts, author of The Gutenberg Elegies and My Sky Blue Trades

“Meredith Hall’s story of loss, shame, and betrayal is also a story of joy, reconnection, and survival; each memory takes us deep to the marrow of sorrow and celebration. A work of extraordinary beauty and grace.” —Kim Barnes, author of In the Wilderness: Coming of Age in Unknown Country

"Without A Map tells an important and perceptive story about loss, about aloneness and isolation in a time of great need, about a life slowly coming back into focus and the calm that finally emerges. Meredith Hall is a brave new writer who earns our attention." —Annie Dillard, author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

“Think for a moment of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, of banishment, reconciliation, redemption, and you’ll get the scope of Without a Map, the new memoir by Meredith Hall . . . An extraordinary tale, made all the more moving by Hall’s unsentimental prose and ample heart.” —gettrio.com

“a compelling, painful, hopeful story.” —more.com

"Meredith Hall's magnificent book held me in its thrall from the moment I began reading the opening pages. WITHOUT A MAP is a fluid, beautifully-written, hard-won piece of work that belongs on the shelf next to the best modern memoirs, and yet is in a category all its own. It is a moving example of a difficult life redeemed first through examination, then reeflection, then finally—like a rough stone polished until it gleams—into a genuine work of art." —Dani Shapiro, author of Family History

“Hall, a brave and graceful writer who teaches at UNH, examines her life with wide open eyes and an equally open heart. Even as she wrestles with the grief of many losses—her child, her parents’ love and respect, her standing in her community, her identity—she demonstrates the writer’s gift of separating from her own experiences, establishing an objectivity that allows her to make meaning for herself and readers.” —Rebecca Rule, Nashua Telegraph

“Open adoptions and connections between birth mothers and their children were not the way of life for a young girl who got pregnant in the '60s. Meredith Hall, in her beautifully written, poignant memoir, tells us what life was like for a naive girl who found herself pregnant and abandoned by her mother and father. This is a tale of loss, of endless traveling in search of an intangible something, and, uuuuultimately, of forgiveness.” —Gayle Shanks, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ

“Hall’s sensitive, honest account of her personal odyssey shows one remarkable woman transcending this trauma to become a better, stronger person.” —Wendy Smith, AARP The Magazine

“Hall's life, as depicted in this memoir, was nothing if not two things—difficult and fascinating. With no family, friends or other support system, she took her life into her own hands at an early, tender age, and she fell quite far before finally rising up. The reader gets the benefit of her trials, a gritty view of the world from America to Europe to the Middle East.” —INtake Weekly

“Without a Map tells a stunning story of exile and ostracization. Meredith grew up on the seacoast of New Hampshire and became pregnant at age 16, in 1965. Her memoir is a rare and clear glimpse into the social mores of the mid 60's, and reveals the state of shame many families faced when an unmarried daughter became pregnant.” —Liz Bulkley, Host of “The Front Porch,” NH Public Radio

“Appalling and infuriating, yet uplifting and inspiring, Without A Map pulls you into Hall’s personal experience of sudden rejection and expulsion from her only sources of sustenance and connection. As an adoptive parent I cried and cheered for her through her exile and return to a very different home. Meredith Hall is a hero of awesome courage and eloquence.” —Frank Kramer, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA

“[Without a Map] is a searing memoir about loss, betrayal, love and, in some measure, reconciliation. It has already brought Hall a celebrity that surprises her: stories in People, Oprah and Elle, an interview on National Public Radio, brisk sales in a crowded marketplace. It is on the extended New York Times bestseller list. What is arresting about this memoir is the world it reveals.” —Mike Pride, Concord Monitor

“Without a Map, is so well written that it was hard for me to accept that the book had to end." —Tina Ristau, The Des Moines Register

"Painfully honest and beautifully written…Meredith Hall has managed to distill courage from raw pain, and then somehow write this gem of a book about the experience…A stunning book…You must read it.” —Lola Furber, Maine Women’s Journal

“Fans of Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle should take note of Meredith Hall’s memoir, heartbreaking and ultimately heartwarming..." —Mary Cotton, owner of Newtonville Books, Newton TAB

“I’m awed by Meredith Hall’s wisdom and integrity, by her gorgeous prose that deepens my understanding of resilience and love, of loss and forgiveness. A courageous and brilliant memoir.” —Ursula Hegi, author of The Worst Thing I’ve Done







Baker & Taylor
A New York Times best-selling account traces how the author's teenage pregnancy culminated in her abandonment by her New England family, her subsequent struggles for survival in the Middle East and her bittersweet reunion with the child she gave up for adoption. Reprint.

Publisher: Boston : Beacon Press, c2007
ISBN: 9780807072738
0807072737
Characteristics: xxv, 221 p. ; 23 cm

Related Resources


Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

AL_AMY Jan 05, 2017

This is not an easy read emotionally, although it is well written and I felt compelled to keep reading despite the deep sadness I felt for the author. I felt like there were gaps in the story that made it made it confusing to figure out how the author made it from the darkest days of her life to a place of compassion and acceptance, both of herself and those who caused her pain. Ultimately, the story ends on an uplifting and inspiring note, but the troubling circumstances leading up to it have lingered for me.

b
buchwurm01
Dec 02, 2011

A different way of writing but I enjoyed it very much

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at SPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top