The Art of Vanishing: A Memoir of Wanderlust by Laura Smith

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The Art of Vanishing: A Memoir of Wanderlust Read Online Free - A young woman chafing at the confines of marriage confronts the high cost of craving freedom and adventure

At 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
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 039956358X
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 pages


Patricia rated it ★★★★☆

February 07, 2018

Laura Smith became rather obsessed with the life of Barbara Follet, a young woman who walked away from her family in 1939 and was never heard from again. Barbara had published a novel at age 11 and become a sailor at 15. All through THE ART OF VANISHING, Laura correlates their 2 lives as Linda be...

Kirsty rated it ★★★★☆

September 22, 2017

The Art of Vanishing, which tells the parallel stories of a historic disappearance and the author's own experiences with love and travel, is utterly fascinating. Smith has woven together both histories incredibly well, and I could hardly put it down. The perfect book for a long flight.

Lindsey rated it ★★★★★

January 24, 2018

A beautiful, gripping, and provoking book. Smith skillfully interweaves the story of Barbara with her own; she had me always wondering what would happen next in each plot line, always wanting more. The prose is beautiful; you get the sense that each sentence was carefully constructed. The amount...

Dana rated it ★★★☆☆

February 14, 2018

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, Laur...

Maryka rated it ★★★★★

February 15, 2018

Laura Smith has written a captivating memoir, one that interweaves the story of her new marriage with that of child genius Barbara Follett, who mysteriously vanished at age 25 after the breakup of her marriage. In her retelling Smith reflects on the nature of commitment, the desire for independen...

Devon rated it ★★★☆☆

January 23, 2018

Smith writes an intricately woven story of her own life and marriage juxtaposed with that of her research subject Barbara Newhall Follet. Although listed as a memoir, Smith combines Follet's biography in with her own. In large part, that has to do with Smith's obsession over Barbara, and how invo...

Annette rated it ★★☆☆☆

February 15, 2018

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 c...

Hope rated it ★★★☆☆

March 16, 2018

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 t...

Fran rated it ★★★☆☆

March 03, 2018

Interesting and well-written, and yet. . . For all the research and soul-searching, there are no conclusions or even very good theories that might lead to conclusions. The missing is not found, the unstable continues to wobble. Enjoyable to read, unsatisfying to finish. I would like to see the aut...

Polly rated it ★★★★☆

February 24, 2018

I adore the historical stuff, and the rest is well-written and thoughtful, and pretty much in line with my conclusions about open relationships too.

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