Without a Map
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.