HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Without a Map: A Memoir by Meredith Hall
Loading...

Without a Map: A Memoir

by Meredith Hall

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3501731,236 (3.59)13

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 13 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
"I didn’t make this plan. I just wake up sometimes and want to crawl out of my life” (60).


After getting expelled from high school in Hampton, NH in 1965 when it is discovered that she is 5-months pregnant,
Meredith finds herself very alone in the world. Shunned by the community that she once was a part of-even by her friends & and family including her own mother.

She was sent to live with her father and her step-mother during her pregnancy in Epping, NH; both traveled for work and she was kept in isolation. If they had dinner parties-she was to dine alone in her room. After the baby’s delivery she is sent off to boarding school and the baby is given up for adoption. She has no choice in the matter.

After graduation she and her step-mother have an argument and she is banned from her
father’s house forever.

Meredith’s soul searching took her from New Hampshire to Boston to India to Maine.

“The nights are very cold. I have no jacket, no sweater, no shoes” (113).

"I believe that this is a choice for me, that working here is temporary, that I will be moving back into adventure any day. For most of the women, it is what they will do all their lives, and their jobs are never certain as prices or fish stocks rise and fall” (84).

She wrote such a moving personal essay that Bowdoin
College admitted her as their only non-traditional student at the age of forty. She worked part-time, went to college full-time, and raised two sons alone.

She teaches writing and gives inspiration to students at the University of New Hampshire.

Her memoir is written in a beautiful narrative that is brave, honest, raw, but not "dramatic" it's rational and logical yet free-spirited - a real page turner. Once I started it I didn't put it down until I was finished.

This is a book that you don't read - you consume it, digest it, and think it over.

  TamaraJCollins | Mar 10, 2016 |
"I didn’t make this plan. I just wake up sometimes and want to crawl out of my life” (60).


After getting expelled from high school in Hampton, NH in 1965 when it is discovered that she is 5-months pregnant,
Meredith finds herself very alone in the world. Shunned by the community that she once was a part of-even by her friends & and family including her own mother.

She was sent to live with her father and her step-mother during her pregnancy in Epping, NH; both traveled for work and she was kept in isolation. If they had dinner parties-she was to dine alone in her room. After the baby’s delivery she is sent off to boarding school and the baby is given up for adoption. She has no choice in the matter.

After graduation she and her step-mother have an argument and she is banned from her
father’s house forever.

Meredith’s soul searching took her from New Hampshire to Boston to India to Maine.

“The nights are very cold. I have no jacket, no sweater, no shoes” (113).

"I believe that this is a choice for me, that working here is temporary, that I will be moving back into adventure any day. For most of the women, it is what they will do all their lives, and their jobs are never certain as prices or fish stocks rise and fall” (84).

She wrote such a moving personal essay that Bowdoin
College admitted her as their only non-traditional student at the age of forty. She worked part-time, went to college full-time, and raised two sons alone.

She teaches writing and gives inspiration to students at the University of New Hampshire.

Her memoir is written in a beautiful narrative that is brave, honest, raw, but not "dramatic" it's rational and logical yet free-spirited - a real page turner. Once I started it I didn't put it down until I was finished.

This is a book that you don't read - you consume it, digest it, and think it over.

  TamaraJCollins | Mar 10, 2016 |
This memoir starts with a harsh and haunting premise; Meredith (Meredy) is the beloved third child in a family where love really counts. Even though her father leaves and remarries when Meredy is 10, she has strong memories of love and nurturance from her father (while also recognizing, in retrospect, his extreme self-centeredness). She is a smart, pretty 16-year old who belongs to her classmates, church family and town...until she becomes pregnant and is literally shunned by her community and her own family. She gives her child up for adoption and spends years missing him.

Beautifully written, with a strong, sure voice. Highly recommended. ( )
  Lcwilson45 | Jun 20, 2010 |
Candid. Beautiful. ( )
  JenLynnKnox | Oct 11, 2009 |
Wow! And that's a very soft wow, filled with wonderment at this book so bursting with truth and filled with pain, anger and forgiveness. On the surface, this could simply be viewed as a book about a woman who got pregnant at sixteen, gave up her baby, and had a very difficult time of things for the next twenty-five years or more. But, if you dig just a ltlle deeper, this is simply a story of what it means to be fully human, to live a life warts and all and finally try to understand what it all means. Meredith Hall does all this in her wonderful memoir,Without a Map. She presents herself as child, as daughter, as a mother. This is a truly "examined life," and anyone who reads it will relate and will feel richer for having read Hall's story. Here is a tiny sample of what glitters in this story, something that, when I read it, I recognized, as will anyone who has ever lost a parent without having the chance to verify something - that love went both ways. She speaks of a meeting with her father.

"He is eighty-four years old. I have a startling need to unburden my father of whatever guilt or regret he may carry, to say good-bye to him, to tell him I love him. I am afraid that he will die and I will be left with the unending conversation that has hung in the lost time between us all these years. There are many, many things I wish I could say to him ..."

Hall got to have that conversation, the one I never did have with my father. When I read these lines - and others - I wept. For this is a book about family ties - the ones that held and the ones that didn't. It will make you weep. This is a beautiful book, by a woman who has learned things about life the hard way. If Meredith Hall never writes another book, she will be remembered. This one is enough. ( )
1 vote TimBazzett | Sep 6, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0807072745, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:41 -0400)

"Meredith Hall grew up bonded to her insular New Hampshire community, comforted by the hallmarks of belonging: perfect attendance in Sunday school, classmates who seemed more like cousins, teachers who held her up as a model student, a mother who loved her unconditionally. Then, at sixteen, she became pregnant, and all at once those who had held her close and kept her safe turned their backs." "The same day in 1965 that Meredith was expelled from school, her mother told her "You can't stay here." Her father and stepmother reluctantly offered Meredith a cold sanctuary until she gave birth to the child she gave up for adoption. Then she was banned from her father's home forever. For the next decade she wandered, lost to society and to herself. Slowly, Meredith began stitching together a life that encircled her silenced and invisible grief." "When she was twenty-one years old, Meredith's lost son found her. She learned that he has grown up in gritty poverty with an abusive father - in her own father's hometown. Their reunion was tender and turbulent, a renaissance. Meredith's parents never asked for her forgiveness, yet as they aged, she offered them her love. Without a Map charts an extraordinary path in which loss and betrayal evolve into compassion, and compassion into wisdom."--Jacket.… (more)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
5 avail.
136 wanted
2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.59)
0.5
1 3
1.5 2
2 10
2.5
3 24
3.5 3
4 28
4.5 6
5 18

Beacon Press

2 editions of this book were published by Beacon Press.

Editions: 0807072737, 0807072745

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,256,052 books! | Top bar: Always visible