Vivid writing. Poetic, flowing phrases. And yet, when I read Meredith Hall’s 2007 memoir, Without a Map, my guts wrenched, tears formed, my breath stifled. The knot in my stomach remained days after reading. If I am to call other works mediocre, this book I must label “excellent.” How did the author grasp me, the reader, when I didn’t want to read anymore? When I didn’t want to be exposed to anymore suffering? And yet I shunned my chores, my work, and continued to read until I finished the book.
Meredith Hall writes in Without a Map:
“I study the tessrae of the mosaic design, searching for clues, a map for how a life gets lived, how it all can be contained, how the boundaries can hold against the inexpressible and unnamed.” And, “Obsessive image, a life becoming story, story becoming meanings. These are my memories…”
And this is an excellent read.