The Art of Vanishing: A Memoir of Wanderlust

The Art of Vanishing: A Memoir of Wanderlust

A young woman chafing at the confines of marriage confronts the high cost of craving freedom and adventureAt 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...

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Title:The Art of Vanishing: A Memoir of Wanderlust
Author:Laura Smith
Rating:

The Art of Vanishing: A Memoir of Wanderlust Reviews

  • Lindsey

    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 of research and work Smith put toward finding out what happened to Barbara and understanding her life is impressive. While I can understand how some readers might not want to come along on that journey,

    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 of research and work Smith put toward finding out what happened to Barbara and understanding her life is impressive. While I can understand how some readers might not want to come along on that journey, I loved how—especially later in the book—Smith talked about all her research. It made me feel as if I were right by her side every step of the way, trying to solve the mystery of what happened to Barbara.

    She brought that same immediacy to her own storyline. It was often gut-wrenching to be there in real time with her as she and P.J. navigated the choppy waters of an open relationship. But without that immediacy the book would have been much less powerful. It feels like she held nothing back—which undoubtedly made the book stronger.

  • Cristine Mermaid

    This cover and title appealed to me when I was putting new releases out so I read the blurb and I felt great hope that this was going to be a book that I would relate to. The reviews/rating vary wildly and now that I've read it, I understand why. Either, you feel this way, you 'get' the restlessness, the longing for something more, the feeling of suffocating from the typical American life or you don't. I get it. I can relate to her feelings of growing up and seeing society having one day after a

    This cover and title appealed to me when I was putting new releases out so I read the blurb and I felt great hope that this was going to be a book that I would relate to. The reviews/rating vary wildly and now that I've read it, I understand why. Either, you feel this way, you 'get' the restlessness, the longing for something more, the feeling of suffocating from the typical American life or you don't. I get it. I can relate to her feelings of growing up and seeing society having one day after another that looks the same and is a cycle of work, chores, work , chores, work, chores, and being horrified at the idea of it. I noticed some of the reviewers felt insulted that she wanted nothing to do with the lifestyle that they lived and loved but I don't know why, she didn't say there was anything wrong with it, just that it's not for her. I understand it. It resonated deeply with me on so many levels , many of which are too personal for me to even discuss in a public forum. I actually felt that I could have/should have written such a book because her words articulated much of my own experiences and feelings. It was incredibly reassuring because certainly if I am this way and so is she, then there are others. Her complete lack of interest in domesticity or a life of routine , her not understanding why her friends longed for these things that seemed like a trap, her yearnings and longings, I could have written these same words.

    The story goes between her musings of her own life and marriage and the story of Barbara Follett, a child prodigy born in 1914 , who vanished. Barbara was a writer and her books were about living the extraordinary life, not being restricted by the times and society she lived in, about becoming part of the sea and belonging to no one. She vanished and no one has been able to discover what became of her. Laura, the author, becomes borderline obsessed with solving the mystery and I found both Barbara's story and Laura's trying to uncover her mysteries to be utterly compelling.

    I can not think of the last time a book resonated with me this strongly. I have so frequently been disappointed in the last few years with memoirs that fill me with hope that i will be able to relate but then let me down. This did not. This book 'got' me. This is the book that finally convinced me to start writing again.

  • Kirsty

    , 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.

  • Patricia

    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 begins to question restraints her marriage seems to impose. I enjoyed reading this book which I received for an honest opinion. I'd rate THE ART OF VANISHING 3.5.

  • Kevin

    Reads like a first book yes, but a very skillful examination nonetheless of marriage, relationships and wanting to be your own person while with someone else. I very much look forward to what Laura Smith does next. This writer has a very bright future ahead of her.

  • Dana Blazsek

    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, Laura tells her story. One that is full of adventure in travels, work, and even her marriage.

    While I enjoyed both aspects of the story, I just did not feel that they gelled together too much. Though there w

    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, Laura tells her story. One that is full of adventure in travels, work, and even her marriage.

    While I enjoyed both aspects of the story, I just did not feel that they gelled together too much. Though there were a couple similarities between Barbara and Laura, not enough that their stories should be told in parallel story lines.

  • Fran Fisher

    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 author try again.

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    Definitely a case of it's me, not you, just not connecting with it, decided to move on.

  • Bree Hill

    (Listened to this on audio from the library) been making my way through it the past couple of days.

    This is one of those books I went into expecting to love. I love memoirs by women and adding a woman who lives with wanderlust is the icing on the cake for me! I love travel memoirs. It also, although nonfiction, has one of my favorite tropes..women separated by time and one is searching for the other in some way or their lives are parallel in some way. This one missed the mark for me though. The

    (Listened to this on audio from the library) been making my way through it the past couple of days.

    This is one of those books I went into expecting to love. I love memoirs by women and adding a woman who lives with wanderlust is the icing on the cake for me! I love travel memoirs. It also, although nonfiction, has one of my favorite tropes..women separated by time and one is searching for the other in some way or their lives are parallel in some way. This one missed the mark for me though. The author is this restless young woman trying to figure things out and becomes interested..infatuated..obsessed with this woman Barbara who disappeared years ago. GREAT..this is a great recipe for a story, but it just kind of fell flat for me. Maybe I wanted more, something different.

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