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About the blogger:
Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)





Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



Hall, Meredith: Without a Map

  Amazon  

5 stars

When Meredith Hall was sixteen she learned that her parents' love for her was conditional, dependent on her continued adherence to the moral code that prevailed in her church-going community in small-town New Hampshire in 1965. A summer spent flirting with danger in the guise of a college boy she should have stayed clear of culminated in "scared sex on a beach on a foggy Labor Day night." When her pregnancy became known, Meredith was kicked out of school and effectively shunned, kids she'd known all her life crossing the street to avoid her moral contagion. All the A's she'd banked over the years and her regular church attendance were as nothing compared with this visible sign of her fall. Far worse was that her parents failed her completely at the moment that she most needed them.

Hall's memoir traces the reverberations of her pregnancy and her parents' betrayal across her lifetime. It's a heartbreaking story but not an angry one. In fact, the author has a surprising capacity for forgiveness given her experience. Hall's story generally moves forward across four decades, but it is not told in strict chronological order. We see snapshots of her life at different moments: Here she is walking hungry across Greece and Turkey or being taught to sew by her mother or running a fishing boat out of Gloucester or living out the months of her pregnancy in virtual isolation. The pictures are different enough that they could come from different lives--our own lives might look similarly disjointed if we showed only snapshots at intervals--but the emotional journey is a constant: Hall is always in the process of overcoming the loss of the life she lived and the person she was pre-pregnancy, and suffering the loss of the baby she gave up for adoption.

I can't write well enough, I'm afraid, to do this book justice. Suffice it to say that it's beautifully written and unforgettable. You won't be sorry to have read it.

Comments

1.

Wow, this one sounds amazing.

2.

Yes. Interesting reviews on Amazon, though. There are people who definitely didn't like it. Some people seemed to think she was reveling in victimhood. I can see where they get that, but I don't think it's true myself.

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