Beacon Press: Without a Map
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Without a Map

A Memoir

Author: Meredith Hall

The national best-selling memoir about banishment, reconciliation, and the meaning of family

“This sobering portrayal of a pregnant teen exiled from her small New Hampshire community is a testament to the importance of understanding and even forgiving the people who . . . have made us who we are.”—O, The Oprah Magazine

A New York Times Bestseller, now with an epilogue from the author

Meredith Hall’s moving but unsentimental memoir begins in 1965, when she becomes pregnant at 16. 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. Her lost son tracks her down when he turns 21, and 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. Here, loss and betrayal evolve into compassion, and compassion into wisdom.
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“An unusually powerful coming-of-age memoir. . . . Searching, humble, and quietly triumphant; Hall has managed to avoid all the easy cliché.”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

Without a Map is stunning. . . . Book groups, take note.”

“Hall offers a testament to the importance of understanding and even forgiving the people who, however unconscious or unkind, have made us who we are.”
O, The Oprah Magazine

“This is a memoir of love and loss, truth and forgiveness—of finding a way forward when you have no idea where you’re going. You won’t soon forget it.”
—Christina Baker Kline

“This achingly beautiful book is about resilience. The birth at the center of the story is Hall’s own—the triumphant rebirth of a wise, compassionate, and courageous woman who also happens to be a simply magnificent writer.”
—Joyce Maynard

“One of the most moving books I’ve ever read. I savored this memoir, a miraculous piece of writing and storytelling. Gentle, wise, courageous, Hall weaves together the paradoxes of the human experience.”
—Phuc Tran

“Meredith Hall’s magnificent book held me in its thrall from the moment I began reading the opening pages.”
—Dani Shapiro

“Hall’s writing is luminous, sharp, and tender all at once, full of passages I will return to again and again—for hope and inspiration.”
—Lily Brooks-Dalton

“One of the greatest memoirs I’ve ever read. It portrays a woman who never stops hoping for a more loving world. Reading this book will make you kinder.”
—Simon Van Booy

“Meredith Hall has built a cathedral of loss and love. She conjures loneliness as if sculpted from silence itself, yet . . . Hall is steadfast and big-hearted. I feel lucky to be in a world where she lives too.”
—Kerri Arsenault

“Meredith Hall’s long journey is a triple triumph—of survival, of narration, and of forgiveness. Without a Map is a masterpiece.”
—David James Duncan


Chapter One:
The Lonely Hunter

Chapter Two:

Chapter Three:

Chapter Four:
The Uprising

Chapter Five:

Chapter Six:
Drawing the Line

Chapter Seven:
Without a Map

Chapter Eight:
A River of Light

Chapter Nine:
Double Vision

Chapter Ten:
Killing Chickens

Chapter Eleven:

Chapter Twelve:

Chapter Thirteen:

Chapter Fourteen:

Chapter Fifteen:
The River of Forgetting

Chapter Sixteen:

Chapter Seventeen:
Outport Shadows


Without a Map

ISBN: 978-080701631-2
Publication Date: 4/9/2024
Size:5.5 x 8.5 Inches (US)
Price:  $17.95
Format: Paperback
Availability: In stock.