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Combining the soul-baring insight of Wild, the profound wisdom of Shop Class as Soulcraft, and the adventurous spirit of Eat, Pray, Love: Lynn Darling’s powerful, lyrical memoir of self-discovery, full of warmth and wry humor, Out of the Woods. When her college-bound daughter leaves home, Lynn Darling, widowed over a decade earlier, finds herself alone—and utterly lost, wit Combining the soul-baring insight of Wild, the profound wisdom of Shop Class as Soulcraft, and the adventurous spirit of Eat, Pray, Love: Lynn Darling’s powerful, lyrical memoir of self-discovery, full of warmth and wry humor, Out of the Woods. When her college-bound daughter leaves home, Lynn Darling, widowed over a decade earlier, finds herself alone—and utterly lost, with no idea of what she wants or even who she is. Searching for answers, she leaves New York for the solitary woods of Vermont. Removed from the familiar, cocooned in the natural world, her only companions a new dog and a compass, she hopes to develop a sense of direction—both in the woods and in her life. Hiking unmapped trails, Darling meditates on the milestones of her past; as she adapts to her new surroundings, she uses the knowledge she’s gained to chart her future. And when an unexpected setback nearly derails her newfound balance, she is able to draw upon her newfound skills to find her bearings and stay the course. In revealing how one woman learned to navigate—literally and metaphorically—the uneven course of life, Out of the Woods is, in the words of Pulitzer-prize winning author Geraldine Brooks,  “a marvelous book . . . both a compass and a manifesto for navigating the often-treacherous switchbacks of the second half of life.” 


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Combining the soul-baring insight of Wild, the profound wisdom of Shop Class as Soulcraft, and the adventurous spirit of Eat, Pray, Love: Lynn Darling’s powerful, lyrical memoir of self-discovery, full of warmth and wry humor, Out of the Woods. When her college-bound daughter leaves home, Lynn Darling, widowed over a decade earlier, finds herself alone—and utterly lost, wit Combining the soul-baring insight of Wild, the profound wisdom of Shop Class as Soulcraft, and the adventurous spirit of Eat, Pray, Love: Lynn Darling’s powerful, lyrical memoir of self-discovery, full of warmth and wry humor, Out of the Woods. When her college-bound daughter leaves home, Lynn Darling, widowed over a decade earlier, finds herself alone—and utterly lost, with no idea of what she wants or even who she is. Searching for answers, she leaves New York for the solitary woods of Vermont. Removed from the familiar, cocooned in the natural world, her only companions a new dog and a compass, she hopes to develop a sense of direction—both in the woods and in her life. Hiking unmapped trails, Darling meditates on the milestones of her past; as she adapts to her new surroundings, she uses the knowledge she’s gained to chart her future. And when an unexpected setback nearly derails her newfound balance, she is able to draw upon her newfound skills to find her bearings and stay the course. In revealing how one woman learned to navigate—literally and metaphorically—the uneven course of life, Out of the Woods is, in the words of Pulitzer-prize winning author Geraldine Brooks,  “a marvelous book . . . both a compass and a manifesto for navigating the often-treacherous switchbacks of the second half of life.” 

30 review for Out of the Woods: A Memoir of Wayfinding

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alice (MTB/Alice Tied The Bookish Knot)

    This is a memoir that I spotted on one of the bookshelves in the books charity shop I volunteer at. This follows Lynn who lives in New York however after her husband dies and her daughter starts studying at college, she packs her bags and moves out to Vermont, living in a run-down property surrounded by lots of woodlands. After a few months, she gets hit with a life-changing medical diagnosis, making her question life and her own purposes on the world. The blurb says that this memoir is perfect This is a memoir that I spotted on one of the bookshelves in the books charity shop I volunteer at. This follows Lynn who lives in New York however after her husband dies and her daughter starts studying at college, she packs her bags and moves out to Vermont, living in a run-down property surrounded by lots of woodlands. After a few months, she gets hit with a life-changing medical diagnosis, making her question life and her own purposes on the world. The blurb says that this memoir is perfect for fans of another memoir called Wild, which I disliked reading. This was an OK read, in the end, the tone and moods at times came across quite depressing. The second half felt more honest and poignant than the first.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Angela Risner

    Lynn Darling lost her husband years ago. Since then she has focused on raising their daughter, Zoe, by herself. Zoe is now 18 and ready to start her adult life at college. Darling has been anticipating this moment. In fact, she's purchased a home in Vermont and has been spending the summers there while Zoe went to camp. Now it's time to make the move there more permanent. However, the solitude she seeks turns out to be less creative inspiration for her writing and more reflective of choices made Lynn Darling lost her husband years ago. Since then she has focused on raising their daughter, Zoe, by herself. Zoe is now 18 and ready to start her adult life at college. Darling has been anticipating this moment. In fact, she's purchased a home in Vermont and has been spending the summers there while Zoe went to camp. Now it's time to make the move there more permanent. However, the solitude she seeks turns out to be less creative inspiration for her writing and more reflective of choices made. I enjoyed the book for the most part. First of all, she moves to just outside of Woodstock, VT, a town I have visited and loved. Second of all, I love the idea of buying a house in the woods, out of the way. But more than that, I felt a kinship with Darling. Because of the difference in age between my husband and me, I know that I will be a younger widow as well. I have never been the saver of money for future things - I see what I want now and I buy it. I was much more comfortable taking responsibility for others than for myself. Some favorite moments: •One life was over and another was beginning and I was no longer any of the things I had been, no longer young and not yet old, and because I had to figure out everything all over again, everything - from where to live, to how to dress, and who (or even whether) to love, because I had no idea of what to do next, and the middle of the woods seemed the best place to get one. •We name things so we can know them, and knowing them, won't be afraid of them. Maybe we should be afraid. •Middle age resonates with so much loss, profound and superficial: expectations die, friendships fade, hairlines recede, looks change, and health and hope are no longer givens. It becomes easy to forget the fullness that has come before...I might have no idea of what would happen next, but it seemed ungrateful to complain when there had been so much that was good in the past, whether or not I had the wit to recognize it. •I had never been the sort of person who made five-year-plans, or saved for a mortgage, or even kept a date book. I admired people like that, I envied them, but I had never wanted to be like them. I had led a life in which I had made few thoughtful decisions, and yes, it had cost me dearly in many ways, but it had also brought me great happiness, and in the end it was simply who I was. •...I wondered if it was possible to truly forgive yourself for your sins, real or imagined, whether I would ever escape the regret in which I steeped my version of the past. •I could take responsibility for others - my daughter, my husband, my friends. But to take responsibility for myself was alarming, in a way I hadn't understood until cancer forced a reckoning. I think that this book will appeal to you if you're in a certain place in your life. For me, this was the right book at the right time. Highly recommend.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    “My daughter’s departure left questions, big questions, that her presence and the warm hive of family life had made it easy to ignore, of who to be and how to live, of what, if anything, I wanted.” p. 5 Lynn Darling drove me crazy for the first chapters of her story. I felt like she was whining and had no excuse for such behavior. Yes, her daughter had gone off to college and yes, Darling had lost her husband so that she had been a single parent. I am sure that was very hard. But why would woma “My daughter’s departure left questions, big questions, that her presence and the warm hive of family life had made it easy to ignore, of who to be and how to live, of what, if anything, I wanted.” p. 5 Lynn Darling drove me crazy for the first chapters of her story. I felt like she was whining and had no excuse for such behavior. Yes, her daughter had gone off to college and yes, Darling had lost her husband so that she had been a single parent. I am sure that was very hard. But why would woman who had spend much of her time in New York City move to backwater Vermont? Why did I, as the reader, find it so much easier to see that moving at that time in Darling’s life was the worst thing she could do? What possessed this woman? I am not sure why I stuck with Darling’s tale. I had no angst when my kids went off to college. I have not made big changes in my life (except for my retirement) in decades. There were not a lot of places where I could connect with her in any way. Also I read to learn about people and places and I didn’t feel like I was learning anything. I had picked this book because it appeared to be about solitude, but that really wasn't the subject, so I felt a bit misled. I am glad I continued reading, however. I eventually found that I could relate to some of what Darling was trying to say. Unfortunately, she has some health issues that made her earlier issues seem trivial and when writing about those, Darling made me really see what she was experiencing. Also I enjoyed her attempts to ground herself through maps. And so, I did learn some new things and found a way to relate to the city mouse who choose to live in the country. I recommend this book to those with high tolerance for people who make big decisions lightly, but who do learn from their mistakes. Also if you like reading about people’s lives and their stories, this may be the book for you. Darling is a good writer and you might not even see any of her story as whining.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    I read this book because I had started the book WILD and hated it. Really, really hated it. This book was recommended somewhere that I cannot remember any more and it sounded closer to what I thought I was going to get with WILD. I am not sure this book will be for everyone as I think it has to be the right book at the right time in your life kind of book. I had questions about this last half of my life that I am starting to explore and this book had some insights. There were some parts of the m I read this book because I had started the book WILD and hated it. Really, really hated it. This book was recommended somewhere that I cannot remember any more and it sounded closer to what I thought I was going to get with WILD. I am not sure this book will be for everyone as I think it has to be the right book at the right time in your life kind of book. I had questions about this last half of my life that I am starting to explore and this book had some insights. There were some parts of the memoir which seemed long and drawn out and a bit meandering. And the author leaves veiled references to being disappointed by her life, but never goes into much explanation as to what those disappointments are. But over all I applaud this book for its honesty and it's ability to draw conclusions (I hate books that say things like 'well, you never really know, right?'). I started this book about six months ago and have been reading it a bit here and a bit there as I wanted to so I cannot attest to it quick pager-turner qualities, but it has been a book that I always wanted to know the ending of none-the-less.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Renee Legris

    For about the first third of the book, I just wanted to strangle this woman. She struck me as so self-involved and ... annoyingly anchorless. I couldn't imagine anyone who had been a Manhattanite all her life deciding that buying a rickety house in rural Vermont was a good idea. In fact if I wasn't reading it for a book club, I would probably have abandoned ship. However I slowly began to appreciate her bravery in laying her thoughts and experiences on the table for everyone to see. It took a wh For about the first third of the book, I just wanted to strangle this woman. She struck me as so self-involved and ... annoyingly anchorless. I couldn't imagine anyone who had been a Manhattanite all her life deciding that buying a rickety house in rural Vermont was a good idea. In fact if I wasn't reading it for a book club, I would probably have abandoned ship. However I slowly began to appreciate her bravery in laying her thoughts and experiences on the table for everyone to see. It took a while, but I started to have some empathy for her. Once I got over my annoyance, I also noticed that this woman is capable of many a well-turned, evocative phrase. In the end, I appreciated the slow and stumbling way she came to terms with the trials of her life and with the natural world she had chosen to inhabit. In an odd way, it was an education to read the inner journey of someone who is so different from me. I'm probably going to read this one again someday, to see if I can more quickly reach the stage of appreciating her writing and her honesty.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Kearns

    I really tried to like this book - I'm also middle aged and two of my four kids have left for college. I understand how fading beauty and not being needed as a mother anymore can be depressing and can leave a woman searching for the meaning of what's left of her life. She was widowed 10 years before her daughter left, and was still struggling with dating men and the leftover grief from losing her husband - something many women can relate to. However, I disliked the book for the first several chap I really tried to like this book - I'm also middle aged and two of my four kids have left for college. I understand how fading beauty and not being needed as a mother anymore can be depressing and can leave a woman searching for the meaning of what's left of her life. She was widowed 10 years before her daughter left, and was still struggling with dating men and the leftover grief from losing her husband - something many women can relate to. However, I disliked the book for the first several chapters. Lynn impulsively jumped from life in NY City to life in her wilderness cabin without the first clue of what it took to live there. She couldn't start a fire in the woodstove, she got lost every time she ventured into the woods, she didn't get along with the puppy she bought, she couldn't motivate herself to do anything except sit, and she walked around philosophizing about the meaning of life. How could someone who was a successful journalist, loving wife and capable mother be so unsure of every move? This behavior is so different from my own take-charge, just-give-it-a-try self that I was about to give up on the book. Then she started to hit her stride a little, and even took a class to learn wilderness skills like compass reading. That was my favorite part of the book, when she finally realized how to read a map and a compass and it all clicked. It was wonderful to see her start to blossom and become more confident in herself. She also battled breast cancer during this period of growth and learning, and I felt sympathy and pride in the way she took control of her own attitude and treatment. This isn't the kind of book I normally read, nor the book I thought it would be. It was passably good, but several times while reading it I wanted to take her by the shoulders and shake her. 3.5 stars.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Artemisia Hunt

    I love memoirs. Especially about normal everyday people.....at least not ones I may have even heard of before I picked up their books. As memoirs like this go, this was a pretty good one......though a little bit self-absorbed at times. (And yes, I know that sounds odd to say as a criticism of a memoir, but some memoirs can cry ME a lot more than others.) But the thing that was really different for me about Out of the Woods was the wisdom it contained about aging and leaving behind the past while I love memoirs. Especially about normal everyday people.....at least not ones I may have even heard of before I picked up their books. As memoirs like this go, this was a pretty good one......though a little bit self-absorbed at times. (And yes, I know that sounds odd to say as a criticism of a memoir, but some memoirs can cry ME a lot more than others.) But the thing that was really different for me about Out of the Woods was the wisdom it contained about aging and leaving behind the past while still finding beauty and even brilliance in what remains. And yes, there were parts of the book that were tedious for me....the technical explanations about learning to use a compass were way over my head......but when I got to this quote, I really took notice of how deep this woman's wisdom really was: "getting older is largely a matter of getting over yourself, of stepping out of your own way, the better to see the world through a wider lens than the narrow preoccupations of self had ever provided."

  8. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Spoilers: Not everyone needs to publish their memoir. She moves to Vermont and then gives up and returns to Manhattan! The one thing worth writing was "New York is a dangerous place to live in without dreams." Other sections were more like "Here's a chapter about being an empty nester" or "Here's what cancer was like for me." I did not sympathize with her inability to read maps which made the plot device of finding your way particularly irritating. The writing was fine but this should have been Spoilers: Not everyone needs to publish their memoir. She moves to Vermont and then gives up and returns to Manhattan! The one thing worth writing was "New York is a dangerous place to live in without dreams." Other sections were more like "Here's a chapter about being an empty nester" or "Here's what cancer was like for me." I did not sympathize with her inability to read maps which made the plot device of finding your way particularly irritating. The writing was fine but this should have been a magazine article.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    I give this memoir three and one half stars. I've read a lot of books about middle aged self discovery, and this one was somewhat predictable. Lynn's story is of moving on when her daughter goes away to college and she moves out of NYC to the "wilds" of Vermont. She uses the theme of navigation to draw the correlation between her stumbles through loneliness, aging, and illness and the great explorers and cartographers who discovered whole new worlds.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jean Kelly

    A journalist sends only child off to college and takes a house in the Woodstock Vermont area to try to figure herself out. At the start I doubted I had much in common with her since I wouldn't have made that move but as she struggles to sort out her life and looks back at events she hit a common chord. A little too much discussion of map reading and getting to the point of comfort walking in the woods but held my attention. Her reaction to a cancer diagnosis and treatment was heart felt.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Abby Rosmarin

    I'm torn about Lynn Darling's memoir. On the one hand, her wit and insight and poetical turns of phrase are exceptional. There are passages in this book that are pure brilliance. And there are moments in this memoir that you have no choice but to be hooked in. However, there was something missing. The first third of the book read like someone trying to tell you about their day, only to forget at sporadic intervals something else they wanted to add in. It meandered in ways that made it hard to hav I'm torn about Lynn Darling's memoir. On the one hand, her wit and insight and poetical turns of phrase are exceptional. There are passages in this book that are pure brilliance. And there are moments in this memoir that you have no choice but to be hooked in. However, there was something missing. The first third of the book read like someone trying to tell you about their day, only to forget at sporadic intervals something else they wanted to add in. It meandered in ways that made it hard to have any emotional investment. The moments of beauty or sadness were enough to slog through the more tedious parts, but it did leave me feeling like I had finished a school assignment upon completion -- not the usual cathartic rush of closure and sadness when finishing a story. However, I will say, as a New Hampshire resident, I appreciated the descriptions of Vermont and the rest of New England.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Keith Raffel

    Author Lynn Darling tries to map her life after the death of her husband and the departure of her daughter for college. Her first step is to flee Manhattan to try living as a hermit in the woods of Vermont in a small cabin she at first calls her "fortress of solitude." She navigates over and through the challenges presented by empty nest syndrome, dating, breast cancer, an increasingly senile mother, and rustic living. Started the book last night, finished it this afternoon. Her elegant words gi Author Lynn Darling tries to map her life after the death of her husband and the departure of her daughter for college. Her first step is to flee Manhattan to try living as a hermit in the woods of Vermont in a small cabin she at first calls her "fortress of solitude." She navigates over and through the challenges presented by empty nest syndrome, dating, breast cancer, an increasingly senile mother, and rustic living. Started the book last night, finished it this afternoon. Her elegant words give anyone in middle age or beyond much to think about.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kira

    I love reading books about people who have chosen to live far out in the country, even in the wilderness, although I know such a life requires hard physical labor that at this time in my life I would be unable to do myself. Therefore I live vicariously through others' adventures. The first half of this book was similar to others I've read, except the author seemed to take pride in her lack of preparation for her life in the country. Just because she had rented summer cabins in the area, that didn I love reading books about people who have chosen to live far out in the country, even in the wilderness, although I know such a life requires hard physical labor that at this time in my life I would be unable to do myself. Therefore I live vicariously through others' adventures. The first half of this book was similar to others I've read, except the author seemed to take pride in her lack of preparation for her life in the country. Just because she had rented summer cabins in the area, that didn't mean she was prepared to take total responsibility for a house that was in need of major repairs. And throughout the book she seemed to take pride in the fact that she had her own fixed view of the world around her which had nothing to do with the cardinal directions or actual landmarks, so when she went for walks in the woods around her house she was constantly getting lost. I didn't like Lynn Darling very much, to be frank. She was arrogant and abrasive. And although I realize this was her memoir and she had a right to include whatever she chose, there is a legacy of books of this type and she chose to go completely off course. Halfway through the book, she receives a diagnosis of breast cancer, and the next fifty pages or so describe her treatment in excruciating detail. If I had been aware of this, I would not have started reading the book. I don't read books, nonfiction or fiction, about people with potentially terminal illnesses. I've had to deal with that enough in my real life. I read for escapism, not realism. So if you're reading this review, at least you are forewarned that this is not a standard "I took to the woods" type of memoir. Then we have the last fourth of the book, which involved Ms. Darling trying to learn to use a compass and actually find her way around without getting lost. I have seldom been so bored by a book of this type, not to mention frustrated because despite instruction from several experts, Ms. Darling insisted on doing things her own way, which seldom had the desired results. Then, when she finally started getting the hang of things, she decided to move back to Manhattan! Truth be told, that is probably where she belongs. Since Manhattan is laid out on a grid and has unmistakable landmarks everywhere you look, I'm sure she has less trouble finding her way around there. And I'm sure her neighbors in Vermont were happy to see her go.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    "Out of the Woods: A Memoir of Wayfinding" by Lynn Darling is a book you will want to read slowly, so you can savor the thoughts and her wonderfully expressive writing style. When I am enjoying a book and I come across something that resonates with me strongly, I underline it and fold down the corner of the page so I can find it again (obviously, only in my own books). Looking at my copy of Ms. Darling's memoir, I am amazed at how much I have marked and yet when I open to one of the pages and re "Out of the Woods: A Memoir of Wayfinding" by Lynn Darling is a book you will want to read slowly, so you can savor the thoughts and her wonderfully expressive writing style. When I am enjoying a book and I come across something that resonates with me strongly, I underline it and fold down the corner of the page so I can find it again (obviously, only in my own books). Looking at my copy of Ms. Darling's memoir, I am amazed at how much I have marked and yet when I open to one of the pages and read what I have underlined, I am reminded why I love this book so much. It is not just her story, but in many ways is a universal story, and it touched me deeply. The book opens when the author, a woman of a certain age, is dropping her only child off at college for the first time. Ms. Darling's husband had died many years previously and she had spent those intense years of single parenting living in New York City. She had begun renting houses in Vermont during the summers her daughter was at camp. She purchased a small quirky house on a backwoods lane, that needed a lot of work and TLC, as a place to go and live after her daughter went away to college. As a writer, the author thought that the solitude would be a good place to work and also to find the way forward for the next part of her life. With just a lab puppy named Henry as her companion, Ms. Darling begins her new journey. She states "Experts in the field of direction talk about...'wayfinding', what you do when you must rely on yourself." From learning to find her way home when walking in the woods, to keeping her home warm with a cast iron stove, to dealing with the curves life sometimes throws in randomly, she finds her way, step by step. With honesty and grace, this author shares what she experienced and learned - both mentally, emotionally and physically; why she went into the woods, and how ultimately, she found her way home. Read it with a friend, read it with your book club but read it! I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading what others think about it. I was given a copy of "Out of the Woods: A Memoir of Wayfinding" for my honest review through the Amazon Vine program

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    I wanted to like this book more than I did. I did not find the personal depth I had hoped for, nor any real connection with the writer. An empty-nesting widow from New York City buys a ramshackle cabin in the wilds of Vermont, spends most of her time alone with a puppy she has no clue how to master, trying to find her way around the forest, gets breast cancer and, seemingly, just deals with all this pretty much by herself. She claims to have lived her life around her daughter, Zoe but the young I wanted to like this book more than I did. I did not find the personal depth I had hoped for, nor any real connection with the writer. An empty-nesting widow from New York City buys a ramshackle cabin in the wilds of Vermont, spends most of her time alone with a puppy she has no clue how to master, trying to find her way around the forest, gets breast cancer and, seemingly, just deals with all this pretty much by herself. She claims to have lived her life around her daughter, Zoe but the young woman hardly ever appears in this telling. Odd. Sometimes the writing was lyrical and lovely and other times it felt like the author would never use a ten cent word when a hundred dollar one would do. I consider my vocabulary to be better than average, yet several times I was distracted from the story, trying to figure out what a word meant and why she used it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Susan Gentry

    I was looking forward to reading this book about a mother whose only daughter wsa going off to college. I hoped to get ahead of my emotional response to my own only daughter going off to college by reading about someone else. But the book did not meet my expectations in this way. The author rarely mentions her daughter at all, but instead talks about her own journey back to herself. I certainly thought that would be helpful as well, but it wasn't. Large portions of the book are references to the I was looking forward to reading this book about a mother whose only daughter wsa going off to college. I hoped to get ahead of my emotional response to my own only daughter going off to college by reading about someone else. But the book did not meet my expectations in this way. The author rarely mentions her daughter at all, but instead talks about her own journey back to herself. I certainly thought that would be helpful as well, but it wasn't. Large portions of the book are references to the literary and historic. Far too many and not as clearly connected to the narrative to make reading interesting. This is quite a disappointment.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mimi

    When Lynn Darling's daughter leaves for college, the widow decides she needs to discover who she is and what she wants to do with the rest of her life. She ends up buying a house in Vermont, out in the middle of nowhere, and moving there. If she tries to walk in the surrounding woods, she ends up getting lost. Finally, she takes a course in how to navigate and use a compass. She uses this as a correlation to finding herself as well. I honestly found this book to be a bit tedious. I felt like she When Lynn Darling's daughter leaves for college, the widow decides she needs to discover who she is and what she wants to do with the rest of her life. She ends up buying a house in Vermont, out in the middle of nowhere, and moving there. If she tries to walk in the surrounding woods, she ends up getting lost. Finally, she takes a course in how to navigate and use a compass. She uses this as a correlation to finding herself as well. I honestly found this book to be a bit tedious. I felt like she went off on tangents and inundated the reading with too many depressing details.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sherri

    I wanted to like this book. Honestly. The woman is close to my age and I was hoping that she could provide some illuminating thoughts about the aging process. However, I quickly grew tired of the wealthy-lost-New Yorker persona. I have little sympathy for someone who does not know how to do basic tasks in life because they have been done for them (weeding? Seriously?). And she chooses to write in such a pretentious way, that it only contributes to her ivory tower, spoiled persona. Don't bother w I wanted to like this book. Honestly. The woman is close to my age and I was hoping that she could provide some illuminating thoughts about the aging process. However, I quickly grew tired of the wealthy-lost-New Yorker persona. I have little sympathy for someone who does not know how to do basic tasks in life because they have been done for them (weeding? Seriously?). And she chooses to write in such a pretentious way, that it only contributes to her ivory tower, spoiled persona. Don't bother with this one.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lake County Public Library

    After her husband's death from cancer, 50-something Darling decides to move to the family cabin in the Vermont woods to determine how to direct this phase of her life. What should she do now that her daughter is in college and her own writing career seems stymied? Does she want another close relationship with a man? What role will sex play in her life if she chooses not to marry again? As her thoughts seem to come together a bit, her doctor delivers a cancer diagnosis and she must rethink these After her husband's death from cancer, 50-something Darling decides to move to the family cabin in the Vermont woods to determine how to direct this phase of her life. What should she do now that her daughter is in college and her own writing career seems stymied? Does she want another close relationship with a man? What role will sex play in her life if she chooses not to marry again? As her thoughts seem to come together a bit, her doctor delivers a cancer diagnosis and she must rethink these questions yet again. -- Sharon, IT

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    A careful mix of historical exploration, wayfinding techniques, and personal memoir. Darling keeps these ingredients in balance (though not of equal proportion) as she recounts transitioning from full time motherhood to the next phase of her life.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    pretty great read. her writing reminded me of annie dillard in pilgrim at tinker creek.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rita Ciresi

    This memoir moves very slowly,but with wonderful precision and gorgeous description throughout.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea

    I can honestly say, that I’ve never read a book with so many words I’d never heard of. It was obnoxious, really. Out of the Woods is a memoir about middle age depression for crying out loud. There is nothing sophisticated enough about the story to necessitate sophisticated words. (I wish I’d written some down, but have since returned my copy to the library). I read this memoir because I grew up in Vermont, and I was hoping I’d connect with a sense of nostalgia. I found myself getting annoyed mor I can honestly say, that I’ve never read a book with so many words I’d never heard of. It was obnoxious, really. Out of the Woods is a memoir about middle age depression for crying out loud. There is nothing sophisticated enough about the story to necessitate sophisticated words. (I wish I’d written some down, but have since returned my copy to the library). I read this memoir because I grew up in Vermont, and I was hoping I’d connect with a sense of nostalgia. I found myself getting annoyed more than anything, just as true Vermonters get annoyed with flatlanders during leaf peeping season. The publishers were clearly not familiar with Vermont, being that they too reside in NYC. Otherwise, they would have known that Morgan horses and Thoroughbreds are two completely different breeds, and that there are no wild hedgehogs living in North America, they are porcupines - two totally different animals. I think I’ll stick to Vermont memoirs written by actual Vermonters.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I felt like this really needed to be honed/some editing. At the root, I don't get a sense that she knew what she wanted this book to be. A memoir of empty nester moving to the country? A book about dealing with aging parent (which I thought was the best part). A woman dealing with breast cancer? Having a petulant teen? There was even a section about internet dating and I was like, this is where this is going? At the end, I also felt like it kind of fell apart based on what she did. Spoiler: So s I felt like this really needed to be honed/some editing. At the root, I don't get a sense that she knew what she wanted this book to be. A memoir of empty nester moving to the country? A book about dealing with aging parent (which I thought was the best part). A woman dealing with breast cancer? Having a petulant teen? There was even a section about internet dating and I was like, this is where this is going? At the end, I also felt like it kind of fell apart based on what she did. Spoiler: So she sells her loft and moves to rural Vermont but by book's end (I think only a year?) she moves back to New York, but this is kind of glossed over? Also, lots and lots of sections about getting lost in woods/hiking/maps/compasses (bleh).

  25. 5 out of 5

    John Benson

    The author of this memoir left her NYC apartment for the Vermont woods when her daughter left for college. She tries to make sense of her life figuratively, and how to find her way literally in the woods with maps and compass. Both relate to her feelings of being out-of-place in life. Cancer hits her in the middle of the book and again throws her off-course. I liked the connections to geography and issues confronting people in their 50s. A good and thoughtful book for people still trying to figu The author of this memoir left her NYC apartment for the Vermont woods when her daughter left for college. She tries to make sense of her life figuratively, and how to find her way literally in the woods with maps and compass. Both relate to her feelings of being out-of-place in life. Cancer hits her in the middle of the book and again throws her off-course. I liked the connections to geography and issues confronting people in their 50s. A good and thoughtful book for people still trying to figure life at this age.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lynne

    Very thoughtful memoir with introspection and reflection. This is good nature writing too and I especially became attached to the story near the end. A NYC widow moves to Vermont after sending her child off to college. She works on her home and land and finds a new community and then everything changes again. I really enjoyed the wayfinding in a topographic sense during the last 1/4 of the book. That section was magical. You will root for her and you both realize that success is just fine, life Very thoughtful memoir with introspection and reflection. This is good nature writing too and I especially became attached to the story near the end. A NYC widow moves to Vermont after sending her child off to college. She works on her home and land and finds a new community and then everything changes again. I really enjoyed the wayfinding in a topographic sense during the last 1/4 of the book. That section was magical. You will root for her and you both realize that success is just fine, life doesn't have to be picture-perfect.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Pam Kirst

    There's a literature out there, I realize more and more, consisting of the voices of women of a certain age--late 50's, early 60's; women finding their ways in the years after work and parenting; forging new lives in times and places with no maps or protocols. This is one of those books, with hints for other travelers... https://pamkirst2014.wordpress.com/20... There's a literature out there, I realize more and more, consisting of the voices of women of a certain age--late 50's, early 60's; women finding their ways in the years after work and parenting; forging new lives in times and places with no maps or protocols. This is one of those books, with hints for other travelers... https://pamkirst2014.wordpress.com/20...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Gayle Alexander

    Though I enjoyed Lynn's colorful descriptions, sometimes her round-about way of saying something seemed like "filler". Some of the concepts she expressed were very insightful; a few of which I am still noodling over. This is an honest recount of her experience & I appreciate the vulnerable way she shares her journey. Though I enjoyed Lynn's colorful descriptions, sometimes her round-about way of saying something seemed like "filler". Some of the concepts she expressed were very insightful; a few of which I am still noodling over. This is an honest recount of her experience & I appreciate the vulnerable way she shares her journey.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Desi

    2.5 stars. Not nearly as much of an isolated-out-in-the-wilderness-memoir as I had hoped for. The author had some pleasant and well-crafted insights about life and navigation, but most of her experience seemed painfully ... out of place ... in the new world of covid-19. (It's also possible that I still would not have identified overly much with her situation in any case.)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    This book hit home in so many different ways. A must-read for any woman who's undergone a big life change, or is just reaching pivotal points in adulthood that seemed so far out of reach and mysterious in our youth.

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