Out of the Woods: A Memoir of Wayfinding

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9780061710247: Out of the Woods: A Memoir of Wayfinding

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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From the Back Cover:

A powerful, lyrical memoir of self-discovery full of warmth and wry humor—a book that combines the soul-baring insight of Wild, the profound wisdom of Shop Class as Soulcraft, and the ad venturous spirit of Eat, Pray, Love

When her college-bound daughter leaves home, Lynn Darling, widowed more than a decade earlier, finds herself alone and utterly lost. Freed of her parental responsibilities, she has no idea what she wants or even who she is. Searching for answers, she leaves her apartment in New York City and moves to a cranky little house in the middle of the Vermont woods, her only companions, a new dog and a compass. There she hopes to develop a sense of direction—both in the woods and in her life.

As she finds new ways to get lost in her own backyard, Darling meditates on her past and on the challenges that aging poses to love, work—not to mention fashion—and the way she sees herself. She has just begun to chart a new course for the future when an unexpected setback unsettles her newfound balance.

With rare insight and remarkable honesty, Out of the Woods reveals how honing the skills of navigation—literal and metaphorical—smoothed one woman's path through the uneven course of life. It is a story at once universal and deeply personal—in the words of writer Geraldine Brooks, "both a compass and a manifesto for navigating the often-treacherous switchbacks of the second half of life."

About the Author:

Lynn Darling is the author of Necessary Sins. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, and Elle, among other publications. She lives in New York City.

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