The raw and powerful story of a young woman chafing at the confines of marriage and the high cost of craving freedom and adventure

We all have a bit of restlessness in us, but in some people that urge to live an unpredictable life is more of a compulsion. Sometimes you just have to check out, to abandon your life, your home, your stable routine, ditch your husband and go - but what happens when you have no destination?

The Art of Vanishing is about two restless young women determined to lead unconventional lives. Barbara Newhouse Follett was a child protégé who lived a life of adventure, drawn by the pull of the wild to hike the Appalachian Trail and set off on the high seas. She married her partner in crime, but once they ran out of money and returned to the city, he wanted her to become a wife. To hang curtains. To do the dishes. To take care of the home. So in late December, with her marriage fraying, she walked out of their home on a quiet tree-lined street in Brookline and was never seen or heard from again.

Laura Smith shared Barbara's wanderlust and at 25 - Barbara's age when she vanished - she too found herself married and wondering if it was possible to be at once married and free. When she heard about Barbara's story, she became determined to find out what had happened.

The Art of Vanishing is a compelling mystery and a piercing exploration of marriage and convention and the hunger for adventure. Laura asks deep and uncomfortable questions: Why do we give up on our childhood dreams? Does marriage have to be a golden noose? Must we find ourselves in the same row houses with Pottery Barn lamps telling our kids to behave?

Laura wanted her life to be different. She wanted her marriage to be different. And she felt that if she could only get to the bottom of Barbara's story and find out what she had chosen to do, she might have the answer. Her journey took her to some dark and unexpected places. Searingly honest and written with raw intensity, The Art of Vanishing will challenge you to rethink your most intimate decisions and may just upend your life.
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