The point of vanishing by maryka biaggio, 272 pp
For twenty years, child prodigy writer Barbara Follett traveled the world seeking solace and meaning for an unfulfilled life until she vanishes one December night in 1939. In The Point of Vanishing, Maryka Biaggio deftly writes the point of view of four different Barbaras, as a young child, tween, teen and young adult. At each stage, Biaggio reveals glimpses of Barbara’s intellect as a wide-eyed child searching for comfort amidst family turmoil and upheaval. Biaggio says it best with the sentiment: “A strange comfort settled on her, as if, after being flung about by a hurricane, she’d arrived safely in its eye.” Yet, like the eye of the hurricane, the calm is short-lived as you hit the other edge of the wall and are again tossed into the tempest’s winds. From New England to Barbados to the South Pacific to Los Angeles, New York, the Appalachian Trail, Mallorca, Germany and Boston, each travelogue stop comes alive with descriptions placing the reader in Follett’s shoes and on her paths. I had never heard of Barbara Follett nor her mysterious, and still unsolved, disappearance. Now, I want to read the fantasy book she published when she was twelve years old, The House Without Windows, where boundaries cease to exist. They vanish, just like Barbara Follett.
That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.Jhumpa Lahiri
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