The Map of Enough: One Woman's Search for Place (Hardcover)
Molly Caro May grew up as part of a nomadic family, one proud of their international sensibilities, a tribe that never settled in one place for very long. Growing up moving from foreign country to foreign country, just like her father and grandfather, she became attached to her identity as a global woman from nowhere. But, on the verge of turning thirty years old, everything changed.
Molly and her fiance Chris suddenly move to 107 acres in Montana, land her family owns but rarely visits, with the idea of staying for only a year. Surrounded by tall grass, deep woods, and the presence of predators, the young couple starts the challenging and often messy process of building a traditional Mongolian yurt from scratch. They finally finish just on the cusp of winter, in a below-zero degree snowstorm. For Molly it is her first real home, yet a nomadic one, this one concession meant to be dissembled and moved at will.
Yurt-life gives her rare exposure to nature, to the elements, to the wildlife all around them. It also feels contrary to the modern world, and this triggers in Molly an exploration of what home means to the emergent generation. In today's age, has globalization and technology taught us that something better, the next best thing, is always out there? How does any young adult establish roots, and how do we decide what kind of life we want to lead? How much, ever, is enough?
In an impressive debut memoir, a self-proclaimed "Woman of the World" chronicles her journey to find a home. May joins the ranks of Gretel Ehrlich and Annie Proulx, celebrants of sagebrush, big skies, and journeys of self-discovery… May's poetic, gleaming prose makes palpable the wildness and wind, freezing and thawing earth, delicate fragrances of grass and budding treesand her own profound transformation.” —Kirkus Starred Review
Could a wanderer learn to stay put without stagnating? Could a woman brought up without survival skills learn to build her own shelter, split firewood, grow food? Could a browser of the Internet keep from drowning in the electronic sea of possibilities? Could she learn to be fully present to her life without hankering to be elsewhere? Molly Caro May tackles all these questions, and more, in prose as candid and lucid as an April morning. She holds the hard-won answers lightly, open to correction from fresh experience.” Scott Russell Sanders, Earth Works: New & Selected Essays.