Untethered: Faith, Failure, and Finding Solid Ground
Adult; Memoir; (Market)
When Laura Whitfield was fourteen, her extraordinary brother, Lawrence, was killed in a mountain climbing accident. That night she had an epiphany: Life is short. Dream big, even if it means taking risks. So, after graduating from high school, she set out on her own, prepared to do just that.
Laura spent her first summer after high school on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, a magical few months filled with friendships, boys, and beer. There she met a handsome DJ whom everyone called “Steve the Dream,” and risked her heart. When September came, Steve moved to New York City to become a model —prompting Laura to start thinking about modeling, too. After just one semester of college, still seeking to fill the void left by her brother’s death, she dropped out and moved to New York to become a cover girl. But while juggling the demands of life in the big city—waiting tables, failed relationships, and the cutthroat world of modeling—she lost her way.
A stirring memoir about a young woman’s quest to find hope and stability after devastating loss, Untethered is Laura’s story of overcoming shame, embracing faith, and learning that taking risks—and failing—can lead to a bigger life than you've ever dared to imagine.
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 6 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 7 out of 10
Overall: 6.75 out of 10
Idea: A memoir telling of a woman finding her place in the world, moving between relationships and careers before ultimately finding the values and family she didn’t know she had been searching for.
Prose: The writing is engaging and welcomes the reader into the author’s story and thoughts. The book effectively slows the exposition down to dramatize important moments through dialogue.
Originality: The book is based on the author’s life and recollections, telling a story that is unique to her yet in which readers will recognize the ebbs and flows of tragedy, challenges, and joy we all experience in life.
Character/Execution: The book is structured linearly, but does not merely recount the author’s life chronologically. The narrative effectively builds to a thematic payoff.
Date Submitted: January 29, 2022
" . . . Whitfield's narration is often engaging in its spirited expression of a resolute search for meaning. A candid and inspirational coming-of-age story."