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All Over the Map

3.59  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,089 Ratings  ·  175 Reviews
On a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, to celebrate her fortieth birthday, Laura Fraser confronts the unique trajectory of her life. Divorced and childless in her thirties, she found solace in the wanderlust that had always directed her heart—and found love and comfort in the arms of a dashing Frenchman. Their Italian affair brought her back to herself—but now she wonders if her pas ...more
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Published June 1st 2010 by Crown (first published January 1st 2010)
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May 25, 2010 Eden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hate that I'm about to compare this book to Gilbert's "Eat, Pray, Love" (and suspect that the author will quickly get sick of that comparison, too) but women (because they are, all) who love "Eat, Pray, Love" will enjoy Fraser's new book, "All Over the Map". Both are stories about unconventional women in their forties who are forced to reconcile the life they've led with the life that's seemingly passed them by. But unlike the rest of us, they get to reconcile whilst moving from one dreamy int ...more
Jun 19, 2010 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
A wonderful tale about coming to terms with the choices we make along the way and living life to its fullest. Fraser may have traveled the whole world living her dream career as a travel writer, but she longs for the quiet stability of a family life in a place she can call home. Throughout her journey, she learns to view her life in a different light and appreciate the richness of the fruits of her decisions.

As a fellow woman writer approaching midlife, I know from experience I cannot have it a
Jul 13, 2010 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
I enjoyed reading All Over the Map. It is written in the first person and is an autobiographical telling of a woman’s life after her divorce. She had a dream of finding a good man to marry, children, a house and a career that lets her travel. She already had the wonderful career but it didn’t seem like enough. She desperately wanted a man to have all attributes on her list. She felt that time was running out that the children she wanted so much may never be born. At the beginning of the book, I ...more
This is what Eat, Pray, Love should have been, but missed by a long shot. Put simply, it is one women’s journey through coming to terms with her nomadic life and the consequences it has reaped both good and bad. But as EPL proves, in the wrong hands a story of one’s midlife crisis can easily come across as sappy and forced. Whereas EPL felt like Gilbert decided to set out on a self created mission and therefore had to overwhelm the reader with over the top metaphysical, touchy feely writing, All ...more
Lynne Spreen
Laura Fraser lived like a traveling minstrel, able to pull up stakes and go just about anywhere in the world her vagabond heart desires, and earn a living writing about it. Sounds like a dream to me, but at middle-age she becomes depressed over the failure to connect with a life-love and start a family. Then while traveling, she suffers a horrific assault that impacts her ability to continue traveling and writing.

I've never understood how a person could live like it isn't serious. I sort of env
Kathy Austin
Jul 09, 2010 Kathy Austin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Laura Fraser's All Over The Map is a funny, witty, sometimes sad but honest review of her life and times. It could be a story about MY life, well, except for the world travel,college and the adventurous Mom! But her trials and tribulations with men and relationships struck a chord with me. Been there, done that. Her insight into the relationships, the whys and wherefores of them, is deeply introspective, completely personal, yet makes you feel you're on the journey with her. Her fears, insecurit ...more
Jul 19, 2010 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hate that this work as well as the prequel, An Italian Affair, are often compared to Gilbert's Eat,Pray, Love. Don't get me wrong, both are endearing tales of a woman's spiritual and emotional growth and enlightenment through journey and experience. However, what I admire about Fraser is her ability to marry the description of her innermost thoughts with her external travels and experiences. Her travel experiences and writing are richly described, peppered with colorful anecdotes and conversat ...more
Jul 06, 2010 Sheila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this. A great memoir of a woman in her forties navigating her single life and exotic travels. She wrote another great memoir "An Italian Affair" about a romance she had in Italy post-divorce in her 30s. She is like the Eat, Pray, Love writer, only less cheesy and more relatable in my opinion.
Jul 24, 2010 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, travel

LA BELLA VITA CONTINUA...with Laura's latest fabulous adventure "All Over the Map"!

Laura's first memoir, "An Italian Affair", left me longing for MORE.
More travel, more romance & more comic, heart wrenching, honest tales of a girl finding herself as she moves around the globe in search of love & living life to the max.
"All Over the Map" delivers that & so much MORE!

If you are searching for a summer read that combines witty tales ranging from cleansing your life starting with the clos
Sue Bridehead (A Pseudonym)
Some will say this is another fortysomething divorcee memoir, and others will criticize Fraser for repurposing her killed journalistic pieces. To them I say, get over it. Anyone who makes a decent living by seeing the world and writing about it deserves a heaping pile of credit. Fraser also happens to be a good, clear writer who is straightforward about her weaknesses and her relative privilege. I could relate to her instincts for both independence and stability, and to her confusion about what ...more
Patti Pokorchak
She really is all over the map and reminds me of myself as my nickname is Gypsy and I travelled for 10 years in Europe (though I've had better luck with men). She's a very open and honest writer, letting us get inside her mind, complete with all the insecurities and thoughts that we normally would not have access to. When I read about her building her own little house in San Miguel, I immediately wanted to go there as it sounds like a little piece of paradise with great supportive people. You go ...more
Feb 09, 2011 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-written, but hard to identify with our author. She chronicles her 40s and contemplates her lack of a firm relationship and home while still indulging her penchant for wanderlust. She ultimately self-diagnoses pretty well and never gives up trying to improve, which are both admirable and nice to see in the book. She's also likable enough and definitely travels to interesting places, writing some fascinating stories. However, it is a little silly to me that a woman would be practically 50 bef ...more
I wanted to read this book because I thought it woul dbe similar to "Eat, Pray, Love" and I was interested in learning about the places she was travelling to. I got about 1/3 of the way into the book and had to give up. Her stories/chapters are literally "All Over The Map". She just talks about all the places she has been and all the men she has been with and does not string all the events together into one coherent story. It was hard to relate to the character and hard to follow her main point, ...more
Jul 02, 2010 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ever since reading The Italian Affair, I've been waiting to hear more from Laura Fraser. And I'm so glad that All Over the Map was what I waited for: such a bittersweet and ultimately very inspiring account. It made me both want to travel, and stay at home. This book felt like a friend with whom I shared a really soul-searching conversation.
Jul 09, 2010 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The relatively new genre of memoir of middle aged woman finding herself (usually after divorce) seems almost a second coming of age. These are women disillusioned by the whole struggle of balancing careers, families, and personal growth, looking to lead fuller, more meaningful lives, and always to find their one true love. Laura Fraser fits easily in this category and All Over the Map is the story of her second coming of age.

Laura Fraser is a restless traveler with no roots, running away from th
What makes this book different from other single woman travels to a foreign land type books (Eat, Pray, Love and Under the Tuscan Sun etc) is that the author doesn't look at foreign countries/people as places that will save her. She appreciates them for their differences-language, food, people, traditions-but doesn't rely on them to fix her problems or make her a better person. Her experiences overseas seemed more real to me than those of the women in the other books-good things definitely happe ...more
Victoria Costello
Aug 08, 2011 Victoria Costello rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Laura Fraser is a twice-published memoir writer and a memoir teacher, with whom I've had the pleasure of learning my craft. In her workshop, Laura encouraged us to take big risks, letting it all hang out in order to tell our unique stories. Teaching by example, Fraser did that and more in her newest memoir All Over the Map, now out in paperback. It's the sequel to her bestselling An Italian Affair.

Fraser's two memoirs chronicle her ten-year relationship with a married Frenchman whom she meets in
I had to let this one marinate for a bit before writing a review. I want to keep this short. Let's see if I can.

I understand why people have compared this book to EPL. It's not much of a stretch: lonely and divorced women of a certain age seeking something in the world, be it love, sex, excitement, inner peace, her spiritual core, or all of the above. I get it. There are some days I panic about waking up one morning and realizing I've missed my opportunity for fulfillment. Hell, that happened l
Jul 14, 2010 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is more or less a sequel to an earlier book of Laura Fraser's, An Italian Affair. Approaching her 40th birthday at the beginning of the book, Laura (and she's that kind of writer, to me - I feel I could call her by her first name and be a friend if we met) reaches a new stage with her long term relationship with "The Professor" and has come to want a committed, full time partnership in her life. This book explores the bittersweet quest to find a lasting love while reaching for new, meaningf ...more
Jul 05, 2015 Beáta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: liked
The author, Laura Fraser is a journalist. She wrote about her trips in different countries that I found really interesting. She told about her plans, desires and problems. She talked about these frankly that I appreciated. I really liked the book.
Aug 05, 2011 Annette rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sad to say, but I found this book immensely depressing. It followed the theme of wildly popular, "Eat,Pray,Love." Laura's tale paralleled Elizabeth's and both, through travel and writing, found balance. Though the overall tone of this book brought my mood down, I appreciated the glimpse that Laura gave of us of her life and challenges. Particularly, as a woman, I felt that her honesty about her age, position in her life and society was captured and expressed with grace and endearment towards any ...more
Mrs. Lapacka
Aug 05, 2012 Mrs. Lapacka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. I read it while on vacation, which is a good time for it, and I am about the same age as Laura is when the book begins, dealing with many of her same issues. There are moments where the story bogs down here and there, but there were also many passages that I wanted to underline and keep handy to reread when I needed their reminders about life and relationships. Both of Fraser's books have made me want to chuck several sets of clothes in a backpack and head of to far-off plac ...more
The book gets better if you stick with it. The last 1/3 of the book, when Laura learns meditation and stops obsessing over men finally feels like a grown up read. When she finds contentment and puts down some roots in St. Miguel in Mexico, there is finally a serenity in her life. The first 2/3rds of the book are a whine of extended adolescence that almost caused me not to finish it. I'm glad I did. Spirituality is sorely lacking in the memoir and only begins to seep in toward the latter chapters ...more
Amy Foster
Jun 23, 2011 Amy Foster rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could have been Laura Fraser in another life. When I read about her adventures and her travels, I see a version of myself. She is interesting, fierce, funny and imminently likeable. The path she has chosen, to be single and childless with one house in San Fran and a "jewelbox" of a house in San Miguel is lke one I fantasize about. Especially when the kids are screaming, Im exhausted and I realize I havent been alone in two years. sure she questions her choices but not in a pity pary way. think ...more
p 200-201
After we've scribbled down our purpose, Martha asks us to write a few goals that will support that larger life purpose and make commitments to stick to them, i.e., spending more time writing and researching good stories. The results in our lives, she says, reveal what we're committed to...

If we want to change the results in our lives, Martha says, we have to change the beliefs that have led us to take specific actions and behaviors.

p 256
The house takes about a year to build, slightly lo
Jul 19, 2010 Melissa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who liked Eat, Pray, Love
Shelves: nonfic-faves, 2010
I loved this book. I liked it so much more than her first book, An Italian Affair. Laura is so likable to me - she makes mistakes, she's impulsive, and she's lonely and sad at middle age. I loved her adventures in this book and just fell in love with her along the way. I loved her time in Mexico and cheered when she makes a big decision while she's there. She's just such a great heroine and someone you really want to root for.
At age 40 Laura found herself divorced and childless. It was not the life she expected. Not that her life was all bad. Far from it. She travels the world and gets paid to write about it. As much as she yearns to settle down with a husband and a child, Laura loves her work and traveling. I was/am envious of her worldwide travels, and the fact that she gets paid to write. I also could relate to life not turning out precisely as expected.

Laura's writing is thoughtful and honest. As she travels in
Oct 20, 2010 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the author's honesty and vulnerability in her travel and relationship experiences. I couldn't put the book down (did, but looked forward to each time I got to get into it again!) Reading this book resolved the discomfort I had by reading another book by Laura Fraser, An Italian Affair, primarily written in the "third person" even though it was her story. I enjoyed this one very much.
Oct 13, 2010 Kimberly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
I'd seen reviews for this book in all kinds of magazines, plus it's all about travel, so I was excited to read it. However, I never really identified with Laura, and thus was unable to get hooked into her story. I ended up skipping through the chapters to see the different destinations and then reading the lovely descriptions of the places. Overall, the book wasn't what I hoped.
Apr 26, 2014 Nifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book, perhaps because I am of the same age as the author was in the book and am experiencing some similar feelings. The author has my dream job - travel and get paid to travel.
But as she explains, even this ideal has its downsides.
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I am a long-time journalist and San Franciscan who loves travel and books. I'm the author of the NYT-bestselling memoir An Italian Affair, and its sequel, All Over the Map. I also wrote a book about the diet industry, Losing It. I am the co-founder and editorial director of, which publishes short, top-shelf ebooks by women. My own Shebook, The Risotto Guru, is all about eating in Ital ...more
More about Laura Fraser...

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“I am realizing that intention has a lot to do with how things turn out, and accomplishments don't always have to involve such a difficult personal fight or campaign. So, too, how you tell your story has a great deal to do with how you feel about the circumstances in your life and which direction your story is going to go in.” 4 likes
“All those stories need different endings——which is possible because it's my life and I do have the privelege of being able to write the story.” 3 likes
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