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Places I Stopped on the Way Home: A Memoir of Chaos and Grace

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  447 ratings  ·  65 reviews
Sometimes I think of how I will describe New York to my children. I will tell them that the city was in so many ways, and for such a long time, the best and worst thing about my life. That it was a sort of perpetual question in pursuit of an answer. And that in attempting to answer it, I turned and faced myself.

In Places I Stopped on the Way Home, Meg Fee plots a decade o
Hardcover, 206 pages
Published May 3rd 2018 by Icon Books (first published October 13th 2015)
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Meg Fee came to New York City to study drama at Julliard. Her short essays, most of them titled after NYC locations (plus a few set further afield), are about the uncertainty of her twenties: falling in and out of love, having an eating disorder, and searching for her purpose. She calls herself “a mess of disparate wants, a small universe in bloom.” New York is where she has an awful job she hates, can’t get the man she’s in love with to really notice her, and hops between terrible apartments – ...more
Caiti S
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read a lot of blogs-turned-books, I'm happy to say that this stands out in the genre. I've read Meg's blog off and on for years, so I was familiar with many of her relationship stories and her general writing style, but this book was beautifully cohesive and more polished than her blog, while still being raw and messy and honest. She managed to capture the confusion that is your 20's in a way that didn't feel cliche or overwrought. I really liked how the book was structured, with each ess ...more
Paula Dennan
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review first appeared on Cornflakegirl's Musings

I am the stumbling, stubborn belief that one word becomes two and one foot in front of the other. I am every man who has ever hurt me, and the promise we’ve only got to get it right once. I am all that has yet to happen and the hope that it’ll be worth the wait.

One of the reasons I love blogs so much is that they have led me to discover some brilliant writing by women. Places I Stopped On The Way Home by Meg Fee is one such example. I stumbled
I finished this book thinking about other girls my age, somewhere out there, living their lives and experiencing different things and different feelings, and it made me wish that my life wasn't so dull, LOL. I've been a fan of Meg's words for a while, and I'm grateful that she decided to share this little snippet of her life so that I could vicariously live through her experiences.
Emily Kate
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A courageous and beautiful assertion of vulnerability

The girl-dating-and-sorting-out-her-place-in-the-big-city memoir genre has its fair share of sardonic, sarcastic, young authors. They are snappy, amusingly world-weary and precociously ‘wise’ as they navigate caddish man-boys, the dashing of rose-colored hopes, drunkenness, and failed birth control. They’re a hoot, and the arch wit that frames their receipt of spectacularly callous male behaviours as awkward, wacky-awful adventures serves to
Emily Blasik
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've been an avid reader of Meg Fee's blog since I was in high school, so I was expecting nothing less than greatness from Places I Stopped. It's even better than I had hoped. I didn't want to put it down, but I dreaded landing on the last page. For women everywhere, her stories are unbelievably relatable, her words life-giving. I never read a book twice, but I have a feeling I'll keep coming back to this one.
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this collection of essays!
The writing is absolutely beautiful, like poetry on every page.
Sometimes I just had to pause, sigh, and take in what I had read, because it was so poignant and personal.
I feel like I discovered things about myself, things that always resided deep down inside, but that were brought to light through Meg's unique vision of life, love, and happiness.
I was literally stunned by several of the individual essays. I was deeply moved, and found myself hanging on every wor
Carmen Marie
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars
Intimate portraits revealing the depth of human complexity really speak to me and I was hoping to discover how New York City shaped Fee's life as she chronicles her life there from age 18-30. When I first started reading Places I Stopped on the Way Home, I found some of the somewhat repetitive essays more a compendium of endless heartbreak. I wanted more about life in the city, but I found myself struggling to keep the men in her life clear while struggling with her fluid timeline as we
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Places I Stopped on the Way Home by Meg Fee is a collection of essays covering her ten years in New York from when arriving as a fresh faced student at Julliard age 18. It is a deeply personal and honest account of the highs and lows of her time living in the city.

The author describes first loves, first heartbreak, her first taste of independence beautifully, almost lyrically. She recounts memories associated with buildings or places or times in her life and includes her thoughts about just what
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2018
I absolutely tore through this book and thoroughly digested it along the way. Meg's writing is not only really beautiful, it's funny and witty and captures a sense of being that comes with being in your twenties. Reading PLACES I STOPPED ON THE WAY HOME felt like sitting down with a bottle of wine (or three) and getting to know someone. I absolutely loved it.
Michelle (michellereadthis_)
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the book I wish I had had in my twenties. Meg’s words are like poetry- beautiful and heartbreaking.
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meg writes in the most gorgeous, delicious way. I related to every story in some way, despite never having been to New York... (full review to come on
Lauren Hockey
I was really excited to get stuck into Meg's book after seeing reviews from both Laura Jane Williams - who appears in the book - and Emma Gannon, two outspoken, creative women I admire. Meg writes poetically and beautifully about her tumultuous twenties and her love-hate affair with New York. I did at times find it to be a little self-indulgent and chaotic, and I didn't always resonate with her experiences, but there's no doubt Meg is a enchanting storyteller and there is much to be savoured in ...more
Madhumita Bharde
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So poetic. Practically every 10th line is a beautiful & profound quote. Dream of a debut.
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Don't believe the hype

I dunno. Maybe I am too jaded -as a native New Yorker - to get this book. The reviews were some of the most beautiful praise i have read for a book so I went for it. It annoyed me as much as sex and the city should annoy real new yorkers . She is indulgent,self absorbed and entitled. Whaaa a boy doesn't like me. Whaa I have an eating disorder - but not really..I vacation for a month here,a month there, go to Paris with my mother. I smell a spoiled rich girl who wouldn't kno
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: digital, non-fiction, 2015
Read in one sitting. Just like Meg's blog, the writing is deceptively fluid -- like a river, it flows quickly but has immense depth. Though her life experiences are quite different from mine, I feel a kinship with her, because we seem to think and feel similarly. (Also, thanks to this ebook I found out that we grew up in the same area!)

Most of all, I found myself tearing up when reading about the kind of love and the kind of man she seeks. Because all the things she describes as perfect, as the
Jun 07, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
ugh, couldn't finish. I heard the author on a podcast and thought the book sounded interesting. If you're interested in reading about how a twenty something's sexual exploits and eating disorder helped her find herself, than this is the book for you. But halfway through, I found nothing at all relevant to my life or worth reading.
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Because when everything else falls away, this is how we will love each other. Simply and quietly, with a held hand, a long kiss, a quiet understanding, in that place beyond failure, where we meet fear with hope.”

“I believe in love. In the mess of it, and the grace of it, and—frankly—in the mundanity of it. I’m crawling into bed night after night next to it. Because sometimes you just need a person to be quiet with, and sad next to.”

Meg Fee’s book is a phenomenal memoir of a woman growing thro
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth Buttrick
Initially gave this 3⭐ but bumping to 4⭐ after self reflection. The only knock on this beautiful collection of essays is the frequent and repetitive pining for yet another lost love. A few essays focus on the unique way she met and developed relationships with some of her best friends, and I would have loved to see more stories about those relationships instead of her next heartbreak. However, reflecting on the fact that I am a 30 year old married woman and not a 20-something single lady, I’m pr ...more
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book meant more to me than I expected it would. I identify strongly with this author and have followed her for some time. She has shaped my opinions about personal identity and my own writing through her social media presence alone. When I was gifted this book, however, I thought I would find it too sentimental, based off of the first few pages. And it was, at times. But if you can get past that, Meg Fee has a lot of clear, wise, and hopeful storytelling to share. I had to read it very slow ...more
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was more of a 3.5 read. In fact, I'm struggling a little bit with the rating here because I've been a huge fan of Meg's blog for years and I love her voice...honest, raw, unafraid of being emotional, romantic, what some might deem slightly melodramatic. And because I love her voice, I enjoyed this book. If you follow Meg, so will you. You'll get more from stories you've heard before and entirely new ones, too. But something about this felt a bit...disjointed? A little all over the place, no ...more
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Meg's blog for almost ten years, before my own life took a turn and I lost track of following along. Reading "Places I Stopped on the Way Home" was like visiting an old friend. I loved re-reading some of Meg's most gorgeous posts, this time fleshed out with more context and somehow even more emotion. Her writing is poetic, relatable and truly gorgeous. As someone born and raised in New York City - who has a lifetime of memories and was lucky enough to fall in love here - the city energize ...more
I enjoy Meg's blog and really looked forward to reading this. This book read just like her blog does- honest, beautifully written, and so forth. I found myself wondering a bit more about HER though- her life, her personality, more of how she came to be who she is and where she is and how her life led her to New York. It was a memoir of her New York time and dating and finding her place, but not so much her life- so I guess this is fine for what it was, but I still didn't get a sense of HER. Stil ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book so very much. When I started, I was enjoying each story in the book. However, when I hit the half way point I fell head over heels. I always dreamed I would get the chance to live in NYC in my 20's but that didn't quite happen. However, by reading Meg's stories I was transported and realized that while I may not have had the same experiences they were so relatable. I may have lived in small rural towns in my 20s and some of my experiences were extremely different but the way I ...more
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Really, really enjoyed this! It’s a memoir that follows Meg’s time she spent living in New York in her twenties and all the highs and lows she encounters.

Me and the author have had such different experiences during our 20’s but there was so much she wrote that still resonated with me and her writing is a special kind of beautiful.

It wasn’t actually exactly what I was expecting but it surprised me in the best way and was full of such depth and raw emotion. I can definitely see it being a book I
Dec 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This gets four stars from me because I was engaged the whole way through and there were parts that made me stop and think about my own life and parts I will return to.

Not quite five stars because there were other parts that were too corny. It sort of reminded me of Thought Catalog articles I used to read in my early twenties - that's not a bad thing, I found a lot worth reflecting on on the site at that time, it's just not necessarily what I would expect in a book. I also found it sad how much
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-reads
I have been reading Meg Fee's blog for many years. I picked this book up because I feel like Meg is a friend I've never met. This book is a jumble of joy, sadness, wine, coffee, friendship, New York, Love, Heartbreak, wondering, wandering, and finding oneself! I stumbled upon Meg's blog many years ago and I would find myself falling into her words over and over again. She wrote a deeply personal book that I found myself unable to put down. Do yourself a favor and pick up Meg's book and maybe fin ...more
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
Absolutely loved the writing, the stories, and the way Meg captures the bits and pieces of being 20-something. I cried and laughed with in the first few pages and had to stop reading one a plane because #allthefeels. Rarely does a book move me like *this* one did. And how did I feel after reading it? Grateful. Meg’s story made me grateful and proud of the woman I’ve become. Her words are one big permission slip to try, and not know, and come out different at the end. I’ll be re-reading it soon. ...more
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best
This. Book. Is. Beautiful. Meg Fee writes about life in a way thay I connect with and understand. My heart is soft and vulnerable and in awe. I love how she encapsulated the truths I believe in about life. Seeing all of that written so beautifully got me speechless. When I finished the book I had to breathe in and out and stare at the cieling. There's nothing special about a person writing about her life and her 20s but how Meg wrote this is amazing. New favorite book.
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“The year leading up to my 30th birthday was astonishing. Mostly in its ability to wound.” 0 likes
“Make sure your identity isn’t based on something you might lose. You are not the size of your waist or your health or your job or someone else’s opinion of you.” 0 likes
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