At twenty-five, as her wedding date approached, [the author] began to feel trapped ... by the unsettling idea that it was hard to be at once married and free. [She] wanted her life to be different. She wanted her marriage to be different. And she found in the strangely captivating story of another restless young woman determined to live without constraints both an enticement and a challenge, Barbara Newhall Follett ... [who] in December 1939, when she was not much older than Laura, walked out of her apartment ... and vanished without a trace. [This memoir] is a riveting mystery and a piercing exploration of marriage and convention that asks deep and uncomfortable questions: Why do we give up on our childhood dreams? Is marriage a golden noose? Must we find ourselves in the same row houses with Pottery Barn lamps telling our kids to behave?