Verdict: Trailing is a wonderfully realized memoir about a woman’s struggle to obtain a stronger sense of self, save her marriage and her family, but more than anything, to save herself.
Author Kristin Louise Duncombe’s memoir is nothing short of a beautiful piece of literature.
The work begins with her move to New Orleans in an attempt to rebuild her life and find stability. The daughter of a U.S Foreign Service Officer, her childhood was consistently being uprooted as she followed her father across the country and to other parts of the world. Though American, her sense of citizenship has a kind of ambiguity and she has never really felt she belonged. Perhaps it is for this reason, that after little more than a few months of living in New Orleans, she decides to move again; this time to another country.
Duncombe meets an attractive and charming Argentinian Medecin Sans Frontieres doctor named Tano. They instantaneously fall in love and before she knows it, they are married and she is sacrificing her own ambitions of establishing a therapy practice in New Orleans to relocate to Kenya. There she will aid Tano in his admirable, yet all consuming, quest to improve health conditions. The relationship, shortly after arrival, begins to deteriorate even after she gives birth to their first child. Tano’s profession seems to take precedence over their marriage, fatherhood and her career.
Increasingly frustrated by her life and isolation, Duncombe considers divorce. To make matters worse, life in Kenya is incredibly volatile. The book begins with Duncombe and Tano being carjacked at gunpoint by a gang of unknown Kenyan assailants, an event that is neither shocking nor out of the ordinary in the region. This event, among others, causes her to be stricken with debilitating anxiety and post- traumatic stress disorder.
Trailing is a wonderfully realized memoir about a woman’s struggle to obtain a stronger sense of self, save her marriage and her family, but more than anything, to save herself. Duncombe’s language is raw, poetic and stunningly paced. This book is a must read.
Reviewed by Rebecca Nichloson for IndieReader