'A courageous memoir of love and loss . . . compelling' Sunday Express
On a warm evening on a beautiful beach in Thailand, Shannon Leone Fowler's life was shattered when a box jellyfish - the most venomous animal in the world - wrapped itself around her fiancé Sean's legs, stinging and killing him in minutes.
Devastated by the tragedy, Shannon, a marine biologist, could not face returning to her home by the ocean. She had travelled the world with Sean, and to honour his memory set out on a new journey - this time alone, to make sense of her loss.
From contemplating the silence of Auschwitz, to stumbling through poverty-stricken Romania and Bulgaria, to sitting shiva amid daily bombings in Israel, to finding humour and creativity in Sarajevo, a city still scarred by war, Shannon begins to chart a path through grief - learning to live with loss without letting it destroy her.
Shannon Leone Fowler is a marine biologist, writer, and single mother of three young children, living in London. Since her doctorate on Australian sea lions, she's taught marine ecology in the Bahamas and Galapagos, led a university course on killer whales in the San Juan islands, spent a number of seasons as marine mammal biologist onboard ships in both the Arctic and Antarctic, taught graduate students field techniques while studying Weddell seals on the Ross Ice Shelf, and worked as a science writer at National Public Radio in Washington, DC. TRAVELING WITH GHOSTS is her first book.
A heartbreaking story about the randomness of tragedy told with great courage and tenacity — Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for Time Being
Like Cheryl Strayed's Wild, Fowler makes us feel that a hero's journey is our only hope for surviving grief. Traveling with Ghosts is a brave and necessary record of love, as beautiful as it is heart-breaking — Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder
A cross between H is for Hawk and Wild, this beautifully written tale follows Fowler's travels through Eastern Europe after her fiance was killed by a jellyfish — Stylist
A rich and absorbing memoir that shows the reader what it feels like to lose your future in a matter of seconds in a faraway land . . . Shannon learns to travel on, to get back in the ocean and to build a new life — Cathy Rentzenbrink, The Times
Gloriously rendered, beautifully written, but utterly devastating ... an intimate and inspiring experience . . . balm to the soul, as well as being a necessary witness account of the blackest depths of grief — Viv Groskop, Observer
[A] courageous memoir of love and loss... compelling. — Caroline Sanderson, S Magazine, Sunday Express
A searing memoir [that] celebrates a life cut short, a love never given a chance to grow, and a process of recovery bravely illustrating that while life after tragedy goes on, the chilly fingers of grief touch us in a way that mark us forever — Elizabeth George, author of the Inspector Lynley Mysteries
A courageous and finely crafted account soaked in tears of love and loss — Kirkus
Fowler has turned her devastating, beautiful, honest, and personal story into something universal. Akin to Cheryl Strayed's Wild, her book will appeal to globetrotters and readers of hopeful stories chronicling grief and recovery — Booklist (starred review)
Heartbreaking but beautiful, Traveling With Ghosts is the story of Shannon Leone Fowler's travels around the world after her fiancé's unexpected death. She brings us along as she drifts from one place to the next, weaving in memories from their time together as well. As much as this is a tale of grief and loss, it's one of love, too. — Bustle
A moving account ... This is a nicely written and informative journey on the path to healing — Publisher's Weekly
[Fowler's] various journeys - through grief, through areas of the world few experience, and through memories of adventures that made her who she was and Sean who he was -- are movingly and honestly told . . . Her story -- rich, unblinking and adroitly told -- is one of strength, of getting past but not getting over. Few would choose the approach Fowler took to kick-start healing. But hers is a thought-provoking journey that she generously shares — Sharon Peters, USA Today
[Fowler] is a writer who is a wonder at conveying pain amid a rush of emotions. She is a wise writer, too, understanding the nature of danger, confronting it, which can sometimes leave one person unscathed and another destroyed . . . [Fowler] epitomizes Ernest Hemingway's classic definition of courage: grace under pressure — Washington Times
[An] intensely personal and appealing memoir . . . Bring along a world map, set aside everything you know about healing from heartbreaking loss, and have yourself an unforgettable read — BookPage
A compelling and poignant book about love, grief, and recovery — Largehearted Boy
This book is a heartbreaker, but so beautiful, both haunted and haunting. I've never read anything quite like it — Musing, Parnassus Books