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by Shannon Leone Fowler category: Book
In 2002, Shannon Leone Fowler was a blissful twenty-eight-year-old marine biologist, spending the summer backpacking through Asia with the love of her life—her fiancé, Sean. He was holding her in the ocean’s shallow waters when a box jellyfish—the most venomous animal in the world—wrapped around his legs, stinging and killing him in a matter of minutes.
Shattered, untethered and alone, Shannon couldn’t face returning to her life’s work, to the ocean. Instead she returned to travel—a passion she shared with Sean. Though Sean wasn’t with Shannon, he was everywhere she went. From contemplating the silence of Auschwitz to learning the rules for sitting shiva amid daily bombings in Israel, to finding humor and creativity in Sarajevo—a city still scarred by the recent war—and ultimately to Barcelona, where she and Sean first met years before. Never easy but always enlightening, it was through her travels to these grief-stricken and complex places that Shannon was able to begin healing and processing her tragedy in unanticipated ways.
Deeply personal and yet universal, this is a beautifully rendered, profoundly moving memorial to those we have lost on our journeys and the unexpected ways their presence echoes in all places—and voyages—big and small.
Shannon Leone Fowler
Shannon Leone Fowler is a writer, marine biologist, and single mother of three young children. USA Today calls her debut memoir, Traveling with Ghosts, "rich, unblinking, and adroitly told."