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Dandelion Growing Wild: A triumphant journey over astounding odds by American marathon champion Kim Jones Paperback – April 30, 2012
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"A former US marathon champ, Jones grew up in the Pacific Northwest in a family plagued by dysfunction, poverty and mental illness. Her memoir of survival and triumph is told with humor and inspiration. You don't have to be a runner to love it."
-Donnamarie Barnes - People Magazine
"Kim Jones was one of the best marathoners in the world and a familiar favorite on the roads throughout the late '80s and early 90s. With her flowing blond hair and bright smile, she looked like an all-American college girl. Her recent autobiography, however, reveals a story of a large, close-nit family full of trouble -- mental illness, drug abuse, suicide, prison -- and a life spent managing pain and finding freedom."
-Jonathan Beverly - Editor in Chief, Running Times Magazine
"Very powerful book and amazing journey, Dandelion Growing Wild by Kim Jones. A must read for every runner, I was captivated from chapter one."
-Bart Yasso - Runner's World
"For all the running in the book, it's not really a running book. It's an extraordinary, often devastating family story told unflinchingly."
-John Blanchette - Spokane Spokesman-Review
"Jones has penned a story of pathos and passion that ranks among the best and most gripping books written by a runner I've come across. "Dandelion Growing Wild" is that rare sports book that has the potential to cross over into the mainstream reading public."
-Mike Sandrock - Boulder Daily Camera
From the Author
The writing process is as personal as childbirth. And that is even truer when writing about your own life. I wrote and rewrote these words over a three-year period, even though I had conceived of the book at an earlier time. Every serious writer wants to find a voice that is true. My effort to find that voice came as I remembered events and then committed them to words. In my case the act of writing was also an act of catharsis, the spiritual healing that must come with any tragedy. I have tried to capture my life within the context of a career as an elite runner. This book, however, is not so much about the running life but rather my endurance and triumph within that life. As Faulkner wrote: "Between grief and nothing, I will take grief." This book has allowed me to move beyond even that.
My story is connected to the lives and deaths of many loved ones. I hope that my memoir honors both their memory and the dedication and courage of the loved ones they had to leave.
Top customer reviews
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Kim is not a dramatic writer. She is much more matter of fact attitude that allows her to tell her story and ultimately come out the other side as a success.
If you are interested in the sport of running, and have some sense of the history of the sport, this book will be of interest to you. But its real value is in the life lessons that are weaved throughout, lessons that apply to everyone - runner, or not. Reading this book was time well spent.
Although I have admire Kim as one of our greatest distance runner, I came away admiring Kim even more for her life accomplishments. The emotional roller coaster ride of one tragedy after another... just when you think you can't take it anymore, she gives you something humorous or moving and uplifting. This story must be true because you couldn't make this up in your wildest dream. You can't imagine the final catastrophe... but in the end, the greatest gift life can give.
This is a truly inspirational book about life's tragedies and triumphant journey to the end. It's a must read not just for runners but for everyone and anyone. How Kim overcame all the obstacles to become not only a world class road racer but a great mother, wife and just simply a great person should be an inspiration to us all.
Well done Kim!! You just won the Olympic Gold!
Having said this, I found her story absolutely amazing. Although I initially found it a little difficult following all the relatives(!), I soon was mesmerized by the hardship that she and her family endured. I sympathized with her father's physical difficulties and can't help but think that played a role in Kim's toughness as a runner. I could identify with her family's experience with Jehovah Witnesses because my family briefly was involved with JW....and it's not easy! Her mother was beautiful and tough; her siblings likewise tough. Through all of these hardships, Kim persevered and became one of this country's best female distance runners. (Interestingly, some of our best male distance runners have had dysfunctional family backgrounds. Maybe running becomes an escape?) It may sound trite, but I believe Kim's story would make a great movie! Truth can be stranger than fiction! It was a book that I had difficulty putting down....always a great tribute.