Customer Reviews: Picking Dandelions: A Search for Eden Among Life's Weeds
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on August 8, 2010
Reading this book was almost like reading the story of my life. It was uncanny how many experiences I've shared with its author. Although I'm an avid reader, this is a first for me. That's because not very many books are written from the perspective of a pastor's daughter, who lived in the Midwest, went to Bible College, and wasn't rebellious. I had to decide between incredulity and envy as I read line after line from someone who truly understood me.

The envy really kicked in when I got to the part about her work in New York City after 9/11, and her job as an outreach director in a prominent church. She'd gone beyond me there.

As a writer, I'd wondered if it was possible to write about a christian's thoughts without being insipid or overly spiritualizing things. I'd read plenty of those. But Sarah writes with such wit, and matter-of-fact everydayness that I believe her when she talks about her very normal relationship with God.

Inspiring, funny, poignant. Sarah Cunningham is one of my new favorites. Let's hope she's got more in store for us!
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on March 17, 2010
For those of us who grew up in a Christian cultural context, trying to see the forest for the trees, and carving out a rich path of spiritual growth isn't always as simple, or easily accomplished as one might assume. Sarah, hits this predicament spot on.

Strangely enough, even for generational Christians, spiritual growth (change) still seems risky, and the temptation is to meander on the proverbial Lazy River Ride that Christian subculture can be. Sarah weaves witty and inspiring stories, analogies, and memories, as she musters her own courage to venture further, and deeper, for a richer spiritual life, among what become the distracting, or tangled weeds of life.

Her heart-warming style, will have you enjoying her insights, as much as you may (possibly) personally relate to her life circumstance.

I suggest you add this to your reading list, right away.
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on July 23, 2010
In Picking Dandelions, Sarah Cunningham tells stories about how she has discovered God and a meaningful, authentic faith in the context of ordinary life. As someone who grew up in a Christian home and had a not particularly dramatic journey to faith, I really appreciated and related to this book because many other Christian memoirs seem to be from people who had a came to faith in a more dramatic way. Sarah is a great writer with a gift for telling stories in a compelling way and for communicating a message through stories without the point seeming at all forced. It is one of those books where I was left pondering the ideas well after I finished reading. Style wise, her writing is somewhat similar to Donald Miller.

I really enjoyed the book. It is definitely worth reading.
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on January 18, 2012
Somewhere along the way, maybe it was effective marketing, I got the impression this was going to be an awesome book. The hype got me. But the book didn't. It's difficult to articulate what I didn't prefer about this book. Sarah is a gifted writer, she can craft a beautiful sentence, and do it often. I assume she slaved over the nuts and bolts writing on this book. But ultimately the book was a turn off for me because the author came across as conceited. She threw in regular doses of self-deprectation, but it felt forced, so we'd buy that she really is humble. I realize this is all my perception, so I'm not worried if you disagree, but I left with the impression that she knew she was talented and this informed how she wrote. Many scenes depicted and defended how smart she is. I wasn't moved by this book, at all. In fact I took a two month break during reading it to pursue something else I enjoyed, and then I struggled to finish it (mostly just so I could have finished it). I'm all for using stories and using them as metaphors, but her childhood stories went on and on in my opinion. And I didn't find them interesting, in spite of all the well structured sentences. I suspect future work from Sarah will be excellent, but this one fell short for me - which in the end was disappointing as I was expecting and hoping to love this book.
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on March 4, 2010
Picking Dandelions by Sarah Cunningham is the first spiritual memoir that I've come across in a long time that is truly a joy to read. Cunningham has a very distinctive writing style that is a refreshing change of pace from other books in this genre. She's not angry. She's completely open and honest. She doesn't bash the church.

From her humorous descriptions of her childhood to an account of her humanitarian efforts at Ground Zero, Cunningham walks the reader through the milestones of her life and how her faith played a role with great honesty, humor and prose.
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on April 14, 2010
Sarah's writing brought back vivid memories of my own childhood - growing up in the church, and romping the midwest country side. Sarah takes you on a journey of change, from childhood through adulthood, as she recognized the need for significant spiritual change in her own life. Change is uncomfortable, yet Sarah's stories ease the reader into realizing the areas in your own life that God may be calling you to change. When I turned the last page, I was surprised at the journey her delightful writing had taken me on and how deeply it hit home.
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on March 27, 2010
"Picking Dandelions" is a funny and touching collection of stories about Sarah Cunningham's ever-evolving faith. Growing up as a pastor's child, Sarah had an easy-going childhood with a loving family. But as she grew older, she started seeing more and more weeds--hypocritical Christians, church politics, her own selfishness--pop up in her perfect little Eden. But with each challenge, she learns to rely on the goodness of God. If you love stories about keeping faith amid real-life issues, you'll love "Picking Dandelions."
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on October 10, 2010
This book was pretty enjoyable and I could picture myself in many of the scenes. However, it felt a little disjointed, with an excess of words trying to tie it all together. Perhaps that's the story of my life and the reason I didn't think it was a great book. Life really is pretty messy! I think that even a non-Christian could read this book and find some wisdom and insight to apply to living a meaningful life. That said, maybe you'll find it's the story of your life, as well. Enjoy!
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on February 8, 2010
I have recently found Sara Cunningham's books, and Picking Dandelions: A Search for Eden Among Life's Weeds, touches me in such a fresh, poignant way. Honest, true from the heart memoir that will leave you wanting to read more! I love how the cover reflects the hundreds, maybe millions of weeds we sometimes have to sift through to get closer to our Lord and create that bliss of Eden in our lives. She shows us this is this book.
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on September 23, 2010
Loved Sarah's way with words. Very deep yet never boring. Drew you into each phase of her life. One could really identify with her growth from being "religious" to a meaningful spiritual growth. She really did pinpoint just what is wrong in "Christianity" without being stereotypical, preachy or boring. This was a fun read.
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