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Roots and Sky: A Journey Home in Four Seasons Paperback – February 2, 2016
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From the Back Cover
"This is not a book. This is a sanctuary. Step inside and breathe again."--Jennifer Dukes Lee, author of Love Idol
When Christie Purifoy arrived at Maplehurst that September, she was longing for a fixed point in her busily spinning world. The sprawling Victorian farmhouse sitting atop a Pennsylvania hill held within its walls endless possibilities. It was a place where she could finally grasp and hold the thing we all long for--home.
In lyrical, contemplative prose, Christie slowly unveils the trials and triumphs of that first year at Maplehurst--from summer's intense heat and autumn's glorious canopy to winter's quiet grief and spring's unexpected mercies. Through stories of planting and preserving, of opening the gates wide to neighbors, and of learning to speak the language of a place, Christie invites you into the heartache and joy of small beginnings and the wonder of a God who would make his home with us.
"When it comes to finding God in ordinary places, no one does it better than Christie Purifoy. Somehow her personal journey to find home turned into a spiritually informative pilgrimage for my own soul."--Emily P. Freeman, author of Simply Tuesday
"Christie reminds us that hope, like dreams, is made of stronger stuff. She invites us into a year of her life lived in real time in an old Pennsylvania farmhouse, chock-full of hope and decay, promise and weeds, work and wonder."--Lisa-Jo Baker, author of Surprised by Motherhood and community manager for (in)courage
"An astonishing, rhythmic work of unmatched artistry. There is no doubt: this book is a must-read for the lover of the quiet, contemplative, and beautiful."--Seth Haines, author of Coming Clean
Christie Purifoy has taught literature and composition to undergraduates at the University of Chicago, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of North Florida. In 2012, Christie traded the university classroom for a large vegetable garden and a henhouse in southeastern Pennsylvania. She writes about the beauty, mystery, and wonder that lies within the ordinary at her blog, There Is a River (www.christiepurifoy.com).
About the Author
Christie Purifoy (PhD, University of Chicago) has taught literature and composition to undergraduates at the University of Chicago, the School of the Art Institute, Chicago, and the University of North Florida. In 2012, Christie traded the university classroom for a large vegetable garden and a henhouse in southeastern Pennsylvania. She is a regular writer at Grace Table and has contributed essays to numerous websites, including Art House America, A Deeper Story, and many popular blogs. She writes about the beauty, mystery, and wonder that lies beneath the ordinary at her blog, There Is a River (www.christiepurifoy.com).
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Top Customer Reviews
Christie Purifoy invites us into her life, one year in her life, to be exact. Moving through the seasons from autumn through summer, from late pregnancy to early toddlerhood, from the wilderness of Florida to the welcoming joys of a very old house on a hilltop in Pennsylvania, she lets us see life through her eyes.
And what beauty-seeking eyes she has! Her reflections on the life she lives are deep, rich, honest and gloriously articulate and thoughtful. Maplehurst is an old, brick farmhouse, now surrounded by a brand-new neighborhood of tract homes, a place far from family, yet a place that becomes home in every way you can think of.
Along the way, she reflects on things like post-partum depression, sleep deprivation, gardening (oh my, gardening!!!), the liturgical year, life, death, joy, sorrow. She reflects on this life we live, all of us, but she does it in a way too few of us take the time to — and with a skill very few of us enjoy.
I’ve pulled out a few favorite passages, but believe me when I tell you this — there are too many to count:
“Our lives are stories built of small moments.”
“Yet it is only when we are fenced in that we begin to see the true shape of ourselves and of our lives. What it is we long for. What it is we love. Hemmed in on every side, we begin to understand, we are not enough. Until every limitation and every need becomes a prayer. And every prayer, a light revealing the treasure that is always, already ours.”
“When something breaks down or does not go as planned, we are given a glimpse of our great need. Like a vast emptiness. We pray for solutions, crying out for immediate help, but God desires to give us more. To give something real. Something we can see with our eyes and feel on our skin. Like a baby born to us. But first he fills our emptiness with his silence.”
“When Jesus broke the bread and served the wine, he said, ‘Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). Do this. He didn’t say ‘think this,’ or ‘keep retrieving this idea from the back of your brain.’ He didn’t even say, ‘feel this.’ No. He said, ‘Do this.’ Jesus knew the day of his coming was a long one. Thousands of years after his death, we are still living in it. “
Believe me when I tell you this -- there is lots more where these came from. Stunning prose. Truly, truly.
*I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review*
Their Victorian farmhouse sits atop a hill in Pennsylvania, down a long lane of Maple trees. In a way, this book is unlike most that I have read. It's a memoir of sorts, to their first year in their new home, and all of the surprises and memories made within that home.
Readers see first hand how Christie and her family opened their home to neighbors, and how they actually had to call their realtor to come help watch their other children when their newest baby was born, because they honestly didn't know anyone else in town.
I think Christie has a beautiful way with words. "Roots and Sky" is almost a book of poetry with the way Christie writes. It's a beautiful book to take to the beach, or to read outside on a nice Spring day.
I rate this book as 5 stars. I received this book for free from Revell, a division of Baker Book House in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion.