Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Roots and Sky by Christie Purifoy - REVIEWED

About the Book:
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. 

My Thoughts:
In desiring to see more of God, I struggle against the smallness of new beginnings…I forget that everything good requires cultivation.  This is, in fact, part of the gift.” (p. 96)

Christie Purifoy explores the effect of major life changes in her book, Roots and Sky. Changing careers, bringing home a new baby, moving away from family, beginning a new faith journey in a new church home….beginnings all of us have experienced in some measure.  She explores the “cultivation” process we each experience as we face new beginnings – or abrupt or tragic endings. (the Sandyhook school shooting is something she writes about) 

Purifoy has a faith that the reader is able to observe throughout the book – a faith that grows, changes and strengthens.  The writing is almost poetic in its visual images, and it’s not hard to imagine yourself as one of the neighbors in the neighborhood.

This is not a “quick read”, but rather a slow, tasteful meandering through the season of a year in Purifoy’s new home.  This is a book to be savored.  The language is rich and thoughtful, and readers, like myself, will be encouraged to look forward to times of change with a more contemplative attitude! 

About the Author:
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).

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