?She concocts a fine wine from the unruly weeds that bloom inside her white picket fence. Read Planting Dandelions. It?s a riotous and compelling glimpse of life after a perennial party girl crosses over to the other side.?
Some people need to run away to find themselves. Some need to come home.
Kyran Pittman did both, landing in the last place she ever expected: inside the white picket fence at the center of an all-American family. A self-described wild child, Pittman grew up in a loving yet chaotic household on the ?near-mythical island? of Newfoundland, off Canada?s rugged east coast.
Unmoored by ?the catastrophe of falling in love with an American,? she embarked on a new life as an unlikely pilgrim to the suburban heartland?a journey that began in exile and ends in homecoming.
Married, with three young sons, Pittman took up blogging as a way of journalling about her ?semi-domestic? life. She expanded to a national print audience when her online musings were discovered by Good Housekeeping magazine, and when an epiphany in a supermarket checkout line led to her first feature article, Mommy Wears Prada.
That adventure and many others, are recounted in Pittman?s debut memoir PLANTING DANDELIONS: Field Notes From a Semi-Domesticated Life, the story of what happens after happily ever after.
PLANTING DANDELIONS is what Pittman describes as a ?natural history of an American family,? a captivating set of field notes on the living habits of a small group of humans embedded deep in the heart of suburban America. In its eighteen linked, chronological essays, she observes everyday life from the center of the chaos, but with an outsider?s appreciation, wonder and amusement. This perspective isn?t surprising given her provenance.
The daughter of a charismatic yet troubled poet, Pittman?s childhood was as unconventional as it was unpredictable. In her twenties, she was led away from her home when an idle email correspondence quickly combusted into a year-long, continent-crossing, scorched-earth love affair. Ever her father?s daughter, Pittman followed her heart, deciding to leave her country, her family and a short-lived marriage based on a cumulative total of three days spent in the presence of her beloved. As great love stories go, it should have ended there. But Pittman married him, moved to his home state, and soon after gave birth to their first son. That?s when the real adventure began.
Her new life in suburban, landlocked Arkansas was a far cry from her island home and it could have sent her reeling. Instead, she learned to embrace domesticity as a novel and exotic adventure, blending in with her adopted culture ?about as much as the dandelions on her lawn blend in with the grass, but with roots that dig down a little deeper each passing year.?
Striking a brilliant balance between funny and profound, PLANTING DANDELIONS traces Pittman?s chosen path. Spanning twelve jammed-packed years and brimming with stories that will speak to every family, Pittman writes openly about maintaining a marriage for over a decade through three children, the threat of foreclosure, and the temptations of infidelity. She writes about saying goodbye to her formerly ?outrageous? self, about the challenges of sex after children, and about trying to recession-proof her family.
Through it all, she offers moving and hopeful musings on parenting and marriage and more. The result is an extraordinary book about ordinary life.
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