Book Review: Placemaker

I saw that Magistra had been reading this book via Instagram, and as placemaking has a spot near to my heart, I grabbed myself a copy.   I was half-hoping for a book I might share with my mom, something I might re-read and find respite with.

It was a good book.   Purifoy writes in a wandering literary style that I’m familiar with via Robert MacFarlane, intertwining personal history with discussions of place.   Both of them have PhDs in literature – this must be the new way to write.   It was a pleasant book.   It was a book that referenced Purifoy’s faith in God and her belief in hospitality.

But this was not the book I hoped it would be.  Being me, I wanted this to be a book very specifically about how to placemake, what it means to make a place… that was not this book.  I wanted to hear about how God called her to make places, and I wanted essays about the specifics… I wanted to learn how to cultivate comfort, beauty, and peace.  More how, more what, even more why.  More Bible.   More teeth.

This book was about the love of places, and the love of making beautiful stops.  It was autobiographical.   It was a set of vignettes with placemaking as the common thread.   It was, as I said, an entirely pleasant read.

And there’s a good chance I might get a copy for my mom for Mother’s day.  It’s a nice book, for nice ladies who like to make places.  My mom is a wonderful gardener – her back yard is a slice of heaven, and I can’t remember a home we lived in where she didn’t plant a tree (even though all but this last home were rented).   I think she’ll find a kindred soul in Purifoy.

It just wasn’t the book that I wanted…..


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