Book Review: Picking Dandelions

Posted on June 22, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

People love stories. Telling stories is what we tend to do when we get together with friends. It’s what the ever popular TV and movie industries are all about. Even Jesus used stories in the form of His parables to get some of His most important messages across to his children.

It is the wonderful use of stories that makes Sarah Cunningham’s memoir Picking Dandelions so powerful.

The stories alone make this book a worthwhile read. From describing the value of collecting eraser dust as an elementary school kid to relating her experience about volunteering after the September 11 attacks, Sarah fills the pages with vivid details, emotion, and humor that bring the reader into each moment and take them back to their own similar experiences.

Though the stories are captivating on their own, through these stories, Sarah paints a picture of her faith journey and the lessons she learned from it. She describes what it is like to be one of us for whom, as she puts it, “conversion passed almost unnoticed among other ordinary childhood moments,” and the process of her faith becoming real and realizing she needed to change and grow.

Besides the well told stories, what’s most fascinating about this book is the way Sarah brings important life truths and metaphors out of everyday experiences, such as equating the patience and diligence needed to tend a garden to the process of rooting out the “weeds” of our weaknesses in order to experience growth as people and followers of Christ. The things she points out will strike a chord with readers as Sarah is open and genuine about her struggles which are common to the human experience and as well as our Christian walk.

I walked away from this book with a smile on my face, after having enjoyed the great anecdotes, but also thinking about my own faith journey, and like Sarah, I see the hand of God leading me past my simple childhood faith. It made me think about my own great need for the change and growth in this season of my life.

Sarah Raymond Cunningham is a high school teacher, part-time college prof, and chief servant to the nine month emperor Justus. She is a popular church and conference speaker, the author of Dear Church, and a contributor to several books, including unChristian. Sarah, her husband, Chuck, and their son live with their manic Jack Russell terrier in Jackson, Michigan. They attend a church plant called Rivertree. (Courtesy of

Sarah is also an avid reader and is putting together a summer reading list. My three recommendations to add to her list are: Beth Moore’s So Long Insecurity, Francine River’s Atonement Child, and Karen Kingsbury’s Ocean’s Apart.


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10 Responses to “Book Review: Picking Dandelions”

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Trina, you truly amaze me with your insight. I am so proud to be your grandmother. I Love you dearly~

Thanks!!! 🙂

thats good trina i love it great job!

Thanks, LeeAnn!! 🙂

I love that you include that you walked away from the book with a smile on your face and knowing that you are growing from your childhood faith but still have a need to grow. That comment stuck with me and makes me really curious about the book!

Thanks!!! Yes, you should definitely add it to your reading list!! 🙂

I knew that I knew Sarah’s name from somewhere, but it wasn’t until you mentioned that she had contributed to the book unChristian that I recognized who she is. Sounds like she’s written a wonderful book. Thanks for introducing it to your readers!

You’re welcome!!! You should definitely read it if you get a chance! Thanks for reading and commenting!! 🙂

Well, Trina, the book review was great, and very possibly will have me picking up that book sometime soon. Good job.

Thank you! 🙂

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