Placemaker: Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace

Placemaker: Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace

Images of comfortable kitchens and flower-filled gardens stir something deep within us--we instinctively long for home. In a world of chaos and conflict, we want a place of comfort and peace.

In Placemaker, Christie Purifoy invites us to notice our soul's desire for beauty, our need to create and to be created again and again. As she reflects on the joys and sorrows of two decades as a placemaker and her recent years living in and restoring a Pennsylvania farmhouse, Christie shows us that we are all gardeners. No matter our vocation, we spend much of our lives tending, keeping, and caring. In each act of creation, we reflect the image of God. In each moment of making beauty, we realize that beauty is a mystery to receive.

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About the Book

Weaving together her family’s journey with stories of botanical marvels and the histories of the flawed yet inspiring placemakers who shaped the land generations ago, Christie calls us to cultivate orchards and communities, to clap our hands along with the trees of the fields. Placemaker is a timely yet timeless reminder that the cultivation of good and beautiful places is not a retreat from the real world but a holy pursuit of a world that is more real than we know. A call to tend the soul, the land, and the places we share with one another. A reminder that we are always headed home.



Carl Rogers said, “What is most personal is most universal.” I kept thinking of that while reading Christie Purifoy’s smart and beautiful book Placemaker. Page after page of the winding path that led her family to a place called Maplehurst caused me to reflect on my own life, the places I’ve sought to make, and how they in equal measure ended up making me.

~ John Blase, poet and author of The Jubilee


In her thoughtful, grounded work, Purifoy explores placemaking and peacemaking, and how they often resemble each other. She calls us to shape and love places with all of ourselves, and reveals how we—surprisingly—may be nourished and cared for in return, if we’re willing.

~ Anne Bogel, creator of Modern Mrs. Darcy, host of the What Should I Read Next podcast and author of I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life


In one sense, Placemaking is a particular story rooted in a Pennsylvania farmhouse and shaded by the canopies of tall and aging trees. In another sense, it’s the universal story, swept up and carried in the river of human longing: to belong. As Purifoy so lyrically illustrates, placemaking isn’t just what we make of our places. It’s the spiritual practice of naming, of knowing, of remembering.

~ Jen Pollock Michel, award-winning author of Teach Us to WantKeeping Place, and Surprised by Paradox


Warning: this book will make you homesick–for people as well as for places. It also might make you wish for a green thumb. It will definitely move you toward your garden and your neighbors. Christie channels L’Engle and Tasha Tudor in this love letter to the history of places and the people who have made their home in them. And when you’re done you might be tempted to put Maplehurst into your GPS because some places just have to been seen in person. If Christie’s words are anything to go by, I think it will be even better than you imagined.

~ Lisa-Jo Baker, bestselling author of Never Unfriended and co-host of the Out of the Ordinary Podcast


In Placemaker, Christie Purifoy has given the world a deeply beautiful and profound work of art. Encircled here are stories of loss, and grief, hope, and resurrection, that though rooted in both natural history and Christie’s own history, make room for us and  manage to transcend the earthly world. Here we are reminded that Placemaking is a vocational invitation from God for all of us—regardless of where we live or how we make our way in the world. I will return often to this book, and know that with each reading, I will find new treasures to carry with me into the next season.

~ Kris Camealy, author of Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight of Waiting, and Holey, Wholly, Holy: A Lenten Journey of Refinement


Is there a special prize for the best books about home? If so, I want to give it to Christie Purifoy. If you appreciate beautiful stories about house and home and all the many ways places change us as we go about changing them, Placemaker is the book you’ve been waiting for.

~ Myquillyn Smith, best-selling author of The Nesting Place and Cozy Minimalist Home


Christie’s words are lyrical beauty, an ode to place and peace. This book is a gentle call to all, no matter where God has us, to make place and cultivate hope.

~ Hannah Queen, author of Honey and Jam

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