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Weeds in Bloom

Autobiography of an Ordinary Man

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With over 65 books published, including the breathtaking (and somewhat autobiographical) A Day No Pigs Would Die, Robert Newton Peck has enjoyed an illustrious writing career. Now, in an autobiography as unique as he is, Peck tells his story through the people in his life. From his roots as a poor Vermont farmer’s son to his years as a soldier in World War II, from his time slogging away in a paper mill to his semi-retirement in Florida, Peck shows us people who too often go unseen and unheard–the country’s poor and uneducated.
“For decades, I’ve examined the autobiographies of my fellow authors. Bah! Many could have been titled And Then I Wrote . . . So instead of my life and lit, here is the unusual, a tarnished treasury of plain people who enriched me, taught me virtues, and helped me hold a mite of manhood. They’re not fancy folk, so please expect no long-stemmed roses from a florist. They are, instead, the unarranged flora that I’ve handpicked from God’s greenhouse . . . weeds in bloom.”

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

May 23, 2005 – A respect for humanity shines through Peck's (A Day No Pigs Would Die) unique autobiography, related in a colloquial, conversational style. Rather than presenting a chronicle of his life in a conventional fashion, the author instead pens a series of character sketches—the people who have helped to shape him ("For you, I harvest wild herbs of humanity.... Weeds in bloom," he writes in the prologue). Peck fondly recalls the stoic, hard-working folks who molded his values when he was growing up poor in rural Vermont—family members (including his 110-year-old Aunt Ida, who reputedly killed a "drunken half-crazed Saint Francis Indian.... At the time, she was only nine. Others said eight") and other members of his boyhood community. There's Early Pardee the horse shoer, who begins his workday before dawn, and teacher Miss Kelly, who believes in "Scholarship, Manners, and Soap." Peck also pays tribute to mentors who encouraged him to spread his wings, and crystallizes the essence of various misfits he meets later in life, in Florida. His chance encounters with an aging quilter, a sugar-cane cutter and a girl who lives in the swamp reveal the author's keen power of observation as well as his sensitivity. Downplaying his own accomplishments and personal details (experiences with marriage, parenthood and book writing get only brief mentions), Peck invites readers to look through his eyes and share his admiration for the extraordinary human beings who have crossed his path. Ages 12-up.
Weeds in Bloom
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  • $5.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biography
  • Published: May 24, 2005
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 224 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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