Reviews

A unique narrative style grips you...

Of Dirt and Wildflowers: A Memoir On Growing the Courage to Bloom is a work of non-fiction in the autobiographical, memoir, and inspirational writing subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience and is penned by Kylee J. Marshall. In this heartfelt memoir that takes us on a powerful emotional narrative, we follow Marshall’s struggles with self-confidence and self-image. We see how she blossomed and grew through exploring her narrative and dreams for the future. In this way, she shows us how we can plan for growth as we navigate the different seasons of our lives.

Kylee J. Marshall’s unique narrative style grips you from the off in this tender work, which is part memoir and part inspirational guide to life. Everyone has struggles in their sense of self and path toward a better future, and Marshall writes in such an engaging and soothing way that it feels like a wise old friend is sitting you down for a heart-to-heart. I enjoyed the flow of the work, and the vignettes and anecdotes from her life were well-balanced and framed in an engaging way to expand them into poignant life lessons and points for action. The idea of ending perfectionism caught my attention, and those wise words around the subject will stay with me for a long time after setting the book down. Overall, I recommend Of Dirt and Wildflowers as a deeply engaging read for fans of memoirs who want to be inspired for their next steps in life.

KC FINN

A beautiful memoir of life's up and downs...

Of Dirt and Wildflowers: A Memoir on Growing the Courage to Bloom by Kylee J. Marshall shares how her hardworking nature was forged while growing up on her family’s ranch. During her time at home, her future husband compared her to an ant, because she took on more work than she could carry and pushed through it without asking for help. Her pleasant memories of childhood included her mother taking her outside on some nights to gaze at the stars, explaining the constellations to her, and reading horoscopes from the newspaper each morning even though Kylee didn’t understand much about them. Everything Kylee learned during her years at home, in college, and moving, before settling down in her own home taught her important lessons about those she loved and about herself.

Of Dirt and Wildflowers by Kylee J. Marshall, is a beautiful memoir full of life’s ups and downs that anyone reading it can relate to on many levels. I enjoyed the memories the author shared and how she would ponder them while encountering new joys and setbacks in the present. The concept of understanding where you are going based on your personal experiences from the past is an important lesson for anyone. Marshall’s insights into her overworked stubbornness and how she grew to understand that she needed to settle down are inspiring. This memoir is a reminder that not everything comes easily. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about the trials of life that shape people into who they become. The author encourages the reader to reflect on their upbringing and gain an appreciation of the journey to becoming an understanding, well-adjusted adult.

Amy Raines

I love the honesty that Marshall displays....

 

Of Dirt and Wildflowers; A Memoir: On Growing the Courage to Bloom by Kylee J. Marshall is a non-fiction guide that is part inspirational and part self-help, all wrapped up in a series of vignettes in which Marshall shows us her own personal “I am…” The construction of this book is unique in that it is a tightly threaded tapestry of all the experiences, and the experiences of others with impact, that culminate in who Marshall is today. Each section begins with a short but powerful introductory poem, followed by a tale that begins with “I am.” These include pieces like I Am A Jeep Wagoneer, in which she describes her Korean War veteran grandfather and how she became his ‘left-hand girl’, each filling a void that the other loved; and I Am The Corner Window, wherein Marshall claims a space and learns the true power of settling down.

Nobody will ever be able to accuse author Kylee J. Marshall of not having the courage to bloom after reading Of Dirt and Wildflowers: A Memoir, and even though I have finished the book I find myself going back and rereading some of the parts that touched me deeply. I love the honesty that Marshall displays, addressing fears and finding what they are rooted in. None of the stories is very long and the result is a book in which a reader is given bite-sized morsels of wholesome wisdom that pack a heavy punch. The standout to me is I Am A Clearing In The Woods, the chapter is titled Dandelion Fields, and Marshall speaks straight to my heart about how disconnecting completely, and setting those boundaries, are the most important ways to reconnect with ourselves. Overall, this is a beautifully written inspirational memoir and I would give it a whole bucket full of stars if I could.

Jamie Michelle

A book that leaves a profound impression

 

Kylee grew up on a ranch and helped her parents to maintain it from her early years, so she knew the hardships firsthand. She had met death, delivering dead sheep to be taken away by the “Death Wagon.” She was proud to be a hard worker that everyone could trust. As an adult, the time came when Kylee realized that her perfectionism had ruined her life and taken away the simple joys of childhood from her children. She worked as a school teacher for seventh graders and dreamed about becoming a writer. This is a collection of stories about Kylee’s inner growth, her journey toward self-fulfillment, finding the love of her life, the importance of her humble background, and her cherished family heritage. Of Dirt and Wildflowers: A Memoir on Growing the Courage to Bloom by Kylee J. Marshall is a philosophical and thought-provoking book for fans of memoirs and motivational literature.

Of Dirt and Wildflowers is a book that leaves a profound impression. It’s a memoir that inspires us to look deeper within ourselves and grasp the true value of things. Kylee J. Marshall speaks about ordinary things like old typewriters or wildflower seeds. She openly and genuinely shares extremely personal convictions hidden deep inside her heart, like God or what baptism means for her. She relates a shocking story about an injury sustained during a skiing accident when she refused to ask for help despite unbearable pain. Kylee warns that extreme self-reliance can ruin us physically. Her journey toward the acceptance of her limitations and a new willingness to rely on others is remarkable and eye-opening. I liked Kylee’s lyrical writing style and her wonderful poems at the beginning of every chapter. Her autobiography reminds us that we need a good amount of dirt to be rooted and fruitful on our path in life.

Nino Lobiladze

Kylee helps us find our connection to both our external and internal worlds...

 

Of Dirt and Wildflowers is Kylee J. Marshall’s story about her transformation and growth in different life stages. We see how her environment, family, and childhood shaped her to become independent and goal-driven as an adult. Interestingly, Kylee’s decision to return to skiing after more than 20 years of being away from it left her with a blessing in disguise, an injury. But, then, she would never have thought the damage would lead her to new, joyous beginnings. Though her physical movements during her recovery were painful, she was learning to accept help from others and slow down to enjoy the beauty of the world around her. By relating how she started listening to, seeing, and feeling the earth’s gifts and her responses to them, Kylee helps us find our connection to both our external and internal worlds.

Kylee J. Marshall’s artistic use of language and illustrative words help open closed doors in the mind to new ways of seeing life and appreciating it in all its splendor. As the title suggests, the book contains several metaphors and words involving the earth, living things, and the earth’s seasons. Since I’m a nature lover, I was thrilled by this, and I smiled every time I came across such picturesque descriptions as “the tiniest yellow blooms of a budding rabbitbrush.” Furthermore, Kylee’s words inspire deep thoughts about mindfulness, growth, changes, nature, expectations, workaholism, healing, breaking free, and various other disparate topics. In summary, Of Dirt and Wildflowers reads like a poetic memoir, leaving you with several vivid images and wise lessons to help you align with your own life’s purpose. I loved it, and I thoroughly recommend it!

Foluso Falaye

Grow further

Growing The Courage

Speaking

Kylee Marshall’s story of growth inspires audiences to take a closer look at their own lives. Humor and truth combine in Kylee’s keynote message. Sharing her story of resilience through vulnerability, she invites her audiences to lean into their discomfort and dig into their daily choices with a lens of gratitude. Like her written work, her presentations are intricately crafted through vivid storytelling.

Workshops

"Rooted" (60 minutes, interactive, Keynote) focuses on how to uproot ourselves from fear and root ourselves in gratitude.

"The Bathtub Talk" (60 minutes, interactive) focuses on how to release and let go in order to move forward with purpose.

"Setting Your Table" (60 minutes, interactive) focuses on authenticity and inviting the right people into your life.

"Social-Emotional Language in Modern Business Communications" (45 minutes, lecture) focuses on the use of language within business communications to keep your organization engaged.

Book Clubs

Bring your copies of Of Dirt and Wildflowers, grab the wine or coffee, and invite Kylee to join you in person or via Zoom to your book club. Be Prepared to snort-laugh, to lean into discomfort, and to practice gratitude.

Buy The book

read the preface