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Waking Up in Eden: In Pursuit of an Impassioned Life on an Imperiled Island

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Waking Up in Eden: In Pursuit of an Impassioned Life on an Imperiled Island Cover

ISBN13: 9781565124868
ISBN10: 1565124863
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Like so many of us, Lucinda Fleeson wanted to escape what had become a routine life. So, she quit her big-city job, sold her suburban house, and moved halfway across the world to the island of Kauai to work at the National Tropical Botanical Garden. Imagine a one-hundred-acre garden estate nestled amid ocean cliffs, rain forests, and secluded coves. Exotic and beautiful, yes, but as Fleeson awakens to this sensual world, exploring the island's food, beaches, and history, she encounters an endangered paradise--the Hawaii we don't see in the tourist brochures.

Native plants are dying at an astonishing rate--Hawaii is called the Extinction Capital of the World--and invasive species (plants, animals, and humans) have imperiled this Garden of Eden. Fleeson accompanies a plant hunter into the rain forest to find the last of a dying species, descends into limestone caves with a paleontologist who deconstructs island history through fossil life, and shadows a botanical pioneer who propagates rare seeds, hoping to reclaim the landscape. Her grown-up adventure is a reminder of the value of choosing passion over security, individuality over convention, and the pressing need to protect the earth. And as she witnesses the island's plant renewal efforts, she sees her own life blossom again.

Review:

"An admitted news junkie, journalist Fleeson imagined she would die in the Philadelphia Inquirer's newsroom with a half-written story in her computer. But as the newspaper business began its cataclysmic shift in the late 1990s, she started to feel stymied and leapt at a fund-raising job with Hawaii's National Tropical Botanical Garden. Arriving on the island of Kauai, she discovered that Hawaii's native plants were becoming extinct at an alarming rate, with two-thirds in danger of disappearing by the end of the current century. Fleeson delves into conservation efforts — the history of the garden's benefactors, two gay men with a passion for exotic plants and even more salacious parties during the years after WWII. She spotlights a full-time bartender who attempts to cultivate rare plants with basic greenhouse equipment. Finally, she shadows Kauai's own 'Orchid Thief': the Robin Hood of Hawaii known for picking endangered plants in national forests and turning them into prized specimens on his own preserve. An artful and lively tale of flora and fauna illustrates their complexities and serves as a reminder of the need to nurture both. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

A little over 15 years ago — dates aren't always specified in this memoir — Lucinda Fleeson was working at the Philadelphia Inquirer as a reporter. The atmosphere was cloudy at the newspaper, but Fleeson chose to believe she had built a stable life for herself. She had beautifully restored a ramshackle townhouse and put in a spectacular garden. She'd been married and divorced and gone through one... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

About the Author

Lucinda Fleeson is director of the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. She was a reporter at the Philadelphia Inquirer for many years and has been awarded an Arthur Rouse Award for Press Criticism, a McGee Journalism Fellowship in Southern Africa, a Knight International Press Fellowship, and a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard. Before settling in Washington DC, she lived in Philadelphia, Boston, New York, Budapest, Botswana, and, most notably, Kauai.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Andrea Kaitany, May 22, 2009 (view all comments by Andrea Kaitany)
Lucinda Fleeson follows her passion out of a safe job and lovely home into an adventure in promoting the preservation of wild plants in Hawaii. Fleeson vividly describes her feelings and her adventures, restoring an old cottage, discovering the endangered plant species and their history by learning from researchers, and experiencing personal renewal through a leap of faith. A great read.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781565124868
Author:
Fleeson, Lucinda
Publisher:
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection - General
Subject:
Climatic - Tropical
Subject:
NATURE / Environmental Conservation and Protection
Subject:
GARDENING / Climatic / Tropical
Subject:
Tropical plants
Subject:
Travel
Subject:
Kauai (Hawaii) - Environmental conditions
Subject:
Kauai (Hawaii) Description and travel.
Subject:
Biography - General
Subject:
Nature - Environmental Conservation & Protection
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20090631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
History and Social Science » Americana » Hawaii
Home and Garden » Gardening » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment

Waking Up in Eden: In Pursuit of an Impassioned Life on an Imperiled Island New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill - English 9781565124868 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "An admitted news junkie, journalist Fleeson imagined she would die in the Philadelphia Inquirer's newsroom with a half-written story in her computer. But as the newspaper business began its cataclysmic shift in the late 1990s, she started to feel stymied and leapt at a fund-raising job with Hawaii's National Tropical Botanical Garden. Arriving on the island of Kauai, she discovered that Hawaii's native plants were becoming extinct at an alarming rate, with two-thirds in danger of disappearing by the end of the current century. Fleeson delves into conservation efforts — the history of the garden's benefactors, two gay men with a passion for exotic plants and even more salacious parties during the years after WWII. She spotlights a full-time bartender who attempts to cultivate rare plants with basic greenhouse equipment. Finally, she shadows Kauai's own 'Orchid Thief': the Robin Hood of Hawaii known for picking endangered plants in national forests and turning them into prized specimens on his own preserve. An artful and lively tale of flora and fauna illustrates their complexities and serves as a reminder of the need to nurture both. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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