Book Review – From Fertile Ground: The Story of My Journey, My Grief, My Life by Mark Johnson

In his memoir and writer’s mosaic, debuting author Mark Johnson searches for answers after his mother dies. He leaves behind his corporate job in his mid-fifties and soon discovers a love for writing and nature across three generations of his family. In each chapter, he weaves together more than fifty years of diary accounts from his grandfather’s North Carolina farm, his mother’s encouraging and wisdom-filled letters from her complicated life, and his own narrative as a gay man coming to terms with his past and his grief. Mark leads you on a writer’s journey to reawaken his artistic sensibilities, remember the important people and moments in his life, and rediscover his southern roots. From Fertile Ground examines our human desire to make sense of our heritage, find our own path, and leave our mark on the world. Born in St. Louis, Mark Johnson graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1979. He built a multi-faceted career as a communication professional before retiring and beginning a new chapter in 2014. Mark and his husband Tom divide their time between the Chicago area and Scottsdale, Arizona.

I would like to introduce you to this book written by my friend, Mark Johnson. Mark has been an insightful, supportive, and compassionate influence in my life. His book, From Fertile Ground, came to me at precisely the right time. Mark’s perspective and reflection helped me to navigate loss and disruption in my own life. I pulled from his examples and experiences to temper my feelings and expectations. I ultimately gained a great deal of comfort and reassurance from his novel, and I continue to think back on it often as life ebbs and flows.

Throughout the book, I enjoyed learning more about Mark and his family. They are relatable people demonstrating courage, compassion, and love. The poem he wrote and included as a tribute to his mom was one of my favorite excerpts. I also really enjoyed seeing his relationship with his children evolve from childhood to adulthood. From Fertile Ground has something for everyone, and I hope you will purchase your own copy.

If you’d like to get a feel for Mark’s style or read excerpts from his projects, please follow his blog. He has a welcoming and reflective style that draws you in as a reader. I hope to see you in the comment section, I’ll be there.

Mark has several published works, and you can see them all on his author page. Happy browsing!

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2 thoughts on “Book Review – From Fertile Ground: The Story of My Journey, My Grief, My Life by Mark Johnson

  1. What an honor it is for me to wake up and see your review, Julie … and to know how my book has touched you and added meaning to your life. Thank you for the goodness you offer here and the many practical insights you provide to enhance our lives!

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