Books · Honest Reviews

What Is a Placemaker? {Book Review}

I recently found out that I’m an Enneagram Type 4, with a wing of 5.

I resisted taking the tests for a long while because I believe that the Enneagram is somewhat a “fad,” and I try my best to go against any trends (*wink*). (See? Told you I’m a 4.)

What a 4 does probably seems strange to many: We tend to have long explanations about things we see and find beautiful, no matter how simple they may be (a particular word, a weed we find in the yard). We tend to stand and stare outside of windows. A lot. We are very nostalgic and somewhat free-spirited, yet we have strong values and anchor us.

Funny how this book dropped into my lap just a couple of weeks after I started researching more into my personality type and its nuances. I believe that this author is also a Type 4, maybe with a wing of 5. (I may be wrong; I’m not an Enneagram expert.) It was like another version of me had written this book, a me with more adventures, moves, and educational successes, that is. Or as if I had written it in a dream state. Either way, this book is absolutely breathtaking and beautiful. And if you’re a 4 (or if you love someone who is), you’ll think so, too.

Placemaker takes the subjects of Biblical hospitality and stewardship and spends over 200 pages talking about how they played out in the author’s life. Though her experiences are a bit lofty compared to many who may read this, Christie Purifoy’s story will have parts that resonate and align with common human experiences and emotions. She takes us on a journey through childhood, young love, career exploration, home buying, gardening, childrearing, and loss. This is a book that makes you say, “Ahhh….yes. I know EXACTLY what you mean, Christie.” It will have you nodding, mmm-hmm’ing, and highlighting page after page. It will cause you to close the book at the end of a chapter and just SIT. THINK. PONDER. REFLECT.

I’m a lover of all things historical. I love people’s stories. I love gardening. I love researching flower, shrub, and tree species. I love old houses. I love being a wife and a mom. I love education. And so does she. And her love for each of these things spills off of every page.

Though at times I thought she was seeming a bit whiny and pessimistic, I realized that many who feel as strongly as she does about certain things often feel EVERY emotion just as strongly, even frustration and disappointment. It’s a raw and real story, and I appreciate that. I think this is more of a stream-of-consciousness book versus a book yelling, “Hey! I have been through it all and learned so much! Let me share it all with you.” Sometimes it’s more refreshing to read a book by an author who’s still learning, still growing, still changing. It’s more of a conversation with a friend versus a pep talk from an expert. So if you’re looking for a book that tells you how to do it all and be all, this probably isn’t it.

(Side note: Though many people may consider the “problems” the author has as not being “real problems” (it’s easy to become encased in a shell of one’s own experiences, especially when you’ve never had to rise above unthinkable ones), I looked beyond that to find common ground, common reactions, common realizations that I could relate to…and I found many. The resounding one being: Hospitality doesn’t mean perfection. Invite others into your home and into your life even if the floors aren’t swept, even if you haven’t made a cake or cookies, even if you’re not 100% ready emotionally to be a host or hostess. Be real. Be honest. Reach out. Just pull up a chair for them and tell them to sit down.)

If you like to set up spaces — for both yourself and also for others to come into and feel welcome — or if you simply love beauty and art and nature and….stories — you will appreciate this title.

You can purchase Placemaker directly from Zondervan starting this Tuesday, March 12th — or buy it wherever Christian books are sold (online, including, or stores near you).


Disclaimer: Muse Reviews was provided with these items at no cost in exchange for our honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are exclusively my own and are not influenced by the company or its affiliates in any way. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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