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Dirt - by Mary Marantz - image 1 of 1
Dirt - by Mary Marantz - image 1 of 1
$12.69 when purchased online

About this item


About the Book

Highly sought-after writer and speaker shares her heartbreakingly beautiful narrative to inspire you to believe that the messy, muddy parts of life are just the first mile on the road to redemption.

Book Synopsis

Dirt is a story about the places where we start. From a single-wide trailer in the mountains of rural West Virginia to the halls of Yale Law School, Mary Marantz's story is one of remembering our roots while turning our faces to the sky. From growing up in that trailer, where it rained just as hard inside as out and the smell of mildew hung thick in the air, Mary has known what it is to feel broken and disqualified because of the muddy scars leaving smudged fingerprints across our lives. Generations of her family lived and logged in those hauntingly treacherous woods, risking life and limb just to barely scrape by. And yet that very struggle became the redemption song God used to write a life she never dreamed of.

Mixed with warmth, wit, and the bittersweet, sometimes achingly heartbreaking places we go when we dig in instead of give up, Dirt is a story of healing. With gut-wrenching honesty and hard-won wisdom, Mary shares her story for anyone who has ever walked into the world and felt like their scars were still on display, showing that you are braver, better, and more empathetic for what you have survived. Because God does his best work in the muddy, messy, and broken--if we'll only learn to dig in.

From the Back Cover

A gripping story of roots and redemption

"Mary's story is one that will live deep in the corners of your heart forever, reminding you, through her own experiences and poignant, beautiful storytelling, that the good stuff of life is often found in the hardest circumstances."--Emily Ley, bestselling author of When Less Becomes More

"Mary Marantz is a born storyteller! If you're tired of running from your story and ready to lean into the strength it gives you, this book is for you. A triumph in every way!"--Jessica Honegger, founder of Noonday Collection and author of Imperfect Courage

"Mary's story matters because all of our stories matter. Her words reek of God's grace, glory, and goodness, and of our ability to cling to them."--Jess Connolly, author of You Are the Girl for the Job and Take It Too Far

"Marantz draws you into a moving story with plenty of space to breathe and say, 'I've felt that too.' She tells the unique story of her life in a beautifully relatable way, where you will comb through every page and be reminded: through it all, there is grace."--Morgan Harper Nichols, author of All Along You Were Blooming

"Get ready to have your heart shaken up and made better through the pages of this book. I could not put it down!"--Hannah Brencher, author of Come Matter Here and Fighting Forward

About the Author

Mary Marantz grew up in a trailer in rural West Virginia. The first of her immediate family to go to college, she went on to earn a master's degree in moral philosophy and a law degree from Yale. After ditching six-figure-salary law firm offers in London and New York and starting a business with her husband, Justin, together they have built a successful online education platform for creative entrepreneurs. Mary is a popular writer and speaker whose work has recently been featured by Business Insider, MSN, Bustle, and Brit+Co. She is also the host of the highly ranked podcast The Mary Marantz Show, and more than 50,000 people tune in daily for her uplifting posts, emails, and videos. She lives in an 1880s fixer-upper by the sea in New Haven, Connecticut, with her husband, Justin and their two very fluffy golden retrievers, Goodspeed and Atticus.
Dimensions (Overall): 8.6 Inches (H) x 5.5 Inches (W) x 1.1 Inches (D)
Weight: .9 Pounds
Suggested Age: 22 Years and Up
Number of Pages: 272
Genre: Religion + Beliefs
Sub-Genre: Christian Life
Publisher: Fleming H. Revell Company
Format: Hardcover
Author: Mary Marantz
Language: English
Street Date: September 15, 2020
TCIN: 80363809
UPC: 9780800738457
Item Number (DPCI): 247-47-9553
Origin: Made in the USA or Imported
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Shipping details

Estimated ship dimensions: 1.1 inches length x 5.5 inches width x 8.6 inches height
Estimated ship weight: 0.9 pounds
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5.0 out of 5 stars with 17 reviews
100% would recommend
4 recommendations

Such an amazing book!

5 out of 5 stars
BA - 3 years ago
I met Mary a number of years ago through a photography education workshop. I had been following her on social media for a bit before signing up to learn from her and her other half, and I was constantly in awe of just how beautifully she could put into words some of the things I’ve always felt but couldn’t express. As the years went on, I got to know Mary better. She mentored me, and to this day, I continue to be inspired by her and her wisdom. Any time I would go to a business conference or workshop and she was a speaker, I knew I would leave changed. She has such a way with words that it kind of hard to explain, but she commands any room she steps into. She has a way of painting a picture with her words, just as beautifully as she has always been able to capture a moment with a camera and perfect lighting. And I knew that one day, she was going to write a book, and it was going to be magical. And I was right. From the prologue of the book, I knew that this book was going to move me. I cried big alligator tears just within the first few pages. And if you know Mary, this is just the effect she has on people. She says the things out loud that people feel deep, deep within. And she does it so beautifully and eloquently. Her words in this book are like poetry, and I could not put it down! This is a book that I’m purchasing for friends and family for Christmas because people need to read it! It’s absolutely amazing. Mary is absolutely amazing and incomparable. And I have no doubt she will use this book to continue to inspire women across the country and across the world!
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5 out of 5 stars
Brittany Schlamp - 3 years ago
I tend to not read autobiographies since a lot of times, it can be very boastful. I always love when I can relate to the author and learn something from them. This was a RIVETING read, and it was so inspiring. Mary really takes you through her life, and you can envision everything as she shares her story. I am hard of hearing, and I have my own version of struggle and how I came out of it stronger. And she has inspired me to want to share my own story one day in some format. Once again, I implore you to read this fantastic book as everyone will take away something special from it.
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Mary's words help heal even the deepest wounds

5 out of 5 stars
Danielle Blocker - 3 years ago
Dirt is by far the very best book I’ve read in a long time. As soon as I read the last word, I wanted to start reading all over again. Mary Marantz is a rare talent, as evidenced by the amount of pages I’ve bookmarked with words worthy of quoting. When I read about her deepest scars all I could think were how hauntingly beautiful the words were. They made me feel a sense of peace about my own experience. Of all the moments this book made me cry, there were too many to count, it was the part about the butterfly that really hit me in a way I won’t soon forget. So many lives will be forever changed by this book. We are all broken in varying degrees throughout life. I believe Mary’s words will help heal even the deepest wounds.
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A beautiful memoir!

5 out of 5 stars
- 3 years ago
I first discovered Mary Marantz several years ago through Justin and Mary's education for wedding photographers. Ever since I first learned from them at a workshop, I have been a huge fan of Mary's. She has such a way with words... the entire time I was reading Dirt, I felt like I was reading a poem that was both effortless and very thoughtfully pieced together. Dirt is a beautiful, heartfelt, and honest memoir. I loved getting a deeper look into Mary's life, and loved that the book is divided into two parts... The Girl In The Trailer, and The Girl After The Trailer. This book moved me to tears many many times! Not only was I able to truly feel Mary's emotions throughout the book, but I could also see many parts of myself through her writing. I think this is Mary's true gift as an author. I am so excited to share this book with my friends and family, and I know it will impact so many people by teaching them to own their story and be stronger because of it!
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A Stunning Memoir!

5 out of 5 stars
Thumbs up graphic, would recommend
ELindsey - 3 years ago
Dirt is a memoir taking us through Mary's life as a young girl growing up in a trailer in rural West Virginia and the brokenness she felt because of her family's struggles. It's a story about allowing God to use the “dirt” in your past to write a beautiful story for your life. It's about owning your story and seeing the beauty through the dirt. A story of the relationship between an earthly father and daughter and a redemption story between our heavenly father and his daughter. A story of strength and grit. “...when we lean into this dirt that grew us, this struggle-turned-fertile-soil where our roots run deep, we stand a little taller. Open our arms a little wider. Turn our tired faces to the sky. Trade out shame-stories for a strength inside us we never knew we had. And decide once and for all to own all of it. The hard, the gritty, the bittersweet. This world may try to tell you it isn't beautiful. But what if they're wrong?” I couldn't put this book down! I found myself laughing, crying, and literally in awe at times because of how beautiful Mary's writing is. I knew Dirt would be good, but I didn't expect it to read like a beautiful novel, a stunning poem, and a captivating memoir – all while pointing me to Jesus at the same time. Mary has a way with words unlike any other author I've ever read before. If you've ever felt like your story is too broken, that your past is too messy to be used, I believe that Dirt will change your life... “Because God does His best work in the muddy, messy, and broken – if we only learn to dig in.”
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5 out of 5 stars
Rachel Richard - 3 years ago
I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around this book for days because it’s stirring up things in me that feel familiar, uncomfortable, and hopeful at the same time. Redemption isn’t easy or pretty. Scars leave jagged, lumpy spots where gaping holes and festering sores once existed. Healing is painful and exhausting and messy and all consuming and totally worth it. Mary writes in a soothing but challenging way. She’s like a friend walking right beside you through difficult moments calling you higher, encouraging you to stay the course. Hand around your shoulder to steady the rocky steps, and heartfelt laughter to lighten the load. If you are someone who has struggled with the ugly parts of your story, feeling broken or disqualified, I highly recommend Mary’s book.
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Beautiful memoir filled with hope! Beautifully written.

5 out of 5 stars
KShoufler - 3 years ago
Mary has such a beautiful, tender, yet powerful way with words. I've been following Mary as a photographer for years and I've always been mesmerized by her words and her heart. As a fellow introvert, she's been an inspiration to me that introverts have an important place in this world. In this memoir, Mary describes how beauty comes from the dirt in a way that is inspiring, encouraging and uplifting. What a beautiful story! You will not want to put this one down.
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5 out of 5 stars
Meredith Ryncarz - 3 years ago
This is a book you have to read and then reread. While at first glance it may feel like an autobiography, it is so much more than that. It is a story of courage, forgiveness, and a knitting together of past and present to come out stronger and more whole. As a girl growing up with constant change in a rural area and a broken home, this book resonated down to my BONES! This book is a salve to the hurting, a call to the most put-together girl in the room, the one who prays her shell won't crack, revealing festering wounds. It is a call to come to peace with who we are, forgive, and move forward with grace and courage into what we are called to do. (less)
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Heart changing book!

5 out of 5 stars
Thumbs up graphic, would recommend
Designedbya_lefty - 3 years ago
Heart changing. That is what this book is. This book taught me to embrace my story and all the muddy parts of it. Mary is an incredible writer. She is so poetic with her words. You feel like your living the story while reading it! She is honest and raw. A true inspiration!
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A book everyone should read!

5 out of 5 stars
AmberLea - 3 years ago
Reading Dirt, by Mary Marantz , was like sitting down with a favorite snack; once I started I couldn't put it down. From the opening sentence of the very first chapter, I was drawn into Mary’s storytelling. I fell in love with the scrappy, imaginative girl at the beginning of the story, with her earnest and honest heart. The writing in Dirt is beautiful, which you might not expect from the title, but one of Mary’s gifts is using her words to find the light amongst shadows. With language that is rich with visual detail (West Virginia is now on my bucket list to visit in fall!), the arc of the storytelling moves like waves, taking you through heartbreaking candor, and pulling you back again with humor and redemptive healing. I read the entire book through a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes, feeling my own "dirt" coming to the surface as I read, seeing for the first time where God used those hard experiences to bring me where I am today. What a gift to read another’s story, and suddenly find yourself at peace with your own. Dirt is by far, the best piece of nonfiction writing I have read in years!
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Your Next Book Club Choice!

5 out of 5 stars
Shaunae - 3 years ago
"I thought that when He looked at my scars, He saw flaws. But the truth is, He just saw my story. And every little thing that was broken was a chance for Him to make that story beautiful. Every wound was an opening for His light to get in. He sees it all, and He just reaches out again with His wide-open palms that have held me.” Mary Marantz takes the story of her upbringing, a girl from a single-wide trailer in West Virginia who makes her way to Yale Law School, and weaves a written tapestry that exudes love, sacrifice, honesty, warmth, grit, and grace. She openly shares her journey in two parts, “the girl in the trailer” and “the girl after the trailer.” Mary has a beautiful way with words. Each sentence floats off the page and you are transported to that exact moment in time she is describing. It is her story, but after reading this book, I feel like I have lived a part of it too. Through sharing about the trials of her life, she poetically ties it back to ways that God showed up and offers readers ways God can show up for us too. We have to learn to embrace our story, no matter how muddy it is. God will use our story, even the broken, messy parts to help change the world. “Grace has the power to transform,” she shares and reminds us that we will only “see the proof, if you are willing to let it take root.” I will read anything Mary writes! You will love this book and fall in love with Mary, her “one part firecracker, one part sassafras” grandmother, and her endearing father. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is feeling like their story doesn’t matter. You will quickly learn that is does!
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(no review title)

5 out of 5 stars
Thumbs up graphic, would recommend
Leslie 118 - 3 years ago
I love how relatable Mary's story is. It really digs deep into how wonderful things can come from hard places. None of us are perfect no matter where we come from and that's the beauty of it all. We all have a lot to give and we are all worth our dreams no matter how far out there they are. This book will inspire you and move your heart!
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A transformative read!

5 out of 5 stars
- 3 years ago
Mary is a painter with words. While DIRT is Mary's story, it really is all of our stories... there are so many times throughout the book where I felt Mary's emotion, I saw what she saw, I was where she was. If you grew up in a trailer in the mountains of West Virginia or if you grew up in a large city... you can relate to pieces of Mary's story. DIRT truly is not just a memoir, but a work of art that gives everyone the space to know and understand that no matter what their story is, that it matters and it is beautiful and it has shaped who they are. READ THIS BOOK, EVERYONE!
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A Breath of Fresh Air in a World of Curating Perfection

5 out of 5 stars
Megan - 3 years ago
When initially picking up this book, you may feel that the descriptions get too lengthy, may be concerned that this story will turn out to be flowery or fluffy. However, that feeling quickly subsides as the author pulls you into every scene with her palpable descriptions, leaving you feeling certain that you must have been a part of each story, growing up alongside her and experiencing it all. She describes her childhood of growing up as the daughter of a West Virginia logger, living in a trailer on a mountainside. Her experiences seem all at once familiar to childhood, and yet contain harsh realities to make you ache for that child and the other players in the story. As she describes her life after age 18 and you silently cheer for her successes, you feel that her past is still hanging over her. The author truly delivers on her promise to show that you don't have to let that past haunt you. You don't have to run from it and keep looking over your shoulder-- but you don't have to forget it either. You just need to stop running. “You have spent a lifetime starting over, breaking loose to run free only to be taken captive again and again. This one truth always dragging, always clawing at your heels like the heavy chains you never asked to bear: no matter how hard you run, you can't outrun you.” Through embracing the dirt, you can finally sit in the stillness and the quiet and enjoy the grit, knowing God has been using it all along. There's no need to wash it off. “At last, freedom takes root and comes home. You know Who it is that holds you. Who has always held you. You were born a wild thing. And you are finally free.” In a world where perfectly styled bookshelves and spotless white kitchens are everywhere, this book is a breath of fresh air-- we all have dirt and we all need dirt and we need to stop hiding it away from ourselves and each other.
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Incredible, powerful, vulnerable - MUST READ!

5 out of 5 stars
Thumbs up graphic, would recommend
sarajo - 3 years ago
Dirt is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It’s vulnerable, raw, powerful — Mary had me laughing and crying, sometimes on the same page. I didn’t grow up in a trailer, or in West Virginia, but I truly believe that no matter how alike or different your story is from Mary’s you’ll find yourself in parts of her story. You’ll find encouragement, inspiration, redemption. Mary’s words read like poetry and her writing will transport you into whatever story she’s telling. It’s the kind of book you could read in one sitting, but have to force yourself to put down because you don’t want it to end. Dirt should be on everybody’s must read list!
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Amazing Book!

5 out of 5 stars
susam49 - 3 years ago
I absolutely loved the heart wrenchingly beautiful debut memoir Dirt by Mary Marantz. Her lyrical prose, visual descriptions, and profoundly inspirational messages captured my senses and held on tight until the very last page. I was enthralled by it. I couldn’t put it down and I didn’t want it to end! The author writes with emotional depth and clarity as she pours her heart and soul onto the pages of Dirt in genuine, authentic, and live giving ways. And she sprinkles the pages of Dirt with humor which I found delightful. Dirt is about forgiveness, redemption, honesty, sacrifice, healing, acceptance, and the roots of deep-abiding love. It’s about letting go and hanging on, hardening and softening, and the power of love. Mary Marantz shares her relationships and struggles growing up, especially about her dad, and the untraditional life lessons he taught her in the simplest, but most profound ways. I love that she loved well even when it may have hurt to do so. I related with her feelings of unworthiness and not being enough. I’m glad she came to the realization of her true worth and value and the grit and grace that flows through her veins. I recently lost my dad and I’m still grappling with the tremendous loss of his absence. Mary Marantz’s love and pride for her father touched me deeply and the last few chapters and epilogue of the book were my undoing, in the most beautiful of ways. They grabbed my heart strings and wouldn’t let go until long after I finished reading it. Mary Marantz weaves her stories of family and faith into the beautiful tapestry of Dirt as she unravels rich life lessons, realizations, and truths as she derives the goodness that surely comes. Her stories are delicately strung together with the analogy of dirt, stories of brokenness and hard times which blossom into love, beauty, and grit. Her descriptive words created a visual for me; dirt is hard and resistant, and as it’s tilled with rich nutrients and watered with God’s grace growth blooms forth into the soil of our lives. I think this quote by Mary Marantz sums up her amazing book well; “This wild, wonderful, hard, gritty, broken-made-beautiful life. You may call it grace, you may call it sacrifice. But for me, the greatest of these is love. It is a song of redemption, a reconciliation with the roots that grew me, a melody born out of the muddiest parts of my life. And it always started with dirt.” I am a voracious reader and Dirt is one of the best books I’ve read in quite some time. It combines the elements of a raw, fresh style written with heartbreaking beauty, powerful and profound truths and honesty laced with faith-filled messages woven into the author’s heartfelt stories of inspiration. I absolutely loved Dirt and I look forward to future books from the new author Mary Marantz.
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