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About the book
  • Published: 25 March 2015
  • ISBN: 9780670079001
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $32.99

Phenomenal: A Hesitant Adventurer's Search for Wonder in the Natural World




Heartfelt and awe-inspiring, Phenomenal is a moving tale of physical grandeur and emotional transformation, a journey around the world that ultimately explores the depths of the human heart.

Deeply shaken by the birth of her beloved son, and shocked at the adversity a young mother faces with a newborn, Leigh Ann Henion finds herself asking hard questions about our accepted wisdom on parenting and the lives of women. Convinced that the greatest key to happiness – both her own and that of her family – lies in periodically venturing into the wider world beyond home, Henion sets out on a global trek to rekindle her sense of wonder. Whether standing on the still-burning volcanoes of Hawaii or in the fearsome lightning storms of Venezuela, watching a total solar eclipse in Australia or the elegant butterfly migrations of Mexico, she discovers a world of sublimity and revelation.

Heartfelt and awe-inspiring, Phenomenal is a moving tale of physical grandeur and emotional transformation, a journey around the world that ultimately explores the depths of the human heart.

'Leigh Ann Henion has tackled one of the great questions of contemporary, intelligent, adventurous women: Is it possible to be a wife and mother and still explore the world? Her answer seems to be that this is not only possible, but essential. This story shows how. I think it will open doors for many.' Elizabeth Gilbert, author of The Signature of All Thingsand Eat, Pray, Love

'Leigh Ann Henion's exhilarating book (and life!) is everything the title suggests and more. Reading Phenomenal will give you courage—courage to explore the world we live in, and further, courage to explore your self. With moments of breath-stealing beauty, wild intelligence, and unrelenting honesty, Phenomenal is a true gift for everyone who's ever been curious.' Ruth Ozeki, author of A Tale for the Time Being

'Even a cynic reading Phenomenal will yearn for a taste of wonder, because it ''punctures holes, makes stars in . . .what we know'' – and reminds us that we are all made of stardust.' Sydney Morning Herald

  • Pub date: 25 March 2015
  • ISBN: 9780670079001
  • Imprint: Viking
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $32.99

About the Author

Leigh Ann Henion

LEIGH ANN HENION has contributed to The Washington Post Magazine, Smithsonian, Orion, and Oxford American, among other publications. She is the winner of a Lowell Thomas Award, and her work has been cited in three editions of The Best American Travel Writing. Henion is currently a faculty member of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.


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