Jumping the Picket Fence

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Memoir / Nonfiction
Date Published: April 11. 2015
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Jumping the Picket Fence depicts a young woman’s extraordinary awakening and transformation from a lost and under-confident working mother, to a courageous ambassador for grassroots programs in impoverished communities around the world. It is an intimate, honest account of a woman who finds the strength to go against the grain to seek her purpose.  
Her stories and encounters range from magical and entertaining to raw and unsettling.  Lydia lives what many only dream about doing; leaving their jobs to explore the world, finding their place within it and later giving back to it. Jumping the Picket Fence glows with the authenticity and freshness often found only in unpublished authors determined to share a unique message.
Without being prescriptive, Lydia shows us how to put fear aside, peel away all that which insulates us and listen to our inner selves.  The book ultimately becomes less about what the author has done in her own life and more about what each of us can do to explore our own dreams and jump our own fences.


I love the authenticity Dean brought to the table. It takes a lot to just put it all out there and let everyone in on your personal moments in life. Some when you were at a low point.

I found this novel really thought-provoking. It really makes you step back and take a look at yourself and your life and how you would have been different had these things happened to you. I found myself thinking hard about things I hadn’t thought about before reading this.

This is by far one of the most emotional and powerful reads I have read this year. Superb writing from Lydia Dean and a compelling story.

About the Author

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In 2000 Lydia left a successful career in Orlando, Florida to explore the world with her young family.  During their six years outside the US, Lydia traveled extensively to areas lacking access to education and opportunity.  Motivated by the simple ideal that small personal actions can make a difference, she and her family returned to the US in 2007 and launched GoPhilanthropic Travel— a social enterprise that engages travelers with the lesser-known humanitarians of the world. In 2011, she and a passionate team expanded their efforts by founding GoPhilanthropic Foundation, a non-profit organization that identifies, invests in and strengthens the impact of community-based organizations providing access to education, health and basic human rights in impoverished communities around the world.  In 2015, Lydia published “Jumping the Picket Fence – A Woman’s Search for Meaning from the Suburbs to the Slums.”  an inspirational mixture of travel memoir, soul searching, and non-profit building.  Lydia currently resides in Provence, France.
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