The First Gardener

The First Gardener
Denise Hildreth Jones

If Heaven had a backyard, it would look
like the garden of the Tennessee governor's 

     Jeremiah Williams has been tending the gardens of the Tennessee governor's mansion for over twenty-five years. And like most first families who have come and gone, this one has stolen his heart. Mackenzie and her husband, Governor Gray London, have struggled for ten years to have a child and are now enjoying a sweet season of life-anticipating the coming reelection and sending their precious daughter, Maddie, off to kindergarten-when a tragedy tears their world apart. As the entire state mourns, Mackenzie falls into a grief that threatens to swallow her whole.
     Though his heart is also broken, Jeremiah realizes that his gift of gardening is about far more than pulling weeds and planting flowers. It's about tending hearts as well. As he uses the tools that have been placed in his hands, he gently begins to cultivate the hard soil of Mackenzie's heart, hoping to help her realize what it took him years to discover
     A Southern tale of loss, love, and living, The First Gardener reminds us that all of life is a gift, but out heart is the most valuable gift of all.

     Not being a huge fan of contemporary fiction novels, I hope you won't hold that against me when I admit this is one of the best I've read of the genre. True, there were some things in it I didn't quite agree with, and some characters I wanted to give a piece of my mind to. I am a 17 year old homeschooled girl. I had absolutely nothing in common with any of the characters. Nothing I could relate to...and yet I truly cared about what happened to them! That is good writing right there. No, it is not my favorite book. And it's not a light, happy, fluffy read that makes you feel particularly uplifted. I probably won't wear out the cover reading it so much. But I can say it's a story I won't forget soon. It's a realistic, raw look at real people- their hopes, their flaws, their feelings, and most importantly, their faith.

Rating (out of ten): 8

I received this book for free from Tyndale Publishers in return for my honest review.


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