Friday, October 7, 2011

The First Gardener

By Denise Hildreth Jones

From the back of the book:

Jeremiah Williams has been tending those gardens 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, are enjoying a sweet season of life 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 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.

Just my opinion:

This is a lovely and touching story, yet very sad at the same time. When an awful tragedy rips through the first family of Tennessee, Jeremiah Williams reaches out to help. With kindness and patience, he delivers advice and compassion to the governor and his wife, hoping that he can, in his own way, bring some healing and mercy to their lives.

I found this book very compelling and tender, as well as poignant. I also found myself drawn to the characters, especially Jeremiah. The author made we want to get to know them better, especially when a little twist at the end made me say, “Ah, hah!”

I also feel this would be a wonderful selection for book groups, as there is much that could be discussed about the story and how similar tragedies have affected the lives of those around us. Can we take the example of Jeremiah and use it to help our own friends?

Beautifully written and stirring, this is a book you’ll not want to pass up if you are looking for your next reading adventure.

My favorite passage from the book:

No heart is bigger than a child’s. And at no time is a heart more moldable than in childhood. So our job is to offer children the opportunity to see where the needs in their community lie. And I am confident that when they see the need, they will have a desire to help meet that need. All we have to do is lead them.


Julie @ Read Handed said...

This sounds like a beautiful book. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Suko said...

It does sound beautiful. Wonderful review, LuAnn!

MarthaE said...

Very nice review. Thanks for the book group recommendation too.