The Cross Gardener

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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wednesday Letters comes an inspiring story of a man touched by tragedy—and the quiet stranger who helps him rediscover the joy to be found in life, love, and family...

John Bevan believed life was complete. Married to his high school sweetheart and father to a young daughter, John finally had the traditional family he lacked as an orphaned child. But that all disappears when a fatal car accident...

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The Cross Gardener

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Overview

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wednesday Letters comes an inspiring story of a man touched by tragedy—and the quiet stranger who helps him rediscover the joy to be found in life, love, and family...

John Bevan believed life was complete. Married to his high school sweetheart and father to a young daughter, John finally had the traditional family he lacked as an orphaned child. But that all disappears when a fatal car accident steals away his wife—and the unborn child she was carrying.

Filled with sorrow, John withdraws from life and love. He erects two small crosses at the scene of his wife's accident and visits daily, grieving. Then one morning he encounters a man kneeling before the crosses, touching them up with white paint.

Conversations with the mysterious stranger—known to him only as the Cross Gardener—begin to heal John's heart. But only when they undertake a journey together does John truly come to see what he must embrace in this world—from the secrets of his own past to the sorrow of his wife's passing—if he is to start his life anew. And only as the journey ends does John divine who his guide may really be.

In The Cross Gardener Jason F. Wright tells a timeless tale that explores the questions we ask when our lives are touched by loss: How do we carry on? Who will show us the way? The answers John Bevan finds may illuminate your world as they did his—for even in our darkest hour, we are not alone.

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  • The Cross Gardener
    The Cross Gardener  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Author and political commentator Wright (The Wednesday Letters, coauthor with Glenn Beck of The Christmas Sweater) returns with another modern fable that wears its conservative values on its sleeve. Born on the side of the road to a dying teenager, John Bevan grew into happiness and safety on an idyllic Shenandoah Valley orchard, falling in love as a teenager, eventually marrying his high school sweetheart and having a daughter with her. When, pregnant with their second child, his wife dies in a car accident, John finds his faith and ability to function shattered. Attending the site of her death, John encounters the Cross Gardener, a man who tends the roadside memorials of strangers, and with his help John finds himself returning to the path of responsibility and righteousness. This title offers the same kind of values-focused emotionalism that fans expect, with plenty of uplift and tradition-affirming sentiment; even by the standard of his other work, however, this effort is prudish and clunky, and John often comes across as more sullen than bereaved.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal
John Bevan and his young daughter, Lou Lou, try to heal after a tragic accident takes the life of his wife and unborn child. Struggling to understand God's purpose, John erects a small cross on the side of the road where his wife died. One day, he meets a man painting his wife's cross, and the "cross gardener" eventually helps John see that his wife would have wanted him to live his life and enjoy every moment with his surviving child. VERDICT This latest book by best-selling author Wright (The Wednesday Letters; The Christmas Sweater with Glenn Beck) is sure to be devoured by his large fan base as well as by new readers who enjoy wiping their eyes while reading a great story.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781602857599
  • Publisher: Center Point Large Print
  • Publication date: 5/1/2010
  • Pages: 286
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jason F. Wright is the national bestselling author of Christmas Jars. He’s also a consultant whose editorial articles on politics, pop culture, and public policy have appeared in newspapers and magazines nationwide. He serves as founder and managing editor of the widely read political destination, PoliticalDerby.com.

Jason fell in love with Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley while researching the area for The Wednesday Letters, and with the enthusiastic blessing of his wife, Kodi, he recently relocated with her and their four children to the historic town of Woodstock. A sign on their door says, “Friends welcome. Family by appointment only.”

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 46 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 46 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A must read for all those who have experienced loss...

    In my life's work as a hospice chaplain, I often encounter surviving family members who are struggling with issues of loss and grief after a loved one dies. After reading The Cross Gardener by Jason Wright, I have now discovered a further resource for helping them to cope with the pain of death. I deeply appreciate the manner in which Wright gives a voice to the seering and paralyzing pain of grief and loss -- he pulls no punches and hence validates the experience of the grieving. But, he also helps with the normalization process by offering a deep sense of comfort -- comfort that is both psychologically sound and spiritually intuitive. For those who walk the journey of The Cross Gardener, they will discover healing, strength and recover for their ongoing recovery. I loved the book and regularly suggest it to others.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Touching story about overcoming grief

    I heard about this book through the Glenn Beck radio show and decided to read it. One of my 11yr old twin boys passed away 3 weeks after being diagnosed with leukemia so I felt the grief John Bevan was feeling. This book reminded me that I was not the only one coping with grief and that the surviving twin had the same loss as I did. I was trying to make up for all I didn't do with the child I had lost instead of making memories with the son I still had. I have read alot of books on grief and how to cope with grief but truly this one was the one that touched me and brought me to see what I couldn't see before and that is to cherish the remaining time I have with my surviving child and family.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Cross Gardener...One of My Top Five Reads of All Time...Thank You Jason Wright for the Inspiration

    The Cross Gardener is one of the most beautiful and inspirational stories I have ever read. After waiting for its release with great anticipation, I was not disappointed and was unable to put it down. In fact, I didn't put it down until I read it a second time.

    I have enjoyed all of Jason Wright's books, however nothing compares to his latest. The Cross Gardener remains on your mind and in your heart long after closing the cover and placing it back on the shelf. In addition, it is a visually attractive book that has a very special place in my personal collection as well as in my heart.

    After receiving and reading my personal copy of The Cross Gardener, I purchased several additional copies which I have given as inspirational gifts to close friends and family and all have been touched in a way similar to what I experienced.

    Pick up your copy of The Cross Gardener at a Barnes & Noble near you today and take the time to lose yourself in this fabulous book. I guarantee you will be glad you did. On another note...don't forget to pick up a box of Kleenex while you are at it as you will need it I'm sure.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    His Best Yet

    John Bevan finally had the family he always dreamed of. With a wife, a daughter and a baby on the way life changes in a split second due to a fatal car accident. He withdraws from life and his surviving daughter. He places two crosses at the side of the road where the accident took place and visits on a daily basis. One day he returns to the scene and finds a man painting the crosses. He engages in conversation with the stranger, The Cross Gardener, and together they begin a journey to help John heal, and rediscover the important things in life. John ultimately discovers that even in our darkest moments, during our saddest days, and through our toughest struggles, we are never alone. Someone is always there to carry us and show us the way. This just may be Jason Wright's finest work yet! Inspiring, thought-provoking and spiritual. This one will stay with you long after the book is closed and sitting on the shelf. It will have you asking yourself, Who will be my Cross Gardener?

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2013

    Cross Gardener

    John was left to raise his daughter Lou Lou after his wife died in a car accident. Times are rough but then John meets a man who helps John through it. Great book

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  • Posted July 14, 2012

    This book is such a moving novel. It is quite deep but in a eas

    This book is such a moving novel. It is quite deep but in a easy readable way. It has alot of touching spirituality in it and a surprise ending that is breathtaking. A must read - one of my favorites!

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  • Posted February 17, 2012

    LOVED IT!!!!!

    This was a fantastic read. I could not put this book down. It was a fast read and very realistic. I felt a lot of the same feelings the main character did . This was written great!!!

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  • Posted August 9, 2011

    Good book

    Very thought provoking!

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  • Posted April 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    pricey??

    the ebook may be more than it is in other forms. even if it were $30 i would still pay it. this is an excellent book. have already read it twice and will read plenty more times. this book and his book the wednesday letters are both EXCELLENT reads. i will buy anything jason f wright writes no matter the cost!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2011

    Why the heck is the eBook 17.99!?!?!?

    I haven't read this book yet. But I am very angry that the eBook is nearly 2X the amount of the hardback! How on earth can a publisher justify that? I'll be checking this out of the library instead of purchasing it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2010

    What a wonderful, thoughtful and insightful read!

    "In The Cross Gardner, Jason F. Wright tells a timeless tale that explores the questions we ask when our lives are touched by loss: How do we carry on? Who will show us the way? The answers John Bevan finds may illuminate your world as they did his-for even in our darkest hour, we are not alone." This is from the inside cover of The Cross Gardner. You will be at peace once you have read this book if you are dealing with loss.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2010

    A Great Read!!

    This was truly a thought-provoking read. I do not want to give anything away but it can help individuals that go through the same thing as the main character in the book. It shows the in-depth love between two people and when tragedy strikes, a persons walk back to overcoming the hurt and getting on with living again. At times a little predictable but still very enjoyable. A great read for everyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Moving, Very Touching Story

    Jason F. Wright once again pierces right to the heart with another beautiful, thought provoking, and life changing novel. I have loved every one of his books and this one is no different. After turning that last page I truly felt like I could be a better person, and that I can keep my faith through whatever trials may come. I read to entertain, to learn, and to be edified, and this book did all three.

    For anyone who feels bound by their anger, guilt, hurt or pain or the past in general, I also recommend "When God Stopped Keeping Score." I thought that the book was just about forgiveness, I soon learned, it was about so much more than that. I was about how you should deal with friends, family and yourself and more importantly, how to keep these relationships strong when things go wrong.

    Having read it, I feel like a better person. Maybe because this book spoke to me and not down to me. I have read a lot of books that was written like I didn't know anything. What the author of "When God Stopped Keeping Score" does is talk to you like a friend. I needed that. You will understand why when you read it. It is available here on BN.com.

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  • Posted May 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Heart wrenching and endearing

    Jason F. Wright's newest novel, "The Cross Gardener," is a quick read with a huge heart. Although some of the theology is questionable, Wright knows how to weave his stories into your heart for good. The reader is taken along main character, John Bevan's story, from being born on the side of the road, to learning how to overcome a lifetime of loss. Most readers will not be able to imagine the kind of loss the John suffers in this story, and those than can I'm sure will connect to this book unlike anyone else could. You follow John's story from meeting the girl of his dreams in elementary school, to their first date, to her death and that of their unborn child. John makes the accident site into a memorial, which he visits daily. He is so consumed by his loss that all else in his life comes in a far second, and he can't figure out how to help his daughter with the loss, which has left her mute. I hope this book finds its way to the New York Times Bestselling list, because I'm sure that it would do extremely well there. It's life in the purest form. It's realistic, there's death, love, and life. I urge you to read this book and discover how John comes to heal, and better yet find out who helped him heal.

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  • Posted May 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Thoughtful Story

    Somewhat like a Nicholas Sparks book, but with a Christian perspective. Makes me wonder who will be at the Gates to meet me.

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  • Posted May 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    QUIRKY AND UNUSUAL

    Loved the ending. What a great twist! It was like some of the books that Jodi Picoult writes with the great surprise ending. Overall, it had it's sad parts but it was intriguing because I kept trying to figure out who the cross gardner was? I kept guessing that it was an angel or maybe Jesus. I would never have guessed who it really was. I have a strong religious faith so that was why I selected this book to read. I also have a deep interest in the afterlife so both of those components were present in this book. I would highy recommend it. It is an easy read since it is short but it is fascinating and warm.

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  • Posted April 26, 2010

    Highly Recommend!

    I just finished this novel and like the Wednesday Letters, I really liked the characters, the plot and the style of writing in Jason F. Wright's books. In the Cross Gardener the characters feel like they could be your neighbors. He writes stories about the "ordinary" person. I would definitely recommend his books to anyone.

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  • Posted April 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Thought provoking

    I picked this book up and I couldn't put it down. If your looking for a book that is going to make you think you will be blown away with this one. I laughed and cried but most of all thought... who might my cross gardener be?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Good Read

    This is a good read. Like other Jason F. Wright novels this one is an easy fast read. The story line propels the novel forward and leaves you guessing from one page to the next who this elusive "Cross Gardener" is. It is easy to be drawn in by the story. A young man who was orphaned and raised on an apple orchard by is adoptive father. He suffers the loss of his beloved older brother, his father, his wife and stillborn son. This is a story of how difficult loss is, but how it is important that you keep living. As this young widowed father discovers so will any reader that life is about the journey and the joy and sorrow that it brings.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The Cross Gardener a must buy, read and share.

    I read this book and loved it. It really makes you think about your own life and how tragedy can find anyone of us. It will be those times when we all struggle to make it through the dark hours until a light comes to help us. It gives anyone of any religion some thinking to do about how each of us will move from this life to the next. I finished the book on the day of our ladies Book Club meeting. One of our members had just buried her husband the week before. I brought it and gave it to her in hopes it will give her some comfort. I hope The Cross Gardener will be of comfort to those struggling with loss. A great way to share your concern for those with a loss. Thanks again to Jason F. Wright.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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