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Publishers WeeklyAuthor 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.
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