The First Gardener

The First Gardener

4.5 86
by Denise Hildreth Jones
     
 

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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…  See more details below

Overview

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 Gardner reminds us that all of life is a gift, but our heart is the most valuable gift of all.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
International speaker and author Jones (Hurricanes in Paradise) crafts a heart-wrenchingly believable story that at times mirrors her own life. Mackenzie, the wife of Tennessee governor Gray London, has yearned for years for nothing else but a child. Mack finally conceives, and little Maddie becomes the center of this couple's world until a tragedy shatters the family. In the aftermath, an unremarkable man, a gardener named Jeremiah, begins to pierce the wall of Mack's pain and reach her soul through flowers. Each gift has a specific meaning and, while not always well received, Mack ultimately gets the messages God is communicating through Jeremiah's blooms. One blossom at a time, Mack's heartache mends under the tender ministrations of a master gardener who plants and prays in equal measure. Jones's novel offers comfort and challenge, and readers will find it lingering in their hearts and minds long after the last page has been turned. (Aug.)
Library Journal
For over 25 years, Jeremiah Williams has been the head gardener at the Tennessee governor's mansion and has served many first families. But Governor Gray London and his wife, Mackenzie, have a special place in Jeremiah's heart. He watched the couple struggle for years to have a child. Now five years old, their adorable daughter, Maddie, is about to start kindergarten. When a crippling tragedy strikes the family, Jeremiah must offer Mackenzie the comfort she seeks to find her way out of her depression. VERDICT This tender and uplifting read by the author of the Savannah series (Savannah from Savannah; Savannah Comes Undone; Savannah by the Sea) should find its way into the hands of readers who like the Southern novels of Rebecca Wells.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781414360461
Publisher:
Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date:
07/19/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
459,450
File size:
600 KB

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The First Gardener 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 86 reviews.
BC13 More than 1 year ago
Eepect the Unexpected; I never saw the end coming! Became connected with the characters in the story (I want to read more about this family); grabbed my heart, could not put the book down and yet, in some places I HAD to put the book down. Have not read a book where I was so "Involved" with the characters and storyline in awhile as I was with The First Garener. GREAT READ!
h2oskigrl More than 1 year ago
I have read all of her books and this is the best! Will of Wisteria is a close second. Keeps you guessing and very emotional.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was such a heart warming gut wrenching story. I would put this in christian fiction. It was a love story and a life lesson story. There was no foul language and the writer eluded to lovemaking between 2 people who loved each other. I would consider this a clean book, and a great read. Jeremiah was so full of wisdom with his correlation between gardening and life.
dj5471 More than 1 year ago
This book had a great story line. I look forward to reading more of this author's writings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Parts of it were very sad, but what a moving book, with an amazing, surprising ending. That's all I will say :-)
Joyceblessed More than 1 year ago
I was very blessed as I read this book. It was funny and quite entertaining, yet also sad. This book will help those who do not know how to lean and depend on God when they are going through trials and tribulations. This book let's you know that God is always there in any situation and He has everything taken care of and in control. May God continue to bless you Denise Hildreth as you continue to share God in your writings. Joyce Griffin
Christian-bookworm More than 1 year ago
A great story about marriage and how tragedy can affect it. See how God uses others in an intricate way to draw the married couple to him. An excellent and unexpected twist at the end.
itsJUSTme-wendy More than 1 year ago
About the book - Mackenzie London is dying. She is not dying of cancer, not of Aides, not of any other kind of disease. She is dying of a broken heart. Mack is in all but a catatonic state after the death of her daughter. This is not only about the grief that Mack is suffering from but also the grief of all those around her, her husband, Gray (the Governor of TN), her mother, Eugenia, and even the gardener, Jeremiah. They are all suffering from a broken heart as well. First they all lost a beautiful little girl in the tragedy of a car accident and now they are loosing Mackenzie to her depression as she crawls deeper and deeper into herself. This book is about the deepest kind of sorrow you can find - the loss of a child and then loosing the will to live. My review - This is just about the saddest book I have ever read. I have read almost all of Denise's books and they have all touched me in some way. She is a very gifted writer! I consider her to be one of my favorite Christian Authors . Denise has a way with the characters in her books. You absolutely feel the pain and loss felt by Mackenzie and Gray. I loved Mack and was sad for her but was also frustrated with her at the same time. Part of me just wanted to shake her and yell "Snap out of it! Life goes on." I know that some people loose their faith in God after a great tragedy. But it is also God who is always there for us and will help us through if we allow him. We can't shut him out like Mackenzie did in our greatest time of need. You also feel Gray's pain. He is not only grieving the death of his daughter but now the loss of a wife. What can he do to help her as she no longer touches him or talks to him, never leaves the bedroom and won't even eat. Can he help her in time before she slips away for good? And with an upcoming election, he has the decision of running for office again or being there for his wife, or can he do both? Eugenia, Mack's mother is my favorite character! What a feisty old woman she is. She reminds me of Shirley McLaine in the movie "Steel Magnolias". She is trying to be the strong one, giving up her own life and moving in to take care of her adult grieving daughter, bathing her, feeding her, dressing her, all while deep inside she herself is hurting and unable to show it. Even thought I spent a good 3/4 of this book bawling my eyes out I also spent some time chuckling thanks to Eugenia! Then there is sweet old Jeremiah, the black, southern gardener for over 25 years now. He has seen pain before in the death of his own wife, but Mackenzie's grief is stealing his heart. Jeremiah is trying desperately to help Mack to heal.He listens as God speaks to his heart and tells him what to say and what flowers to give her according to their meaning.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the saddest books I have ever read. It does deal with grief, love and living! It does show us how we must go on living in the face of grief.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very moving story.   Very easily became connected to the characters in this story.  I did not want this book to end.  I look forward to more books from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a powerful story that made me laugh and made me cry. God was leaning over the shoulder of this author while she wrote.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never read a book that took me to such extremes of deep feelings. I felt that I was not only reading it but living it. It took me days to recover. For those that want to help someone who has suffered a great loss this book can really give you insight into what some have gone through and how fragile the balance can be.
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Friend me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely would recommend this book. It tugs at your heartstrings but so very inspirational. Kudos to the author for such a well written book on friendship, heartache, healing, hope & Love. God owes us nothing!
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