I only decided to add my voice after reading a review that said this story was, "needlessly sad". Life, from our temporal perspective is usually, if not always, "needlessly sad". It is how we, through God's power, provision, and presence address life's trials that grants us the privilege of positively impacting others; which is exactly what the First Gardner does. That is why I found the tragedies uplifting - for those involved lumbered through them; some with God, some without, some by the strength of others' faith. This story is authentic and blessed me.
"The First Gardener," written by Denise Hildreth Jones is one of the most emotional, heart-wrenching novels I have read, but it is also one you do not want to miss out on!
Gary and Mackenzie are the first family of Tennesee and are preparing for their only child to begin school and then tradegy strikes and it is more than Mackenzie can handle. Seeking strength from God and others around her is the only way that she is going to make it through this time. However, help comes from unexpected people in her midst. Jeremiah is the gardener and has been at the Govenor's mansion for a long time, yet he is drawn to this family during their time of personal need and he has more gifts than just tending the mansion gardens.
This is such a well-written book and one that will have you completely engrossed in the story and the characters' lives. The characters are well-developed and come alive on the pages. I found myself crying with Mackenzie and laughing along side Eugenia and wishing I had a gardener to work along beside like Jeremiah not only for his landscaping expertise, but his wisdom for the heart as well. This is a very emotional read and one that will not soon be forgotten.
When I saw the title The First Gardener, My mind first went to the thought that it would be about Adam or perhaps God as the ultimate First Gardener. I had no idea what it would be about, but it stands to reason that if the spouse of the head of state is The First Wife, then the one who takes care of the grounds must be the First Gardener. This is a novel of heart ache and turmoil but also of forgiveness.
Who has not lived in the world of "what if" or "if only i" or even blaming our selves? This is the world Mackenzie, the wife of the Governor of Tennessee lives in. It is a hard life, one that takes its tole on the health and welfare of the human body. It causes us to look at life and those around us through skewed eyes. Jeremiah, the First Gardner plays the capacity of adviser as well as the gardener in this heart rending, thought provoking novel. Although I had my suspicions, what the actual tragedy is, that is mentioned on the back cover of the book, does not come out until near the center of the story.
Well told, with compassion and insight, the characters grow in their journey, dealing with the hard issues of life. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to delve into a thought provoking novel.