The First Gardener by Denise Hildreth Jones
published by Tyndale House Publishers 2011
One couple...two tragedies.
If one death could steal your joy, then what would two deaths do, steal your soul?
Gray and Mackenzie are brought from joy to despair to hope and then thrown into the pit of hell.
A review will never capture the essence of what this story does. It shows that no matter how big the hurt, the pain, the hope, etc., nothing is too big for God.
The chapters intermingled with Jeremiah's POV give a true Southern taste and how deep our roots go when it come to leaning and trusting our Lord. This story had me laughing and a lot of times--crying (and that is hard to do). Riveting at its best, and poignant at its worst, I have never read such a story with such heartfelt sincerity and bold honesty.
As Jeremiah says: "When God call you to sump'n big, ever'thing in your life gon' be big. Your mountains and your valleys--they all goin' be big. And this here valley, it be as big as any I ever see..."
Denise Hildreth Jones walks the reader through a life of happiness and pain, but more importantly--growth. It's a big story showing growth in oneself, growth in marriage, growth in friendship, growth in spirit, and most importantly growth in knowledge. God owes us nothing, but He gives us everything.