Posted by: cathycrane11 | August 31, 2011

Denise Hildreth

“I’ve learned through the years that it is the power of a story that changes people.  Whether it’s the stories I write, or the story of my life that has been written so far, stories have a powerful ability to influence, enlighten, and transform.”


What a beautiful and touching story of love, loss, despair, grief, and healing.  MacKenzie and Gray Landon had it all.  Gray is the Governor of Tennessee.  MacKenzie is a loving wife, mother, daughter,and an advocate for Nashville Rescue Mission.  The Landon’s certainly were living a wonderful life, until one day, in a split second, this perfect life was completely turned upside down and out of control.  The Landon’s loss their 5 year old daughter, Maddie, in a terrible car accident.

Denise Hildreth Jones gets right to the heart of MacKenzie.  Ms Jones draws you right in with MacKenzie as she withdraws from Gray, her family, her projects, and herself.  I probably related more to MacKenzie’s mother, Eugenia.  I am not from the south, but the love she has for her daughter is undeniable.  Not to give too much of the book away but when Eugenia got in the bathtub with Mackenzie, just to get her cleaned up and to help MacKenzie face her depression, I completely lost it. This is how powerful a Mother’s love really is.

Ms Jones also did a wonderful job depicting Gray’s despair and anger, and then finally deciding the he was going to stay with MacKenzie, trying to pull her back to the MacKenzie he knew and loved, no matter how long it took.  He was ready to give up everything to help her from losing herself.

Jeremiah, the Governor’s gardener played a pivotal role in the Landon’s lives and their healing process and not only by his gardening skills.   With his southern dialect, he reminded me of Hoke, played by Morgan Feeman, in Driving Miss Daisey.  He had that same soft, calm, religious manner.  You really did not know Jeremiah, and what he was all about until the end of the book, another powerful character

The First Gardener is the first book of Denise Hildreth Jones I have read, but plan on reading others.

I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale  House, which I am very honored to have been given the opportunity to read such an amazing story.

If you haven’t done so, I don’t think you will regret putting this one on your TBR list.

Happy Reading


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