The First Gardener by Denise Hildreth Jones
Jeremiah Williams has been taking care of the gardens at the Tennessee governors mansion for the past 25 years. He has cared and prayed for its residents as well. There is something special though about the current family. Jeremiah wonders if all the hurt and unjust treatment he’s gone through in life have been so that he could be with this family at this specific time.
Governor Gray London and his wife Mackenzie, struggled with infertility and miscarriages for years. Now it seems that all their dreams have come true. Their miracle baby, Maddie, is heading off to kindergarten, and Gray is making a real difference as governor.
When tragedy strikes again and again, the London’s are thrust into circumstances they don’t know if they can survive, and they’re not sure they even want to.
What is God doing in their life? Is he really even there? How could he love them let these kinds of things happen?
This book is worth the read, but be prepared for uncontrollable sobs and keep a box of tissues nearby. I was completely unprepared for the depth of this novel. Though the main plot is heavy, there are lighter sub-plots to take the edge off. The southern voice throughout is authentic and beautiful. The First Gardener is masterfully writt
This book was provided to me through the Tyndale Bloggers Network. All opinions rendered are my own.
The O’Malleys are a family. They made themselves one as they grew up in a foster home together. Taking on the same last name just made it official. Now all grown up the seven siblings all share another thing in common. They work to help people.
Kate is a hostage negotiator
Marcus is a U.S. Marshal
Lisa is a forensic pathologist
Jack fights fires
Rachel works disasters for the Red Cross
Stephen is a paramedic
Jennifer is a doctor
They watch each others backs and support each other through the hard times, but as one of their own faces life’s final battle will their bonds hold them together or will they be shattered and scattered.
This Spectacular Series was re-released by Tyndale in 2005.
For those of you who have read this series, you can find an unpublished extra Jennifer’s story at Dee Henderson’s website.
Freedom’s Stand by J.M. Windle
Aid worker Amy Mallory returns from a trip stateside to find overwhelming and seemingly negative changes to the New Hope Compound. The rescued women have been put to work doing the backbreaking job of carpet-making, the area she secured to give them more living space has been turned into a business, and most troubling to Amy, several of the women have been married off to strangers.
Jamil has found peace traveling the countryside, using his medical skills as a healer and sharing the teachings of Isa Masih (Jesus Christ). When he is unknowingly filmed by a journalist and his faith is broadcast on YouTube for all the world to see, he finds himself behind bars in one of the most notorious prisons in all of Afghanistan. He is accused of apostasy, and all Afghans know the penalty for apostasy is death.
Condor Security operative Steve Wilson thought he had seen the last of Afghanistan and is busy planning an extended tropical beach vacation. When the young son of the friend who took over his assignment is diagnosed with Leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant Steve insists on filling in so the family can be together at this crucial time. If only Steve could find something to do that would fill his life with purpose…
The Afghan people still live without freedom ten years after the ousting of the Taliban. Regardless of outside intervention the country seems bent on destroying and imprisoning itself from within. Is there any real hope of freedom? Of love? Can anyone make a difference?
Freedom’s Stand is the completion of the tale begun in Veiled Freedom. While it’s possible to read the story alone, you will miss the depth of the story if you try to do so. This story is both riveting any meaningful. Many times you will find yourself on the edge of your seat, and yet you will also find your heart aching for the lives and love of the Afghan people. This is an important story that tells what life is like behind the news headlines.
The author, Jeanette Windle, has done her research well, including an under the radar trip to Afghanistan. In fact, her research is so detailed that it has prompted government agencies to question whether she has seen classified information. She brings this world of to life through her understanding of what it is like to work and live as a missionary in the “Hot Zones” of the world.
This book, and actually both books in this series, are five-star quality. I would highly recommend picking up a copy of both Veiled Freedom and Freedom’s stand to add to your collection of fine literature.