The First Gardener
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The First Gardener

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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  566 ratings  ·  150 reviews

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 sen

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Published July 19th 2011 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published July 1st 2011)
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Anne
Not having read any books written by Denise, I had no idea what to expect. I'm not a big fan of contemporary fiction. But being a southerner, the setting and the cover enticed me to choose this book. I am so glad!!!

With a myriad of characters, this is one emotional roller coaster ride. From a child's giddy laughter to a gardner's silent prayers you will be taken to depths and heights you cannot imagine in this jewel of a book!

I must admit when I began reading I realized fairly quickly what was...more
Marianne
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...more
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
If heaven had a backyard, it would look like the gardens of the Tennessee governor's mansion.

Jeremiah Williams has been tending those gardens 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, are enjoying a sweet season of life when 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...more
Ginger
Apr 07, 2014 Ginger rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Anyone Who Has Lost A Loved One
I literally just finished this. My mind is still reeling from my thoughts and feelings. This is the story of the London family, the First Family of Tennessee. This family goes through a series of events which no one should have to. It's a story of grief, pain, and healing. The First Gardener, Jeremiah, has a gift which he uses through the flowers he tends to. Not all of his decisions are met with welcome and understanding, but he feels strongly that the Lord is directing him to do so.

The charact...more
Melissa
I just finished a book that should be a movie. The book is called The First Gardener by Denise Hildreth Jones. This book is a definitely a chick movie kind of book. The book is about a southern family but not just any southern family it is about the first family of Tennessee. Governor Gray London his wife Mackenzie and their five year old daughter are quite the family. Mackenzie’s mom Eugenia Quinn is a strong character with southern ties that run deep. I loved her three friends each one was fun...more
Corallie Buchanan
My goodness! This story was so healing for me. After the very traumatic event of losing a very near and dear relationship with my mother, this book had me bawling my eyes out!!!

After living my life believing that my mother was one way, only to experience the total opposite, I was traumatized. I felt the same as Mackenzie did when she lost her Maddie. Life with my mother as I knew it could never be the same again. My mother was not the person she had led me to believe all of my life. Through a fa...more
Lydia (Overweight Bookshelf)
First reviewed here: http://overweight-bookshelf.blogspot....

If ever an inanimate object could be treated as a person, and treated poorly, it is this book. My dysfunctional relationship with this story spanned the extremes of emotional reaction: I laughed with it, screamed at it, sassed back at it, and-to my shame-slapped it around when things didn't go my way. But the jump from anger to love grew smaller and smaller until I couldn't let this book go. It embraced me like a warm blanket and soake...more
Booksintheburbs
This was a freebie that I downloaded last week. The cover and title of the book caught my attention among the many free books I own. So, I was very surprised at how well written the book was, the development of characters and plot were so real and relevant, and the story just moved very smoothly. This is one of those books that I really couldn’t put down, so I often carried my Nook around with me to read a few pages. Normally, I only read my books at night….however, I just couldn’t with this one...more
LuAnn
This is a lovely and touching story, yet very sad at the same time. When an awful tragedy rips through the first family of Tennessee, Jeremiah Williams reaches out to help. With kindness and patience, he delivers advice and compassion to the governor and his wife, hoping that he can, in his own way, bring some healing and mercy to their lives.

I found this book very compelling and tender, as well as poignant. I also found myself drawn to the characters, especially Jeremiah. The author made we wan...more
Margaret Metz
This book was hard to read. Not because it was poorly written or because the characters didn't speak to me. They did. I read a lot of fiction and a few non-fiction titles a year. This is one of those fictional titles that reads almost like non-fiction. The setting is so contemporary and the issues are ones that could have been grabbed from newspaper headlines running this year. Some of it felt so familiar that I believed I was going to read it was based on a true story.

It was a painful story of...more
Pam
This caught my eye at the library because I love to garden. Had no idea what it was about. I loved this book because of the strong Southern flavor. I have come to love the South having lived in the South for 27 years. I caught me by surprise, though, because it also is about dealing with the death of a child. Shed some new tears for the loss of my own son as I related to the main character, Mackenzie. I have felt all the emotions and feelings she experienced. I lived in the story all during the...more
Lenore Webb
I had to journey to the South with a tale that tugged at my heart. The First Gardener by Denise Hildreth Jones is beautifully told capturing my soul as I explored the governor's mansion. I loved how the story paralleled tending to a garden takes love, time and attention the same as tending to a broken spirit. You will love this story if your a fan of epic life stories. The First Gardener was one that made me laugh and cry. A must have for your nightstand reading stack! Denise expresses her own S...more
April
THE FIRST GARDENER by Denise Hildreth Jones is an interesting inspirational general fiction.This is an excellent story of love,loss,life,change in the season of life,gardener,faith,spiritual insight,loss of a child,with true life characters and the greatest gift of all the heart.This is inspiring story of life and its difficulties.A touching,compelling Southern story with grief,faith,hope and a valuable gift.This is a must read. This book was received for the purpose of review from the publisher...more
Margaret
Tennessee Governor Gray London and First Lady Mackenzie tried for 10 years to conceive and deliver a full-term baby. Now, their pride and joy, precocious 5 year old Maddie is ready to leave the nest; if only to go to kindergarten. Mackenzie knows that she must let her baby girl grow up, but it will be a bittersweet day. The time may just be right to begin the injections that will bless Gray and Mackenzie with a second baby.

Jeremiah, the wise and elderly gardener (First Gardener) has been tending...more
Carol
I've read all of Denise Hildreth's books and have enjoyed them all. This one though was without a doubt the best book I've read in a very long time. The emotions were so real. The politics pulled straight from today's headlines. I fell in love with all the characters and cried with them and laughed with them. Can't wait for her next book.
Patsy
This book was kinda hard to get into at first. However, once the story got going it was a great read. The story takes place in Tennessee. It tells of Mackenzie and her husband, Governor Gray London and the tragedy that takes place in their lives. It's a story of enduring and overcoming.
Mary
This book took me through so many emotions that I couldn't put it down. I loved all the characters in the book and it definitely would make a great movie.
I will definitely seek out another Denise Hildreth Jones book and I hope it's as good as this one.
Danielle Comparette
The beginning of this book is kind of slow, but overall it is a good read. It is a compelling story of loss and healing. The ending was also quite a surprise to me!
Jill
Best book I've read in a long, long time. The middle got kinda depressing, but I couldn't put it down and I'm glad I didn't!!!
Dawn Cook
I love this book. What a great story couldn't put it down. I will pass book on to others to enjoy. Thanks again.
Linda
Wow, this was an excellent read. Had me sobbing, laughing, and thinking about how our God works in our lives.
Ivy
awesome book. would definitely recommend
Beth Peninger
This title from Jones drew me in with it's gardener Jeremiah and his POV. At first I was curious and then I was compelled to see what happened to cause such sorrow on page 1. Jones did a good job of bringing Jeremiah to life and then the rest of the characters.
The London's, Gray and Mackenzie, are the first family of Tennessee. After many years of waiting and trying to have a baby they finally had sweet little Maddie. At five years old Maddie is growing up and the London's are trying to have an...more
Laura
This has to be one of the saddest yet encouraging books I've read in a long time. Governor Gray London and his wife Mackenzie struggled for ten years to get pregnant, and their little girl, Maddie, now five, is the center of their world. When tragedy strikes, they lose their faith and their way. Can the gardener remind them that no matter how dark the winter is, spring will come?

This story will tear at your heart. The first tragedy happens, and just when you think Mack and Gray will have a break...more
Kate
Gray London, governor of Tennessee and first lady MacKenzie have a 5 yr old daughter, Maddie, who was born after many years of hoping. Maddie adds life to their home and their hearts.
Jeremiah has been tending the gardens of the govenor's house for 25 years, and 3 years of that for the London family. Jeremiah has a way of growing things and it can be said that a piece of heaven can truly be found in his backyard.
When tragedy strikes the world stops spinning. For this family through life's turmoil...more
Laura
Title: THE FIRST GARDENER
Author: Denise Hildreth
Publisher: Tyndale
June 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4143-3558-2
Genre: Inspirational/contemporary

If Heaven had a backyard, it would look like the gardens of the Tenness governor’s mansion.

JEREMIAH Williams has been the head gardener for over twenty-five years. And this particular first family has stolen their heart.

Governor Gray London and his wife, Mackenzie have a five year old daughter, Maddie, who is soon to be starting kindergarten. Mackenzie thought one...more
Renee
The First Gardener is the fictional story of the Tennessean governor Gray London and his family. The Londons are a typical American family - mom, dad, one child and wanting more. They also have the added bonus of living in a mansion in Nashville with beautiful gardens tended by Jeremiah. But tragedy strikes one day and their lives are forever changed. With the assistance of Jeremiah and others, they are able to get their lives back on track and once again move forward in life.

The characters in T...more
Renn Shearin
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,...more
Holly Renee
For over twenty-five years Jeremiah Williams has tended the award-winning gardens that grace the Tennessee governor's mansion. He's seen First families come and go, but this one has captured his heart in a special way. First lady Mackenzie London and her husband, Governor Gray London, have struggled for a decade to have a child. Though in the midst of starting a re-election campaign and enduring new political struggles, nothing could be sweeter than their current state of life--because they are...more
Itsjustme-wendy
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 beaut...more
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Denise Hildreth Jones began writing as Denise Hildreth.

Denise Hildreth’s novels have moved her readers to tears and laughter as they stay up all night just to finish the last page. "I'm just a southern girl from South Carolina who knows crazy people, the south, and rigged beauty pageants. So, I thought I'd write a book about them. I didn't even know I could write fiction. Come to find out people h...more
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