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The Cross Gardener

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  1,821 Ratings  ·  345 Reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author, an inspiring story of life, love, and moving on.

Married and the father of a young daughter, John Bevan had finally found the traditional family he lacked as an orphaned child. But all that disappears when a fatal car accident steals away his wife-and the unborn child she carried.

Filled with sorrow, John withdraws from life
Hardcover, 293 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by Berkley (first published February 26th 2010)
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Mar 02, 2010 Josette rated it really liked it
This is my favorite of Jason Wright's books, so far. It offers a quick, satisfying read and, like his other novels, provides a down-to-earth view of small-town life and the importance of family and self-awareness.

"The Cross Gardener" tells the story of an orphan who finds a family and a destiny in the Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. After losing his mother on the side of a local highway in Strasburg, Virginia, John, only one day old, experiences the mysterious inner workings of fate. Wit
Mar 13, 2010 Ana rated it really liked it
Author of The Wednesday Letters. I found the beginning a bit too fast/choppy, the skipping of multiple years in one sentence left me wanting more. I found it a wonderful book, with a great message. Looks like he asked a few different people for help with this book, including Sheri Dew. Interesting huh? Would love to know what you think about the book.
Apr 02, 2010 Tanya rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010-books
I started this book just two days before my own family was in an auto collision, so obviously that will shadow my review. I liked the message about Listening that was a theme of this book. I had a hard time with the father being wrapped up in his own grief and not being able to extend himself to his daughter for such a long time. I can understand it considering all he'd been through and that he needed time to fully grieve, but I think if it had been a mother that survived, the daughter would hav ...more
Mar 28, 2010 Heather rated it it was amazing
The Cross Gardener is wonderful book to add to your collection, especially if you’re a Jason F. Wright fan. Wright is the New York Times bestselling author of Christmas Jars, The Wednesday Letters, and Recovering Charles.

Wright skillfully paints John Bevan as a character with incredible depth. John’s life starts out tragically. Right from birth, death is an ever-present part of his life when his mother dies in a car accident that instigates her labor. At the age of four, John is adopted by a si
Apr 20, 2010 Laurie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: jason-f-wright
The Cross Gardener is a beautiful tale of love, loss and the desire to move forward in life. John Bevan has a unique story. Born under dire circumstances, adopted into a comfortable home and loved by a wonderful girl, Bevan finally believed he was living in heaven on earth until a fateful day in August changed his world. The love of his life and center of his world, his wife Emma Jane, and their unborn child Willard are killed in a car accident while John and his young daughter Lou Lou watch. Th ...more
Carey Henderson
Reminded me of a Mitch Albom novel, but since I'm a Mitch Albom fan, it's most definately a compliment.

I knew this novel was going to be a tear-jerker, the subject matter alone was an indicator of that. This novel drew me in right away. I love country life, country living & I have this strange obsession with apple orchards, I've always felt it would be amazing to live on one. Since the novel took place on an orchard, I knew I'd be hooked. The characters were defined, I had that "connection"
May 09, 2010 Barbara rated it really liked it
This was a read-in-one sitting book. Moving account of man and his daughter following the death of his wife and unborn son in a freak auto accident. I thought I had it all figured out partly through the book, but I was completely wrong.
Jul 01, 2010 Cindy rated it it was amazing
Great book. It's thought-provoking, inspirational, and spiritual but it's also a wonderful love story and has a hint of mystery. Whenever I drive by a roadside cross I will remember this book.
Sep 17, 2010 Jana rated it liked it
Meh. The writing was too choppy at he wanted to emphasize so many points that there were too many of those one-short-sentence paragraphs. Mostly I felt like I'd read this book before (The Five People You Meet in Heaven; The Peacegiver; Tuesdays With Morrie; Have a Little Faith; The Holy Secret)...I'm not a major fan of the "slightly clueless guy meets wise, mysterious mentor" formula, I guess. It was a sweet book, but it seemed to have an exaggerated sense of its own depth and wisdo ...more
Dec 28, 2010 Allyson rated it it was amazing
There is nothing better than a story that keeps you wanting more... The Cross Gardner is the first book I have read by Jason F. Wright. Such an excellent concept about the 'crosses' often seen on the side of the road. Surely, everyone has wondered at some point about the life lost when passing the roadside markers. Having lost a child to a car accident, I for one can say Mr. Wright captured how I felt at the time of my loss.

Beautiful writing... I look forward to reading his other works.
Jan 02, 2011 Louise rated it it was amazing
John Bevan was adopted along with the other older two boys in his family: Scott and Tim. Their adoptive father was an Apple Orchardist with his own father.

This family suffered through a lot of tragedy. John’s mother died in a tragic car accident but doctor’s were able to save John. John’s adoptive Grandpa finally dies and then his college age adopted brother, Tim, who drowned in the Atlantic Ocean died and is just too many losses for such a young man like John to endure.

During high school, John
Paul Pessolano
Jan 30, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it it was amazing
Jason F. Wright is the New York Times Bestselling author of "The Wednesday Letters", "The Christmas Jars", and co-author of "The Christmas Sweater".

"The Cross Gardener" is a very unusual story, a very moving story, and a story that looks at questions that many of us have asked ourselves over and over again.

John Bevan was born on the night his mother was killed in an automobile accident. He was moved from foster home to foster home, and finally found a loving home on an apple orchard run by Wayne
Mar 27, 2011 Mindy rated it it was amazing
Words can't express how much I loved this book. Amazing. Cried my eyes out. Such a touching story, loved the lessons.
Marnie Mounteer
Apr 05, 2011 Marnie Mounteer rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. I cried, I laughed and I learned. Great story, characters you actually cared about and a beautiful message.
Apr 19, 2011 Deanna rated it really liked it
Generally, I like books that are funny or have an overall happy atmosphere. If that's you, too, skip this one. But if grief is (or has been) your constant companion, this one has some wonderful moments and lessons. I cried periodically all through this thoughtful book. It had some funny moments, but not enough to lift you out of its solemnness. A young man loses his wife and unborn child -- not a spoiler, this much is on the dust cover. He has a 5-year-old daughter who also survives, but he is s ...more
Apr 26, 2011 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: chrisian
I am not so sure how scripturally sound this is. The basis of the story is that we all have someone who greets us when we die. We do not die alone. This book would be teriffic comfort for someone who has just lost someone they love. However, I am not sure it is the truth of God that He sends us an angel,someone who has gone on before or not (I need to check through scripture about this). I have always believed through what scripture teaches that to be absent from the body is to be present with t ...more
Dana Burgess
Jun 02, 2011 Dana Burgess rated it it was amazing
On the cover, Don Piper is quoted: "Fresh and spiritual". I would have said: "Predictable and sappy". But that is not necessarily a bad thing as I would have been saying it through the runny nose and streaming tears on the airplane with the other passengers looking at me like I had lost it. 'The Cross Gardener" is an exploration of loss, of grief, and of survival. It is christian fiction and, therefore, also an exploration of spirituality and God's role in the lives of believers and non-believer ...more
Aug 02, 2011 Laura added it
Shelves: jason-f-wright
Another great book by Jason F. Wright. I knew there was going to be a twist at the end but I definitely didn't predict what it was! This is about a man, John Bevan, who tragically loses his wife and unborn child in a car accident. He is overcome with grief and finds it hard to accomplish any day-to-day tasks. He visits the crash site often, where he has constructed two white crosses, and one day he meets another man there who is tending to the crosses. At first, John does not want this "Cross Ga ...more
Nov 24, 2014 K. rated it it was ok
Shelves: spirituality
After reading other reviews, I wonder if I am souless for not liking this book. I prefer that spiritual books either be realistic or allegorical. I do not like books that mix the two genres. Wright tells the story of a modern man who loses his wife and struggles to find his way in the wake of her passing. Fantastic things happen that step too far away from reality (and into allegory) for me.

CS Lewis mastered each of these genres without mixing them. His book A Grief Observed is basically journa
Sep 07, 2011 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Tearjerker would be an understated way to describe The Cross Gardener. Just when I thought I was finished crying, I'd start all over again. My poor, poofy eyes and stuffy nose.

The Cross Gardener tells the emotional story of John Bevan. The details of his birth and then adoption were given factually. Although the birth story wasn't happy, it was a detail. But, Jason F. Wright painted a picture of John's adolescence and young adulthood that drew me in.

I was heartbroken when John's wife and baby d
Jill Tree
Dec 09, 2011 Jill Tree rated it it was amazing
Ok, so no secret that the only time I usually update this is when I find a book I really like. I think this book is one of the few that makes me what to stop reading for a while (a few days) to absorb the wonderful message that this book has. A summary would ruin the plot but the message is that no one dies alone. The love that God has for us is obvious. This is the 2nd book by Jason Wright that has really made an impact on me. I will look forward to more. Read this book.
Dec 30, 2011 Jinky rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
This was a comfort read for me ..sentimental sappy, my kind of book. This one dealt with grief and finding a unusual comforter. I enjoyed the strong men relationships ... particularly the Bevan men, Wayne, John, and Scott. The father-son and brother-brother bonding were feel-good moments. I especially took a liking to Wayne, John's father. Wayne had desirable qualities. He was hardworking, kind, wise, and had integrity. My kind of father figure so I couldn't help but fall in love with the m
★¸. • * ° * ༺*Blanka*༺*°°*•.¸. ♥★

A beautiful and delightful story, however so very sad.
John Bevan was born on a side of a road abandoned by his teenage mother. He grew up with one life goal sustaining him; that one day he would be part of a traditional family. He married Emma Jane and they had a daughter Lou Lou. She became pregnant, but a car accident kills her and the unborn.
John's dream shattered that day. He ignores his child and places two crosses at the spot where his spouse and his unborn died. Everyday he visits the loc
Jan 18, 2014 Tabitha rated it it was amazing
Jason F. Wright’s newest novel, The Cross Gardener, is a quick read with a huge heart. Although some of the theology is questionable, Wright knows how to weave his stories into your heart for good. The reader is taken along main character, John Bevan’s story, from being born on the side of the road, to learning how to overcome a lifetime of loss. Most readers will not be able to imagine the kind of loss the John suffers in this story, and those than can I’m sure will connect to this book unlike ...more
Aug 16, 2013 Christel rated it liked it
My book club at the library read this book this summer, and everybody loved it but me. The character of the cross gardener is a literary device I find overwrought and weakening the overall themes. The relationship between father and daughter and their relationships with others is so key, and it isn't till they both get out what's troubling them so deeply that healing can begin. I believe the book would have been stronger without the cross gardener or at least a different version of him, and I wo ...more
Patricia  Hess
Jun 05, 2014 Patricia Hess rated it it was amazing
This was fabulous! A MUST read! I am sort of shocked I found such a good book at Dollar Tree! Sorry Jason F. Wright! This book shouldn't of been there..but I am glad it was! This book is about grief and I think that its a must read for those who are having trouble after loosing someone!
Thank you Jason F. Wright! GREAT BOOK!!
Jan 02, 2015 Jacquline rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie Carpenter
Dec 17, 2015 Julie Carpenter rated it really liked it
Shelves: religious, inspiring, 2015
I have read several books by this author and enjoy them all. They usually deal with sorrow of some sort and definitely make you pause and really take time to think about your life and relationships.

This one definitely made you stop and reevaluate facing loss in your life. How you perceive you would deal with it, how you actually end up dealing with it when it happens and, not least among these, how you perceive and act towards others who are dealing with loss.

We never know how we are going to ac
Paula  Phillips
Jun 12, 2015 Paula Phillips rated it it was amazing
Are you one for reading inspirational stories ? Are you a fan of Richard Paul Evans books ?

The Cross Gardener is one of those books that mixes reality and fantasy together and makes you open your eyes to the possibilities of the world around you and know that nothing is impossible. Growing up John was left an orphan and went to live with a man whom he called Father Bevan and had two older brothers Scott and Tim. As he got older, he learned that the white crosses on the sides of the road represen
Kristina Graybill
Sep 16, 2015 Kristina Graybill rated it really liked it
One thing about being simplistically spiritual in my own way is that I believe there is a purpose for everyone whether it is in our mortal life or after death, and in this journey called life, we are never truly alone in the world. This book says exactly that without getting religiously boring.

I would have given this book 5 stars, but the ending ended very abruptly. I had to re read the last 5 pages to make sure I didn't miss anything the Cross Gardner had to share about his true identity. I fe
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Jason Wright is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author.

Jason is a weekly columnist for the Deseret News and Northern Virginia Daily and articles by Jason have appeared in over 50 newspapers and magazines across the United States including The Washington Times, The Chicago Tribune, and Forbes. He is the author of The James Miracle (2004); Christmas Jars (2005); The W
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