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Leota's Garden

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  16,679 Ratings  ·  675 Reviews
Once Leota’s garden was a place of beauty – where flowers bloomed and hope thrived. It was her refuge from the deep wounds inflicted by a devastating war, her sanctuary where she knelt before a loving God and prayed for the children who couldn’t understand her silent sacrifices. At eighty-four, Leota is alone; her beloved garden is in ruins. All her efforts to reconcile wi ...more
Audio CD, Abridged, 0 pages
Published June 30th 2004 by Oasis Audio (first published July 8th 1999)
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Aug 31, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I find myself faced with trepidation when writing a review of Leota's Garden. A little info on my perspective may be helpful. I am a public librarian--I read a ton, and a mammoth variety. I even do some reading because I "should"....some of you librarians in the crowd know what I am saying. I feel a need to be well-read and to have a basic knowledge of most genres. While I dig a ton of different types of books, genres and information, of course, I do have my favorites. And I certainly am not afr ...more
I could almost say this was the best book I had read in 2011. I loved the characters, particularly Leota and her Grand-daughter. There are moments I laughed and I cried. I like that in a book. I love reading characters that seem real.

What kept this book from a 5 star rating since I did enjoy it very much.

1. It is very, very heavy in the Christian theme and genre. Not that it bothered me but I know it would turn off many people and I even found myself skipping many pages in the middle when some h
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Leota's Garden" is the story of a crotchety old woman estranged from all her family members, who becomes the case study of a sociology student. From the beginning, it is clear that Leota is more than just a bitter old lady, and Rivers' writing brings to life a woman who desperately longs to reconnect with her children. It is only when her granddaughter, Annie, arrives on her doorstep unexpectedly, that Leota's past and present can be resolved. At the same time, Corban, the sociology student, is ...more
Dec 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could have given this book a score greater than 5 I would have. Leota is an elderly lady whose children feel she was a bad mother and whose granddaughter wants to get to know her. At 84 time is running out, she lives in a run down neighborhood surrounded by a once-beautiful garden. Anne-Lynn her granddaughter breaks the ties with her mom, heads to California to go to art school, and determines to develop a relationship with her grandmother. The complex characters in this story: Eleanor and ...more
Very nicely writting. Entertaining and hard to put down. Some portions of the book stirred my anger. Would have liked to see Eleanor AKA "Nora" set straight sooner with a more thorough reality check. Though Leota's two adult kids live very close to her, they have very little to do with her. She's 86ish and can no longer take care of her home, garden, and even walking to/from the store has become a chore. She's very lonely. Sitting around her home looking at all the things that need to be cleaned ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwjd
As far as Rivers' books go, this one is deeply subtle (versus, for example, the Mark of the Lion trilogy--wait, the books about Romans persecuting Christians are Christian literature?--or the Women of the Bible series (duh.)) Actually, correction - the male love interest's girlfriend is an obvious "big bad secular feminist" - but a, she's so loathsome why stop to think about how much you hate her, and b, anyone who went to a liberal arts college knew someone like her and ARGH she was so ANNOYING ...more
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
This is one of my very favorite Francine Rivers books! I have recommended it to many woman, and even to a womans study group (who just loved it). Do not hesitate to read it, you will be so glad you did.

From dust jacket:

"Once Leota's garden was a place of beauty where flowers bloomed and hope thrived. It was her refuge from the deep wounds inflicted by a devastating war, her sanctuary where she knelt before a loving God and prayed for the children who couldn't understand her silent sacrifices.

Victoria Green
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another profoundly applicable book to our lives. Leota's heart sold out the Jesus Christ and yet she like myslef struggles with so many family dysfunctional relationships. Leota 84 years young is abandoned by her two older children (Nora and Micheal)...both self serving/self centered people who believe they are intitled to have had a 'normal' life...Leota lives in a run down neighborhood though she is easily loved by neighbors....a young man, Corben, is a university student. He comes to her with ...more
Jun 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a great read. I couldn't put it down. The relationship between mother/daughter/grandma was amazing. Francine never fails to bring God's word to life. Lots of material to use for witness opportunity.
My favorite part when Sam asked Annie "what's your sign?" Her response "The fish" Sam, "Pisces." Annie "Nope. Ichthus. Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior"
I am definitely going to be using that one next time I'm asked about my sign.
Amazing!!! Probably one of the best books I have ever read.
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Leota Reinhardt is in her eighties. She has a son George, and a daughter Eleanor, neither of whom keep in touch with her very often, and so she lives alone struggling to keep up her house and do simple tasks like getting to the grocery store without a car.

Enter Corban Solsek. A spoiled young college student from an affluent background (with a spiffy new car), and determined to succeed, Corey (or Corban) has a task to fulfill; a sociology assignment given to him by his professor. In order to get
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you've read Redeeming Love, you know what a gifted storyteller Francine Rivers is and the wonderfully mult-faceted characters she creates.
Leota is 84-years-old and facing the end of her life. She is alienated from her children and grandchildren, lives alone in a run-down house full of "history", mourns a garden that once thrived with creativity and life is now neglected and overgrown, a heart full of regrets and a heartfelt prayer and desire for reconciliation with her family before she dies
Nora St Laurent
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book reminded me of my grandmother who loved to work in the yard. This story also is a story of how the Lord talks about His garden and all the stories in the bible about that. They all come alive in this very powerful and gripping book. I really was moved by this story.

Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance
Aleta Kay
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book, along with every other book I've read by Francine Rivers. This book brings out the tragedy of holding on to bitterness, and how it permeates all of your relationships. It is also the story of how elderly people can feel so lonely, dejected and forgotten. They may reach a point in their lives where they expect nothing more than misery and disdain, especially when they are widowed and alone. It is the story of how a young person can breach the gap and bring healing between generat ...more
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So this was my second of Francine Rivers books. It is different from anything I have ever read. I have shied away from many Christian novels because they end up being silly romances. But that was certainly not this book. It was about love, but not the romance kind. Family love, love for God, and the love God has for us all.

Leota was my favorite. She was sweet, feisty, and deep. Annie was almost too sweet, but I really did like her. I was a bit disappointed where her story ends, but who knows wha
Hannah Lipka
I am a Francine Rivers fan as I greatly enjoyed both Redeeming Love and The Atonement Child. So I had high expectations for this book. Leota's Garden was slow and not very exciting. It didn't get very good until about halfway through. The ending was full of twists and turns and ended with a satisfying resolution, but it took so long to get to that point and it wasn't what I had hoped. It wasn't an awful book, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it. Francine Rivers has better books out there.
Natacha Ramos
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Why do I read?", I thought last night after finishing Leota's Garden.

I want to learn, of course, but I also read to be happy and have a good time.

I want a nice story where characters have a happy ending after all the struggles.

Then, I wondered: "why in the world if I like so much being happy while reading I still choose Francine Rivers?". I don't know.

So Francine-Rivers-like, there was a lot of drama and tears. I felt kind of sad at times for Leota and her family, even for Annie.

And then again
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was better than the Marta series. Grandma Leota did her best to take care of her family both to be sure her kids had food and shelter but also in caring for the feelings and emotional,health of her Inlaws as well as her husband who came home from the war with emotional scarring. It cost her the love and respect of her own children. The story focuses on her granddaughter coming into her life. It is a story of love, forgiveness, really res ...more
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had been at the bottom of a stack for about 2 years. I was supposed to return it when I finished it so I was being protective of it. Well, I finally read the very moving fiction story which seemed so real like I knew the people well. I believe it is a story that my generation can understand so well, as we contrast our relationships to grandparents compared to 50 years ago. But most of all, we see people change, which is magical indeed. A young man who hasn't experienced much life gets ...more
Jan 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Francine Rivers does an excellent job of showing what lack of communication, lack of understanding, lack of keeping God in our hearts can do to an individual and a family. Amazing how one individual in this story seems to really let the love of God shine through. Rivers does an outstanding job describing the loneliness of the elderly, and painfully tells a story of people who lack compassion and understanding. By Chapter 10 of this book, I opted not to put it down, but stayed up all night readin ...more
Mallory Miller
Nov 09, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: someone with pateince and likes a slow good book!
This book is a reality check book! This is a fiction book. In this book there is an old lady named Leota! She is alone and her childeren left her alone to rot by herself. Untill one day her grandaugher comes to visit! She shows Gods love to her grandmother and a helper who comes to help her grandmother.
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a sad, depressing book. But, as usual, Francine Rivers takes you into the heart and mind of her characters. The depressing aspect for me was that a family was so torn apart by things that could have, and should have, been resolved. I kept waiting for that to happen (sooner than later). If you like Francine Rivers, you'll love this.
Feb 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It made me think and gave our Book Club some good discussion. The characters are likable and lovely (at the least those that are supposed to be). Francine Rivers grazes some delicate issues and leaves you forced to form an opinion of your own on these topics.
Vannetta Chapman
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely story with a powerful message.
Jun 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice story but too sad in places.
Jeni Enjaian
When I first found this book on the shelf of a thrift store I could not believe my good luck, especially when I started reading and fell in love with the entire story. I knew when I picked the book up again yesterday the distinct likelihood that the book would not survive reevaluation after 15 years. Grown adult Jen has matured in her reading tastes significantly since 16 year old high school junior Jen found the book on that shelf.
Many times this narrative almost reached a level above ordinary,
Angela R. Watts
Profound. I was heartbroken (I cried) but the love was powerful and true...
AlegnaB †
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Crenshaw
I could not put this one down. I was so engrossed and connected to the characters that I was in disbelief during a sudden occurrence in the story and I had to go back and reread! The author certainly does not shy away from the ugly in life. This definitely makes for a great and believable story. I love the strength and flaws in the Christian life, the strong of faith, the part time Christians, and the unbelievers just as involved and just as in need. It's so true to life. Wonderful read.

Leota i
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Sep 05, 2015 02:56PM  
  • Divine
  • The Triumph of Grace (Grace in Africa, #3)
  • Shrouded in Silence
  • Whisper on the Wind (The Great War, #2)
  • Eve's Daughters
  • It Happens Every Spring
  • Paid In Blood (NCIS, #1)
  • Almost Heaven
  • The Heart of Memory
  • Deceit
  • Walking on Broken Glass
  • Sweet Baklava
  • Delivered with Love
  • A Thousand Shall Fall (Shiloh Legacy #2)
  • Mixed Signals
  • Riven
New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers continues to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her numerous bestsellers include Redeeming Love, A Voice in the Wind, and Bridge to Haven, and her work has been translated into more than thirty different languages. She is a member of Romance Writers of America's coveted Hall of Fame as well as a recipient of the Lifetime ...more
More about Francine Rivers...

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“Every religion in the world is about man trying to reach up to God, like working your way up the ladder. They’re all about striving to achieve something for yourself. Christianity is the only religion about God reaching down to man and offering salvation as a free gift, with the added bonus of a personal relationship with the Creator God through Jesus Christ, who was there in the beginning.” 8 likes
“In January the lavender heather and white candytufts would bloom. February perked up the plum tree, and March would bring forth the daffodils, narcissus, and moonlight bloom. April lilacs and sugartuft would blossom along with the pink and bloodred rhododendrons, bluebells, and the apple tree in the victory garden. As the weather warmed, miniature purple irises would rise amid the volunteers of white alyssum and verbena. The roses, dahlias, white Shasta daisies, black-eyed Susans, and marigolds would bloom from late spring to early fall. Leota could see it. She knew exactly” 0 likes
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