The Cross Gardener
By Jason F. Wright
Berkley Books, March 2010
Reviewed by Heather Moore
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 single man who runs an orchard. Only then does he learn what unconditional love is.
John’s journey in life applies to all of us as he faces the death of his wife. As a young widower, with a six-year-old daughter, John doesn’t know how to heal the gaping hole in his heart. His orchard business suffers, he isolates himself from his in-laws and friends, and no matter how much time passes he can’t seem to exist beyond the moment of his wife’s death.
John becomes obsessive about visiting his wife’s gravesite and the location where she was killed. During one of his daily visits, he encounters a strange man who calls himself the cross gardener. A friendship slowly forms between the two men until John learns to open up to the stranger. The cross gardener teaches John how to listen, how to lighten the burdens of his past, how to savor the world again, and how to add meaning back into his relationships.
The Cross Gardener is a book teeming with emotion, truth, and insightfulness into the human heart. A story of hope and healing that brightens the dark corners of despair, simultaneously offering the reader a gratifying journey.