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 dies and then his college age brother, Tim, who drowned in the Atlantic Ocean died and this is just too many losses for such a young man like John to endure.
During high school, John meets Emma Jane and falls in love with her. Somehow he just knows Emma Jane is the woman he's going to marry and he does, eventually. Together they have a beautiful daughter whom they name Lou, Lou, a cute, precocious and smart little girl who is the light of their lives. Soon Emma Jane is pregnant again and through ultra-sound learn this new baby is going to be a boy and they name him Willard. Tragically, Emma Jane is in a car accident one night and she dies along with her and John's unborn baby. Doctor's efforts to deliver Willard are successful, but their attempts to save his life are not.
John, filled with overwhelming grief immediately withdraws from all aspects of life and love. He decides to build and erect two crosses at the scene of Emma Jane's accident - one for Emma Jane and one for baby Willard. Leaving Lou Lou behind with Emma Jane's parents, John visits the crosses each and every day in his ever deepening grief and sorrow when one day he meets a man who appears to be repainting and caring for the crosses John made and erected. He begins to have conversations with this strange man whose only name seems to be the "Cross Gardener". Soon John realizes that he is healing more and more with every conversation with this man. But...it isn't until they take a journey together that John really comes to see what he must embrace in this world, from the secrets of his past to the sorrow of his wife's passing - if he is to start life anew. And only as this journey ends does John realize "who" this 'Cross Gardener' may have been all along.
You will be so totally surprised by the ending of this story and to find out "who" the 'Cross Gardener' is!!
Jason F. Wright's ability to write stories of the heart is phenomenal and reminds me a lot of Richard Paul Evans. I've read some of Wright's other novels like: 'The Christmas Sweater' and the 'Wednesday Letters' and each was as truthful and touching as this one!! This is a story that everyone, young and old will enjoy and it will satisfy and leave you with a lot to think about.
January 2, 2011