The Great Gardener – Jo Claire

As someone who loves to relax by pottering in my garden, this book attracted me from the start. The author uses a lovely picture of our hearts being like a garden, tended by an attentive father to nurture and encourage growth.

The encouragement to give ourselves over to The Great Gardener fully, wholeheartedly, is a powerful call that will change lives. Jo’s heart is clearly to edify others, to build up the readers to be in a place where they can fully understand and know the joy and peace of God over their lives.

The text takes the reader on a walk through the gardens described and featured in the Bible, to explain the truths of the Christian faith. There are some emotive and evocative descriptions of gardens that offer some helpful insight into the perfect intentions of God.

It is a refreshing and uplifting read. I came away feeling encouraged, having heard the gospel and had truths spoken over my life, reinforcing my faith and bringing a deeper understanding.

Jo does not shirk from tackling difficult topics The core topics are covered, like fatherhood, identity, suffering and forgiveness, ensuring the reader has a clear understanding of God’s intentions, backed up by regular Bible references.

The complicated topics are explained clearly, acting as a good reminder to believers, but will also be a clear explanation to those who are new to Christian concepts. The chapter on forgiveness is especially well written, covering such a difficult and challenging topic with sensitivity and understanding.

The book is peppered with personal stories that will help many readers in their understanding, realising that “life” happens to us all, but there is a clear route through. The personal stories are shared with much honesty and integrity.

There are questions at the end of each chapter to help the reader reflect on the topic, and for the reflection to help the truths permeate a little deeper.

At the end of the book, we are left with a lovely vision of what God intends in the New Jerusalem. A reminder that all our stories end well, with hope and joy on the horizon.

The Great Gardener, by Jo Claire, is available here.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher, but was under no pressure to provide a favourable review.