Books I read

Book I Read: Leota’s Garden by Francine Rivers


Description from Takealot

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 in ruins. All her efforts to reconcile with her adult children have been fruitless. She voices her despair to a loving Father, her only friend. Then God brings a wind of change through unlikely means: one, a college student who thinks he has all the answers; the other, the granddaughter Leota never dared hope to know. But can the devastation wrought by keeping painful family secrets be repaired before she runs out of time?

 What says I

I read this book the first time in 2013 when a friend suggested I should read it. The book starts with a typical scene where mother and daughter are having a disagreement. One soon gets the idea that this is the norm of the book. It’s a great example of the impact control in relationships have on people. How much it circles out and influences adult and child. Annie is a senior in high school that has exceeded at everything her controlling mother threw her way. She danced and studied and played instruments which gave Eleonor all the brag she needed to dominate her friends within their elite social circles. When Annie decides to follow a path completely removed from the posh future that Eleonor designed for her, a great battle unfolds in her and the reader is lead through a series of personal dialogue where many a personal issue comes to the light. Annie makes contact with Leota, her estranged grandmother and another series of beautiful illustrations of restoration in their relationship fill the pages. We soon learn of the lies and indoctrination that has created the hard and controlling persona’s in the book.

Francine Rivers is one of my favourite writers although I seldom read any of her books. Funny, right? Anyways, this is a slow but intense book. Complicated at times as the scarred and issue ravished characters struggle through their relationships and lives. One quickly becomes aware of one’s own tendency and the bad habit to judge the characters by their covers. You find yourself picking a favourite and rooting for that one. I did love how clearly and gently Francine shows every character’s relationship with God. Their inner dialogue also speaks words and you can’t help but want to cry or smile or following the emotion of every character. The story line is solid. The setting is gentle and not overwhelming as it is set mostly at the chaotic and very aged house and garden of Leota. The growth and maturity of the characters are beautiful. As Annie matures in her relationship with God, believing in what she wants to do and heals inside, she becomes a gentle yet powerful force to be reckoned with. There are a few twists and turns that grow all the characters and although it is a slow paced book, it keeps it quite interesting.

As I mentioned, it is quite slow paced. I found myself bored at some places. But once curiosity for the characters personal struggles kicks in, the book moves along. I did not like the ending. I suspect because it has been worn out in my life by religious movements or maybe it is just because of a different conviction. I am not sure.

Overall I think it is a beautiful book of human struggles in their relationships with others, with God and sometimes the lemons life hands them. The ideal book for slow relaxed reading on a rainy day.

What says others

RT Bookreviews gave this book 4 1/2 stars. Annie Kate also had a friend recommend this book! And Christian Book Reviews were not happy with this book though.

Where to connect with the author

Francine Rivers has a website and you can find her on Facebook.

Where to buy this book

Find this book on Takealot

Amazon has e-book, softcover and audio books available

Cumbooks has a pdf book


The edition I read:

Leota’s Garden by Francine Rivers

2nd Edition 1993

Cover by Stephen Vosloo

ISBN 978-1-4143-7065-1

Published by Tyndale House Publishers

Printed & bound in the USA

And that is it from me for now
Until next time sweet peeps!

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