The Gardener

This long awaited addition to the collected work of award-winning author, Kristen D Randle, is characterized by the same robust, gritty writing and understanding of human nature that won her the California Young Readers’ medal and Michigan Library Association Best Book of the year.

When Renny’s family moves to a small New England village, she realizes that trust is a luxury. And misplacing it can be catastrophic. There is the usual struggle to find her place among the quirky natives there, but just when life seems to make sense again, she begins to find shadows in the corners; questions come up that aren’t easily answered. When the mystery becomes personal and weirdly dangerous, Renny has to choose who to trust and how far. Kristen Randle has written a tight, exciting story that pits instinct against appearance, innocence against convention and presents a strong, determined heroine who does what it takes to find the truth.

The Gardener is a terrific novel – a mystery, a love story, a look into possibilities of friendship.  Discussion questions here.

~ Randle’s latest has elements of a Christian allegory, but without heavyhandedness. The writing is lovely and evocative, the story suspenseful, the characters deeply likeable and believable. One of the rare Young Adult books I have seen in some time that includes a strong and supportive family for the teenage protagonist, and where the young people are smart, but not smarter than their parents. Good kids, with few exceptions, but not unbelievably so. Atmospheric and compelling. A great read for teens and adults. —L. Wadley, Provo City Senior Librarian

~ For 5 dollars on Amazon, for Kindle. One of my ALL time favorite Authors wrote a new book so of course I bought it as soon as I could. I had really high expectations as I started to read and about a 4th into the book I realized this wasn’t what I thought it would be and I needed to let go of my expectations and just read it. I put it down for a while got some stuff done and came back to it with different thinking. I enjoyed it much more then. It is hard to describe Randle’s books, I don’t want to give anything away, but this book will not be easy to review. I LOVED the main character, she was so real! I loved everything she said and did. This book would be a good book for an older teen girl to read and learn from. Even as a mother it really made me rethink some things and really try hard to stand up for myself especially around people I don’t know very well. This book dealt with some serious issues, but as always the author did a very good job of keeping the book clean while doing it. 16 and up. Highly recommend to all my friends especially woman.—Book Freak, mother of 4

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The main character (Renny) is a high school senior, but I wouldn’t limit this book to an audience of young adult readers. Renny is a smart and thoughtful character, and as the narrator of the story, she makes for a pleasant companion for the reader. The book has a well-crafted plot that keeps the reader’s curiosity piqued. The exciting climax got my heart racing a bit, too. I loved the beautifully descriptive language and the intriguing story. —K. VanWagoner, USU

The characters draw you into the story, the tension keeps you turning pages. Kristen Randle’s wonderful way with words creates the story of a teenage girl who finds both friends and danger in the new life her parents have brought her to. Treated with both humor and suspense it is a well balanced story and will keep the book in your hands to the last page.— Laura Hickman  co-creator of Dragonlance